How Selling a Car Works

Making the Sale

When you close the deal, be sure to fill out a proper bill of sale.

­The rules regarding the sale of vehicles vary from state to state. Check with your Department of Motor Vehicles for the laws in your state. Once you have the money from the sale, you will record the odometer (mileage) reading and sign the car's title over to the buyer. The state will issue a title for the new owner.

Next, you make out a bill of sale and make copies for both of you. The bill of sale should include:


  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of the buyer and seller
  • The vehicle's make, model, year, mileage and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • The full sale price and how it was paid
  • A statement that the car was sold "as is," meaning there is no guarantee or warranty (unless you arrange otherwise)
  • Both buyer and seller signatures with date of sale

Make sure you and the buyer have filled out all the forms your state requires, including smog and lemon law certification. Finally, cancel your insurance, remove the plates and registration tags and turn over the keys to the new owner.

Following these simple steps will help ensure that all parties are satisfied with the sale.