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How to Protect Yourself from Liability When Selling a Used Car? 

How to Protect Yourself from Liability When Selling a Used Car 

With advanced technology nowadays, selling your used car is getting more straightforward. However, it would help if you familiarized yourself with the good, bad, and ugly online selling. You must know how to protect yourself from liability when selling a used car

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This article highlights the main things you must do to protect yourself from liability when selling a used car online and offline. It's very important to go through the listed tips to enjoy the car selling process and get the best out of it without being involved in stressful and risky situations. 

How to protect yourself from liability when selling a used car online? 


The Internet is full of classified websites that help you sell your used car easily and get in touch with millions of interested buyers.

Having this great opportunity and a large audience is amazing; however, it can be very risky, and you must be very careful about the type of information you'll share about yourself.

As a rule of thumb, you never want to provide personal information as much as possible, and you must limit the communication through the suggested approaches by the classified website.

You never know where your personal information would go if you put it by mistake somewhere. In general, a serious buyer will not be interested in any personal information about you; He will need to know everything about the vehicle only.

To ensure that you are contacting and dealing with a serious buyer, there are several information requests you can ask to help protect yourself: 

  • Get the buyer's full name 


One of the first things you must request when dealing with a wire is to ask him about his full name.

If the buyer hesitated to provide you with a very important piece of information that will go to the title, you must give yourself a pause and put a red flag on this buyer.

Think about it, someone interested in your vehicle and would like to seriously buy it, he will not hesitate to provide you with his name because anyways, you will need the name to transfer ownership. 

  • Request the buyer's address 


Once you get the buyer's full name, it's also important to understand his address. 

It's not a problem to deal with buyers out of town interested in your vehicle; however, if someone has an overseas address, you need to put a red flag and move on to the other buyer.

You need to fully understand how the buyer will secure the vehicle and transported it to his address. While most of us assume the most logical vehicle transfer route, it's good to know the buyer's plan. 

  • Arrange a time to see the vehicle 


Another important sign indicating that the buyer is interested in purchasing your car is requesting a time to inspect the vehicle.

Serious buyers will ask you for a time to see their vehicle and have their professional mechanic inspect your car.

On the other hand, if you are dealing with a buyer who's OK with buying your vehicle without inspecting it, it might be risky to deal with him, and there might be a sign of a scam in this deal. 

How to protect yourself from liability when selling a used car locally? 

When it comes to selling your vehicle offline, you must follow the common protocol and good practices about requesting the buyer's name, information, and time to check out your vehicle.

You never want to meet the buyer at your house or your private property. You'd better ask him to meet you in a public area. For example, it's good to meet them in shopping centers where there is video surveillance, and many people can be in the area. 

This way, if something happens or gone wrong, you will have good visual proof that the property manager could pull from the video records. 

What type of payments should you accept? 

The best and safest payment method when it comes to selling used vehicles in cash.

If the buyer provides you with a personal check, you will be putting yourself at risk in most scenarios.

Now, if the buyer is still insisting on paying in check, you can ask him to meet you at a bank and have him with you to deposit the check. This way, you don't have any risks of checks bouncing back from your bank account. 

The same thing goes for cashier checks or money orders. 

Are there any post-sale liabilities? 

Of course! Once you complete the deal with the buyer, you must perform the required paperwork and have the complete transfer of ownership

Transferring ownership can vary depending on the state that you're living in. Keep in mind that the bill of sale doesn't mean that you're not still the legal owner of the vehicle. There is a very important next step you must do: you must go to the DMV office and make sure that you complete all paperwork to have the transaction finished.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to have a “sold as is” statement in your bill of sale to prevent any mechanical complaints.

Also, make sure to provide a “release of liability” document to prevent liability issues related to parking lot tickets or other moving violations. 

It's very important to be upfront without a buyer and include any major mechanical issues about your vehicle in the bill of sale. 

Conclusion on How to Protect Yourself from Liability When Selling a Used Car

With all available advanced technologies, selling your car should be a straightforward process whether you're selling it online or offline.

If you don't have full experience in car selling, you must be very careful and familiarize yourself with protecting yourself from liability issues when selling your vehicle.

There are many common practices and best tips listed in this article to protect you and help you enjoy the car selling process without getting into the hassle of liability problems. 

Some of the best practices include requesting the buyer’s name, and address, never meeting buyers in private properties, finishing the required paperwork, and providing some information about major car problems in the sale documentations.

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