The Sum Up: What to do after you sell your car

Used car sales took a hit at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic amid concerns about personal safety. However, as of July 2020, the sales of used cars are booming again.

If you’re thinking of selling your car, then you might be wondering what you need to do after you sell it. A recent Consumer Affairs article detailed the most important steps to take once your car has been sold.

Clear Out Your Car

The first step is to clear your personal belongings out of your car. It’s easy to miss important things. You should check:

  • The glove compartment
  • The center console
  • Between the seat cushions
  • Inside drink holders
  • Under the seats
  • Under the floor mats
  • In the trunk

Doing a thorough search will ensure you don’t leave your things behind. It may be difficult or impossible to recover them once you have handed over the keys and title to the new owner.

Get a Signed Bill of Sale

The bill of sale is a formal document that protects both you and the buyer. You should include:

  • The purchase price
  • The odometer reading
  • Warranty information or an as-is declaration
  • Any other specifics agreed upon between you and the buyer

The Bill of Sale should be signed by all parties and notarized if possible.

Visit the DMV in Person or Online

One of the biggest mistakes you can make after selling your car is not notifying the DMV of the sale. Until you tell them the title has changed hands, you are still on the hook for parking tickets and anything other violations that the new owner might incur.

For example, in Florida you must file a Notice of Sale. It should include identifying information about your vehicle, including the make, model and VIN number, information about the person buying the car and an odometer reading. The form must be signed by both you and the new owner.

If you are selling a car in a state other than Florida, make sure you understand the requirements before you sell your car. In many states, you must file the appropriate paperwork within five to ten days of the sale or you’ll receive a penalty.

Cancel or Amend Your Car Insurance Policy

If you don’t intend to replace the vehicle you sold, you should cancel your car insurance policy as soon as you complete the sale. Your insurance company should give you a pro rata discount for any premiums you paid for a period after the sale date.

If you are buying a new car or have other cars on your policy, you may need to amend your policy instead of canceling it. A quick call to your insurance carrier or agent should be enough to get the ball rolling.

You don’t want to be held liable for anything that happens in the car after it has been sold – or to pay premiums you don’t need to pay. Calling your insurance company immediately is the best way to avoid these things.

Cancel Your E-Toll Collection

In many states, drivers have stickers on their cars where they can prepay tolls. There is usually an address associated with the car, so if you haven’t refilled your account or your car doesn’t have a sticker, the state can send you a bill for the toll.

If you have purchased, or plan to purchase a new car, then you can transfer your account to your new car. Otherwise, you should cancel the account to prevent the new owner from running up a tab on your account.

A lot of people are choosing to sell cars on their own. It can be an easy way to sell a car provided that you take the proper steps before you hand over the keys and title to the new owner.

Addition Financial is here to help if you’re in the market for a new or used car. Click here to read about our competitive car loan options.

The Checklist for Getting Your Vehicle Ready to Sell Privately

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