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How To Sell A Car To A Friend – What Should I Write When Selling My Car?

How To Sell A Car To A Friend – What Should I Write When Selling My Car?

Selling a car to a friend doesn’t have to be a long and difficult process. So, how do you sell a car to a friend and still have that person as a friend, once the transaction is complete? We have the details that you need to have now! 

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What Should I Write When Selling My Car?

When you are preparing to sell your car to a friend, you want to have the basics written out so that the friend knows what kind of car you are selling. This list of basics includes: 

  1. Any existing warranty information
  2. Whether the car is automatic or manual transmission
  3. How many miles the car has on it 
  4. Fuel type and miles per gallon
  5. The size of the engine 
  6. Both the exterior as well as interior color 
  7. The year, make and model 

Reason for the Sale 

Now with the basics are out of the way, you want to include why you are selling the car. Are you selling the vehicle, because it is an extra car due to a family member passing? Is it a great car, but you just don’t need it? Are you moving or you just want to use public transportation? Does the car give you lots of issues and you are selling it to a mechanic who can possibly fix the car? You want to provide an honest reason as to why you are selling your car. 

Be Sure to Highlight the Positives About Your Vehicle 

Do you have a an awesome and fantastic car for sale? As you prepare to sell the car, you want to take the time to highlight why the car is so awesome. The car may have tinted windows, a brand-new sound system or even brand-new tires. Be sure to take the time to put on the display the great assets that your car has. 

Honesty Is Still The Best Policy 

You are selling a car to a friend. And we all know that honesty in any friendship is the best policy. So, if there is some issue with the car, you want to be honest with your friend. A bad starter or problems with the windows rolling up doesn’t mean that your friend will say no to the car. They may have a mechanic in the family, that can fix the car. Just be honest about the car’s condition. You don’t want this friend to turn into an enemy by selling him or her a lemon, right? 

Take Photos Too 

When you are selling your car your buddy, don’t forget to take great photos of the car so that he or she can have access to them. He or she can look at the pictures on his or her phone or computer. You want to be sure that you take pics of the car at all angles. Be sure to get the hood, trunk, both sides and more. Pictures tell the story of your car and they can also help to highlight the best aspects of your vehicle too. 

The Documents You Need To Sell Your Car 

Your friend will appreciate you treating the sale of your car as a business transaction. You as the seller are required to present certain paperwork. Depending on where you live, you may have certain paperwork -that may be a little or lots- requiring you to fill out and hand over as you sell your vehicle to your friend. Let’s take a look at the documents you need, to sell your vehicle. 

Vehicle Title 

First and foremost, you want to have the title to your car. As a car seller, you owe it to your friend to provide the title to him or her. If you don’t have the title, or it’s damaged, you can go to your local DMV or vehicle title office so that you can get a duplicate title. 

What If I Still Owe Money on the Car? 

If you’re trying to sell your car and you still owe money on the car, then you don’t have the title; the lienholder has the title. This lienholder could be your credit union or your bank. So, if this is the case, you want to contact the lienholder and find out how much you owe on the car. Get it in writing and present this payoff amount to your friend. 

Can I sell A Leased Vehicle to A Friend? 

In many states, you can sell a car that you are leasing, but the process of selling it is a bit more complex. Of course, you’ll have to contact the vehicle’s leasing department and find out what you need. Just make sure that you have taken good care of the car and the mileage is low. This way, you can make great money off of the sale.  When you call your leasing company, find out the payoff amount and find out how many months are left in the lease. Once you pay the entire lease off, take the time to transfer the title of the vehicle from the lease holder to your hands. Then you will be able to give the title to the friend.  You want to ensure that you get all of the details regarding the correct procedure for transferring the title into your hands. 


Bill Of Sale 

Although not required in many states, it is a good idea to have a bill of sale.  As you prepare to sell your car to your friend, you want to have as much documentation as possible. A bill of sale is easy to create. A general bill of sale includes the following: 

  • vehicle description
  • odometer disclosure
  • delivery date
  • the purchase price of the vehicle 
  • both signatures of seller, buyer and if necessary, the signature of the notary public


Odometer Disclosure 

There is a federal law that is referred to as The Truth in Mileage Act. This law requires that the seller of a vehicle give an odometer disclosure to the buyer, during the sale or transfer of ownership. This law applies to all vehicles that are less than ten years old up to as well as including 12,000 lbs. Many states do allow the seller to offer the current mileage reading displayed on the vehicle title. In other states, you may have to get a separate form. Be sure you check your state for complete details. Generally, an odometer disclosure statement includes the following: 


  • The year, make, model of the vehicle 
  • The VIN or the vehicle identification number 
  • buyer’s signature
  • seller’s signature
  • buyer’s name and address
  • the complete and current vehicle mileage at the time of the transfer of ownership or the time of sale 
  • notary public’s seal/signature

Warranty Paperwork 

Do you still have a warranty on your car? You may be able to provide a transferable warranty on your vehicle. Even though you are selling the car to a friend, a present warranty is a justifiable reason for you to increase the asking price for your car. Even though you are selling the car to a friend, you want to treat the sale of your car as a business matter. So, increase that price.  Make sure that you have the warranty in hand. And you also want your friend to be able to see the contact information for the warranty provider. This way, your friend can call the warranty department and receive a balance of the warranty as he or she desires to put the car and the warranty in his or her name.

Maintenance Records and Paperwork 

That oil change “sticker” located in the left-hand corner of your inside windshield may provide great comfort to the friend that you are looking to sell your car to. It shows that you take the time to care for your car. What other paperwork or documents do you have that show your care for the car? Did you keep the receipts from any car brake work? What parts of the car were replaced? As a car seller, you want to show that you care for your car and that the car has undergone routine maintenance. You may be able to even take your friend to your mechanic and introduce that friend to the person who cares for your car. This way, the friend can begin to form a friendship with the mechanic who knows your car inside and out. 

Vehicle History Report 

Another way to show honesty and transparency to your friend, as you prepare to sell your car to him or her, is by getting a vehicle history report and giving it to that friend. This way, your buddy can see what issues or repairs the car has endured or undergone. 


Watch Out For Common Mistakes When Selling A Car To A Friend 

OK- you have a friend who may be interested in your car and you are ready to sell to him or her. But you want to remain friends after the sale of your car. So, what are some common pitfalls you want to avoid as you prepare to sell that vehicle? Check out these common pitfalls you should avoid, as you prepare to sell a car to a friend. 

Not getting all of the paperwork in order 

As you get your car ready to sell to your friend, it’s important that you treat the sale as a business matter. You want to have all of the required paperwork that is needed to sell your car. This means that you may have to do some computer work and legwork to get your paperwork in order. Thankfully, we live in a day and age where lots of forms can be downloaded from the Internet. But as the seller, it is YOUR job to provide your friend with all of the documents. You don’t want to have missing disclosures and other forms that are needed for the sale of your car. So, before you state that you have a car for sale to your buddy, have the correct and complete paperwork ready to go. 

Not knowing the value of your vehicle 

Do you know the value of your car? As a car seller, it’s your job to know what your car is worth. You can visit the Kelley Blue Book site or the Edmunds site to get a value for your car. Knowing the value of your car can help you to price it more competitively and make a great profit after the sale. 

Fixing your car before you sell it 

We get it.  You’re selling a car to a friend, and you want to put your best foot forward. So, you decide to make all of these repairs to the car, before you sell it. This is not really necessary. You can sell your car “as is” to your friend and do so confidently.  As we mentioned earlier, your buddy may have a wife, husband, uncle or cousin who fixes cars.  

Letting your buddy borrow the car before buying it 

OK- here is a huge “don’t” that we want to share: please do not allow your buddy to borrow your car for a month or two, before buying it. If he or she asks to borrow it, just politely say “no.”  You want to keep this sale as business as possible- even with your friend. Your friend will certainly understand your desire to keep things professional. But if they don’t, then perhaps you don’t need to sell the car to him or her in the first place. 

Not being honest 

While you want your friend to remain professional with you, you want to be sure that you are professional with him or her. This means, you want to be honest and transparent with your friend. If your car needs a new starter or brakes, let your friend know. Just because your car may need a bit of work, doesn’t mean that your friend may won’t buy it. Disclose any and everything to your friend. You don’t want to create discord or lose a friendship due to a shady car deal you conducted. 

Selling A Car To A Friend Can Be Done! 

Selling a car to a friend can be a great experience for both you and that friend. Just keep in mind the points we made, treat the sale as a business deal, disclose all aspects of your car and have all that you need, so that the deal is a smooth and solid one!  

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