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What Is The Best Form of Payment When Selling A Car? Check out Safety Tips To Remember When Selling Your Car! 

Best Form of Payment When Selling A Car

You have a car to sell and you have buyers who are asking you if you will accept various forms of payment. What do you tell them? Let’s examine various forms of payment for your car, as well as the best one. We’ve also included some great tips for you to keep in mind, as you sell your car! 

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“Cash Is King”  

When it comes to selling a car, “cash is king”. In fact, cash is just about the best way to go, when doing any kind of business. When it comes to selling your old vehicle, you want cash in your pocket. Receiving dollar bills is one of the easiest and surest ways to get the exact, complete and full payment for your vehicle. But if you have priced for your car for thousands of dollars, you have to keep in mind that you will have a huge amount of cash in your pocket, purse or hands. So, you may opt to meet your buyer at your financial institution- i.e., the bank or credit union. Then, you both want to arrive at the teller window, so that the teller can mark those bills, ensuring that they are not counterfeit. Once complete, you can ask that the money be deposited into your bank or credit union account. With these steps, you don’t have to walk around town with hundreds to thousands of dollars in your wallet or your purse. 


“But What If I Sell My Car on a Saturday or A Sunday?” 

Many banks and credit unions are open on Saturday, but they close around 1 or 2 PM. So, check with your bank or credit union about their hours. If you don’t want to wait till the banks open on Monday, many grocery stores have check cashing services that are quite similar to that of banks and credit unions. They also have marker pens that can verify if dollar bills are counterfeit or not. So, if you are comfortable with meeting your buyer at a grocery store location, with a cash services counter, then you can handle business on Saturday afternoon after the banks close, or Sunday. But you will still have to wait for your car title office to open on Monday, so that you can successfully transfer the title. 

“But What If My Buyer Wants to Pay by Check?” 

Even though cash is best, you may opt to accept a buyer’s check. Let’s examine how to accept a check for a car from a car buyer. 

  1. The best solution for accepting a check is to set a day and time for this check transaction to happen at the bank or credit union of your buyer. 
  2.  Maybe your buyer is not into carrying thousands of dollars around town, to buy your car. This is understandable. So, the two of you can meet at your buyer’s financial institution. 
  3. So, meet your car buyer at his or her bank or credit union. 
  4. Have the car buyer request a bank draft or a cashier’s check and have them make out the check to YOU.  
  5. You may offer to pay the car buyer’s cashier check fees – since all of this is being done to protect you. Depending on the financial institution, the fee for a cashier’s check can be about $3-$6. Just ask the teller what the fee is. 
  6. After receiving the payment for your car, you can just about count on that check being as good as cash. After all, you both were at the teller window, witnessing the transaction. 
  7.  Now you can head to your bank or credit union, and deposit the check into your bank or credit union account. 
  8. Finish the transaction and hand over the documents as well as the title only after the check has been cleared and verified.  

“What About A Wire Transfer”? 

In theory, a wire or a bank transfer is a fast way of transferring money from one account into another. The United States also requires that money transfer companies report the sender’s name and contact information. Additionally, the law here in the U.S. requires that the recipient's name, information, bank details, account number, and the amount of money received, be reported. By law, money transfers that $10,000 have to be reported ensuring your protection. Wire transfers of money are generally a safer and faster option than withdrawing and paying in cash. But these days, there are criminal masterminds that can manipulate the wire transferring system and scam you out of thousands of dollars, and even go into your bank account and wipe you out. So, a wire transfer may not prove to be the safest way for you to receive payment for your car. You NEVER want to give your account number, PIN number or bank information to a stranger- that is indeed who is buying most cars from car owners. You may not even want to give it to a family member! Just exercise caution when choosing to have money transferred to you, for payment of car. Ask your bank to intervene and get assistance from a banking professional. 

“What About Paying for a Car using PayPal?” 

PayPal is the “grand-daddy” of online payment services. While it’s trusted by millions, here is the issue when using it to receive money for a car you just sold. Check this out:  Unlike Venmo, PayPal does offer fraud protection for some purchased items. So, it can be good when you are buying something online- such as sports goods, beauty products or clothing.  BUT… if you are thinking of using PayPal to buy a car, here’s the problem:


As of the date that his article was published, PayPal does NOT offer purchase protection for a car or some other sort of motorized vehicle. So, whether you are looking to buy a car, a snowmobile, a motorcycle or some other kind of motorized vehicle, you are NOT protected.  As we stated at the beginning of this article… “cash is king”. 


Additional Tips To Keep In Mind As You Sell Your Car 

Check out these bits of advice you want to keep in mind as you sell your car. 

  1. Go with your gut. If a buyer seems as if they are about that “scam life”, then leave them be.
  2. Screen and check perspective buyers. If someone wants to buy your car and it feels “off”, just reject the sale. 
  3. If someone wants you to pay money in order for you to sell your car, it’s a scam. 
  4. Meet potential car buyers in public parking lots and other outdoor places. Check with your local police department. Lots of police departments are “online market and buying safe zones”. You can conduct business there. You can even ask an officer to hang out with you, as you make your sale. 
  5. Test drive your car with only serious buyers. Get that ID from the buyer, and if you can, have a friend or family member join you on the test drive. 
  6. If your car buyer is not compliant with any of your safety measures, then you want to leave him or her alone. These days, there is no such thing as being “overly” or “too safe”. Scam artists are working overtime and they will stop at nothing to take your money and your car! 


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