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Hi,


I was wondering what method of payment if preferred on the buyers end of things when purchasing a used car. Checks are the most convenient, however, for the seller they are the worst form of payment. Cash leaves no trail, and money orders have to be processed by the post office. What approach do you guys take when buying a big ticket item (~10k) from a individual seller?

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My experience - Met and inspected the truck, agreed on price, wrote a check, drove truck home w/ signed receipt of sale,... (more)

jcmitchell21 (Jan. 17, 2013 @ 12:01p) |

I'm not sure if/when the laws changed, but in Florida you can submit a "Notice of Sale" to the tax collector's office. ... (more)

cruisencode (Jan. 17, 2013 @ 12:17p) |

We were buying a car in NY and it was going to be a pain. We needed to meet at the seller's bank to get the title as the... (more)

yourlefthand (Jan. 17, 2013 @ 12:21p) |


A cashier's check is still the easiest thing from my experience. I don't see how a cashier's check would be a bad form of payment for a seller.

Dawgswin said:   A cashier's check is still the easiest thing from my experience. I don't see how a cashier's check would be a bad form of payment for a seller.Because they can be fake

Meet in the buyer's bank. Have them get cash. Then either buy a cashier's check or open/deposit the cash into your own account

ellory said:   Dawgswin said:   A cashier's check is still the easiest thing from my experience. I don't see how a cashier's check would be a bad form of payment for a seller.Because they can be fake

Meet in the buyer's bank. Have them get cash. Then either buy a cashier's check or open/deposit the cash into your own account


I agree. I would meet at a bank and take care of the transaction.

Also depending on what state you are in the vehicle in still legally owned by the previous owner until you register the newly purchased vehicles and transfer the title.

That's a really good point I didn't consider mentioning. Each sale I've gone through for a vehicle I've insisted on meeting at the bank, whether buying or selling...

Bank. They can also notarize the Bill of Sale

I always prefer cash

I can't tell if you are asking as the buyer or the seller.

In either case, and whatever the payment, you should write up a receipt that states what is being sold and for how much. If you are the seller you probably want to insure it is 100% accurate for the amount incase there is a problem with the payment. Although as the buyer you might suggest writing up the value as less (for tax purposes - shady though).

If you are the buyer, it really doesn't matter what you use - as long as the seller accepts it. You can hand them $50s printer on horse manure and as long as they accept it and give you the vehicle - who cares? You have possession of the vehicle and the title. I'm not suggesting you scam a seller - I'm just saying *you* shouldn't really worry about the form of payment.

If you are the seller - as others have stated meeting at the bank is good. I have sold a couple cars and some expensive furniture (ranging from $300-3000) CL before. I have always just accepted cash as payment at point of sale - never bothered to go to bank. Counterfeit money is not that easy to come by and not normally something one needs to worry about. You should gauge your buyer though and if you suspect they are ultra-shady you might want to suggest a ride over to the bank.

When accepting a large amount of cash, you may also want to consider the risk you pose keeping that even over night when someone from CL knows you have it on your property. Again, this should be a personal call on the reputation of the buying party.

I thought H&B was the preferred commodity for CL?

From a BUYER's perspective, it's whatever payment form you can get away with. Credit card would obviously be best but just about impossible, unless the guy is willing to accept PayPal. If he is willing to take a personal check, go for it.

For protection of both the buyer and seller, there should always be a bill of sale. Make sure that the title is clear and clean from liens. Use the typical avenues to check the car's history, and hire a mechanic to give a good inspection.

I always pay with certified check against my funds becoming available in the very reputable Central Reserve Bank of Nigeria, in USD for the convenience of the seller.

I had to read the first sentence like 10 times before I understood anything. Here's the Cliffs notes version:

"I want to buy a car on CL and wonder how most buyers pay? And, what are the pros and cons?"

In one state I lived in if the vehicle was not registered at the DMV by the new owner. Then the seller was still liable for any damage caused by that vehicle. So I'd meet the buyer at the DMV. Buyer would verify clear title. I would sign over title after receiving cash payment for vehicle after DMV employee had cash from buyer to register. All done like a simultaneous transaction within a minute or 2 at the window. Thats the way I'll always do it when selling or buying from a private party.

That should be totally unnecessary from the seller's perspective. Just ensure you have receipt of the sale to the other party as I mentioned above (date inclusive) - and you cannot be liable.

However, from the buyer perspective's this is a good thing if you suspect a problem with the Title (as in it has been altered, etc.).

Also - I don't know where you live, but no where I have lived has a something at the DMV happened "within a minute or 2".

zapjb said:   In one state I lived in if the vehicle was not registered at the DMV by the new owner. Then the seller was still liable for any damage caused by that vehicle. So I'd meet the buyer at the DMV. Buyer would verify clear title. I would sign over title after receiving cash payment for vehicle after DMV employee had cash from buyer to register. All done like a simultaneous transaction within a minute or 2 at the window. Thats the way I'll always do it when selling or buying from a private party.

Thread TITLE:
calisoldier83 said:   Purchasing user car off CL..What form of payment is recommended? Buy an OWNER car -- user may not be legally entitled to sell it.

BenH said:   That should be totally unnecessary from the seller's perspective. Just ensure you have receipt of the sale to the other party as I mentioned above (date inclusive) - and you cannot be liable.

However, from the buyer perspective's this is a good thing if you suspect a problem with the Title (as in it has been altered, etc.).

Also - I don't know where you live, but no where I have lived has a something at the DMV happened "within a minute or 2".

zapjb said:   In one state I lived in if the vehicle was not registered at the DMV by the new owner. Then the seller was still liable for any damage caused by that vehicle. So I'd meet the buyer at the DMV. Buyer would verify clear title. I would sign over title after receiving cash payment for vehicle after DMV employee had cash from buyer to register. All done like a simultaneous transaction within a minute or 2 at the window. Thats the way I'll always do it when selling or buying from a private party.


It is true, "In one state I lived in if the vehicle was not registered at the DMV by the new owner. Then the seller was still liable for any damage caused by that vehicle."
This info was sourced from the DMV, my insurance company & the police.

A minute or 2 AFTER we got to the window.

I'd like to see the link to the stated law - as I have never heard anything so ridiculous and want to make sure I never relocate to that state.

Would you be responsible if someone stole your car? Why then would you be responsible if it is no longer under your ownership?

Note that I don't state going to the DMV to be a *bad* move - just unnecessary if you have a signed/dated bill of sale (you should get the other parties info and proof of info - like their DL so you can at least visually confirm they are giving you legitimate info).

Some states may let the seller send in a notification to the DMV that the vehicle was sold - so you don't actually have to go there.

Of course, as the seller you need to take your plates off - and buyers don't usually have plates to put on right there. So, for the buyer meeting at the DMV may be more of a necessity so they can get plates right away.


zapjb said:   BenH said:   That should be totally unnecessary from the seller's perspective. Just ensure you have receipt of the sale to the other party as I mentioned above (date inclusive) - and you cannot be liable.

However, from the buyer perspective's this is a good thing if you suspect a problem with the Title (as in it has been altered, etc.).

Also - I don't know where you live, but no where I have lived has a something at the DMV happened "within a minute or 2".

zapjb said:   In one state I lived in if the vehicle was not registered at the DMV by the new owner. Then the seller was still liable for any damage caused by that vehicle. So I'd meet the buyer at the DMV. Buyer would verify clear title. I would sign over title after receiving cash payment for vehicle after DMV employee had cash from buyer to register. All done like a simultaneous transaction within a minute or 2 at the window. Thats the way I'll always do it when selling or buying from a private party.


It is true, "In one state I lived in if the vehicle was not registered at the DMV by the new owner. Then the seller was still liable for any damage caused by that vehicle."
This info was sourced from the DMV, my insurance company & the police.

A minute or 2 AFTER we got to the window.

It was Florida where else. LOL years ago though.

I remember selling a truck. Got 2 dozens calls. When I mentioned the sale was to be completed at the DMV. That ended all but a couple calls.
They just wanted to drive around on my registration. It was a quite common scam from the foremost scam state in the USA.

Strange - I lived in Florida about 15 years ago. Sold a car too when I left. Don't remember having to go to the DMV to do it. But, perhaps the laws have changed - or maybe I am mis-remembering.

zapjb said:   It was Florida where else. LOL years ago though.

I remember selling a truck. Got 2 dozens calls. When I mentioned the sale was to be completed at the DMV. That ended all but a couple calls.
They just wanted to drive around on my registration. It was a quite common scam from the foremost scam state in the USA.

My experience - Met and inspected the truck, agreed on price, wrote a check, drove truck home w/ signed receipt of sale, seller cashed check, mailed me title. Probably errors in the process, but it worked out fine.

BenH said:   Strange - I lived in Florida about 15 years ago. Sold a car too when I left. Don't remember having to go to the DMV to do it. But, perhaps the laws have changed - or maybe I am mis-remembering.

zapjb said:   It was Florida where else. LOL years ago though.

I remember selling a truck. Got 2 dozens calls. When I mentioned the sale was to be completed at the DMV. That ended all but a couple calls.
They just wanted to drive around on my registration. It was a quite common scam from the foremost scam state in the USA.


I'm not sure if/when the laws changed, but in Florida you can submit a "Notice of Sale" to the tax collector's office. That will protect you from this "scam".

We were buying a car in NY and it was going to be a pain. We needed to meet at the seller's bank to get the title as their was a lien, but we couldn't drive it to the DMV without plates. There were no temporary plate options. We ended up backing out of the deal because we didn't want to leave the car sitting at the bank while we drove over to the DMV to get plates.



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