Selling a Car – This One Tip Could Save You Thousands

If you have decided to sell a car, then you know the usual things that must be done, such as cleaning it, giving it a good wax and shine and finding all the maintenance records so you can show your prospective buyer just how well you have kept this vehicle.

But other than getting the best price you can for it and making sure it runs and works well, there is one more thing you must do before you shake their hand and watch the buyer go off into the sunset with your old car.

Keep a Copy of the Bill of Sale or anything with their name on it.

In Ontario when you sell a car, there is a section on the ownership that the seller fills out and signs and the other side is what the buyer fills out but the buyer takes this paper to the Ministry of Transportation and then changes the vehicle into their own name. So the seller basically hands this piece of paper over once they get their money.

Sounds easy enough right?

Well keep a copy of that, by basically saying just a minute I just need to scan this for my records or take a picture with your iphone, something so that you have a record of their name and address.

The reason I point this out, is because many times, once the sale is complete and you sign over the ownership or slip you think it’s all up to them now right?

I got an eye opener after selling my car to a nice guy. I gave him a bill of sale and asked for his name and address and wrote it out by hand right there once he decided to buy the car. He was going to tow the car to shop to do some upgrades etc, so I simply wrote out the VIN number and the price we agreed on and his name and address and mine.

At the last minute I said, let me just scan this for my records and left him talking to my hubby while I ran inside.

Got a Call from Police

He left, and we took the money and that was that. But approximately six months later I got a call from a city policeman saying that my car had been involved in a chase and then was abandoned in the middle of a busy street and the driver took off on foot.

They could not find paperwork in the car and so searched the VIN number and my name showed up. This guy had not put the car in his name it was still in mine as far as the ministry was concerned.

He had stolen plates on the car, and was simply driving it around for the last 6 months. I told the police that I had sold the car. He said unless I could prove a sale, this car and any damage was my responsibility. I went and found my file and rhymed off the name and address I had. He had me send a copy of this hand written bill of sale to them.

This basically proved there was an “intent to sell” and said many people don’t keep records after they sell a car and that is the only reason I was not going to be held responsible. They eventually found him and charged him.

I received a letter in the mail from the City Police Department with regards to keeping paperwork after selling a car after all of this was over and they thanked me for having the information they needed.

VIN was Still in My Name (vehicle identification number)

But my next problem was with the compound that it was towed to. They go by the VIN number for ownership, and since I was still showing, they were going to bill me 100 dollars a day to store the car. I told them to keep it, I didn’t want it and after getting a police report I was able to get off the storage charges.

So, once you sell a car, keep the paperwork or bill of sale in a file somewhere. We have sold many cars in our life time, but this one took the cake, so I keep a file just for copies of the receipt or ownership. If they won’t give you a name, don’t sell it to them, because a signed over ownership from you is not enough proof of a sale.

Just a tip to keep everyone safe when selling your used car.