Questions About Selling a Car to an Individual in 2019

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3,248
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
So, some of you may have seen my WRX for sale over in the "Items for Sale" section. I advertised it on Facebook, Craigslist and CarGurus. Well, after a few emails, I finally got a buyer off the Car Gurus site. He's taking out a loan from Navy Federal Credit Union, and I will meet him tomorrow morning at the main branch of my credit union. He already has the cashier's check from Navy Fed, made out to him and me, and I will use this check to pay the outstanding balance on the loan from my credit union, and deposit the surplus into my savings account. I was told by the branch manager that the funds should be available to me, immediately. My credit union will call NavyFed and verify the funds, at which point I can hand over the keys. I'm assuming they'll mail the title to NavyFed. They have generic bills of sale that we'll sign and have notarized. I am wondering what the buyer will need in order to apply for registration, since he won't have the title. Would the bill of sale be sufficient? It's been about 12 years or so since I sold a car, and, since tomorrow morning will be the first time I will lay eyes on the buyer, I just want to make sure everything is fair and square. Obviously, in 2019, I just want to be sure there is no fraud. I think it used to be, in times passed, that a cashier's check was as good as cash. But I've heard of instances of fraud, even with cashier's checks. The branch manager of my credit union did assure me that he's never had a check from NavyFed come back. One concern I have about this is the test drive. If he wrecks the car, I'm on the hook for, at minimum, the insurance deductible, plus, the accident will leave a black mark on my policy, and my rates will go up. In the past, I've sold motorcycles, and made the person let me hold the cash while they rode the bike, with the understanding that if they even dropped it, they bought it. I'm not that concerned, but anything can happen, and this is a sports car with a manual transmission, and I can tell from talking to him that he's a younger guy. Anything you guys can think of that I should be concerned about in this? One other thing - I debated on whether to post this in General or Vehicles. In the end, I chose Vehicles because I know a lot of people visit this section who are in the process of buying and selling cars. Maybe something that someone posts can be useful to someone. Mods can feel free to move it if it's deemed that this is not the right section for this.
 

john_pifer

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3,248
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted by tiger862
They should have the expertise to get the car registered in his state. Sometimes the two of you will go to the DMV.
Ha...that's funny. I'm not planning on going to the DMV with dude!
 
Messages
7,374
Location
North Carolina
A test drive is a calculated risk - it is what it is. I bought my 911 in the exact same manner that your buyer is. I don't know what your buyer will need to register the car, but that's kinda his problem, isn't it?
 
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9,378
Location
Canuck living in California
Check your DMV website, they should have a page on what is required when selling a vehicle. In CA you have 5 days to remove the vehicle from your name on DMV website and the buyer has 10 days to register the vehicle under his name.
 
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4,442
Location
OK
Good luck regardless. My hope is that since you're meeting at the bank to finalize the deal, the people at the bank will make sure nobody gets screwed in the process. They should have a notary on staff who can make any signatures formal enough that both of you can walk away comfortably. As for the test drive.. good luck.
 
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4,718
Location
Los Gatos, CA
The credit union should be able to help. Different states have different requirements. A notarized bill if sale is pretty good paperwork. Good luck. Sometimes I prefer to sell to a dealership to avoid any hassle. You will be fine.
 
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905
Location
California
1.) If it were me, *I* wouldn't let them test drive it alone. 2.) If they decide to buy it, why not ask them to go to a branch of YOUR credit union and have the cashiers check drawn on it rather than NFCU? If they go to your credit union with cash, the tellers will run all of the bills through their bill counter, which will automatically check for counterfeit bills and if they go to your credit union with a cashiers check, they'll, of course, verify funds before issuing a new cashiers check. Ed
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
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3,248
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted by Ed_Flecko
1.) If it were me, *I* wouldn't let them test drive it alone. 2.) If they decide to buy it, why not ask them to go to a branch of YOUR credit union and have the cashiers check drawn on it rather than NFCU? If they go to your credit union with cash, the tellers will run all of the bills through their bill counter, which will automatically check for counterfeit bills and if they go to your credit union with a cashiers check, they'll, of course, verify funds before issuing a new cashiers check. Ed
It won't be cash. He already has the check from NFCU in hand. So, I'm not sure I'm understanding you about the cashier's check. Like I said, he's bringing a cashier's check from NFCU. When we get to my credit union, they'll call and verify the funds.
 
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7,374
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted by john_pifer
Originally Posted by Ed_Flecko
1.) If it were me, *I* wouldn't let them test drive it alone. 2.) If they decide to buy it, why not ask them to go to a branch of YOUR credit union and have the cashiers check drawn on it rather than NFCU? If they go to your credit union with cash, the tellers will run all of the bills through their bill counter, which will automatically check for counterfeit bills and if they go to your credit union with a cashiers check, they'll, of course, verify funds before issuing a new cashiers check. Ed
It won't be cash. He already has the check from NFCU in hand. So, I'm not sure I'm understanding you about the cashier's check. Like I said, he's bringing a cashier's check from NFCU. When we get to my credit union, they'll call and verify the funds.
He either neglected to read your post at all, or he is mentally deficient.
 
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7,702
Location
MI
I followed all the DMV rules (I think) when I sold my Caravan 6 years ago. About 2 years after the sale, I got a call from an elderly lady who said she could not sell the van because there was a lien on it. I was shocked because we had paid off that van many years before we sold it. It turns out her son installed plates on the van from another vehicle (illegal) and never took the title to the DMV to have it switched over. I talked with our lawyer for fear that if something ever happened, would we have been liable because the vehicle showed up at DMV still under our name. Long story short, we were not in any legal trouble and we were able to go down to the DMV with the elderly lady and straighten things out. She said she was going to kick her son's rear end for taking advantage of her. Check with your DMV and make sure everything is done correctly. Look for a very simple bill of sale on the internet to print out - make sure it says "as is".
 
Messages
240
Location
Texas
Sounds like you have it covered. With check in hand it should be an easy transition. The last time I sold a car I had a lady write me a check and I handed her the title. I went online to remove my name from the registration and list the dollar amount I sold it for.
 
Messages
3,208
Location
Outer Banks, NC
You should be able to get the lien release and clear title from your credit union within 24 hours of your payoff, even if you have to drive there to get it. I would not give the keys to the buyer without having the title in hand, He'd never be able to get the vehicle registered without your title. Buyer will have to agree to be patient. Maybe put the process in writing, signed by both of you.
 
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9,120
Location
MA
Originally Posted by john_pifer
Originally Posted by Ed_Flecko
1.) If it were me, *I* wouldn't let them test drive it alone. 2.) If they decide to buy it, why not ask them to go to a branch of YOUR credit union and have the cashiers check drawn on it rather than NFCU? If they go to your credit union with cash, the tellers will run all of the bills through their bill counter, which will automatically check for counterfeit bills and if they go to your credit union with a cashiers check, they'll, of course, verify funds before issuing a new cashiers check. Ed
It won't be cash. He already has the check from NFCU in hand. So, I'm not sure I'm understanding you about the cashier's check. Like I said, he's bringing a cashier's check from NFCU. When we get to my credit union, they'll call and verify the funds.
You should be fine once they verify the funds. The lawyer I use for home purchases does the same thing. She has a list of banks most people use and has a contact at most banks where she can call the manager and make sure that the check is real before any funds are disbursed. It's not that hard to make a forgery of a check these days.
 
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35,903
Location
ME
It will be different having two banks do it, but because the banks' money is on the line, they will make sure the deal is square. I expect they'll fill out a title application with the new owner listed in one box and the new lienholder in another. They'll send the master to the DMV and give a carbon copy to the new owner so he can register the thing. (exact process varies by state.) My main concern is actually legitimately verifying this NFCU check, but your credit union will help you with fraud concerns.
 
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601
Location
Earth
Take copies of the buyers drivers licence and current insurance card before the test drive, it makes most behave a little more responsibly. Calling NFCU to verify funds is as good a protection as you can get. Can't really say what to do, even the pro's are split on this. When my parents purchased a leftover Avalon back in 2015 in their Florida beach town, the dealership took a personal check for the full amount on a Saturday evening and let them take it home that day, I was um surprised to say the least. Most dealerships are more cautious, when I worked sales in NY/NJ the General manager or Finance Manager would insist on certified funds only (so you are good there) and waiting for the independent finance funds to clear from the customers bank and arrive in house at the dealership (pr in this case your bank/your lender) prior to having the customer pickup the car. On a few occasions they would make an exception and release a car to a customer with independent finance prior to it clearing in house at the dealership, typically for end of month or Fri/Sat deals, however those deals were usually guaranteed by a a) big cash down or b) a decent trade owned outright with the title their title signed in hand. In the end it's a personal judgement, good luck.
 
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3,444
Location
NC
He might test drive it and not come back. And if they charge him with unauthorized use that's just a slap on the wrist.
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Messages
3,248
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted by BigD1
He might test drive it and not come back. And if they charge him with unauthorized use that's just a slap on the wrist.
No way would I let him take it out alone. Especially with it being a sports car.
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Messages
3,248
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted by GZRider
Take copies of the buyers drivers licence and current insurance card before the test drive, it makes most behave a little more responsibly. Calling NFCU to verify funds is as good a protection as you can get. Can't really say what to do, even the pro's are split on this. When my parents purchased a leftover Avalon back in 2015 in their Florida beach town, the dealership took a personal check for the full amount on a Saturday evening and let them take it home that day, I was um surprised to say the least. Most dealerships are more cautious, when I worked sales in NY/NJ the General manager or Finance Manager would insist on certified funds only (so you are good there) and waiting for the independent finance funds to clear from the customers bank and arrive in house at the dealership (pr in this case your bank/your lender) prior to having the customer pickup the car. On a few occasions they would make an exception and release a car to a customer with independent finance prior to it clearing in house at the dealership, typically for end of month or Fri/Sat deals, however those deals were usually guaranteed by a a) big cash down or b) a decent trade owned outright with the title their title signed in hand. In the end it's a personal judgement, good luck.
Good idea about copies of license/insurance card, even though his insurance won't do a thing if he crashes it. I think you're right about it maybe making him behave.
 
Messages
7,374
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted by john_pifer
Originally Posted by BigD1
He might test drive it and not come back. And if they charge him with unauthorized use that's just a slap on the wrist.
No way would I let him take it out alone. Especially with it being a sports car.
It's a WRX. Ride with him, but let him drive it - it'll be his soon.
 
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