If you browse the classifieds, you might be surprised at how many “car for sale” ads you see. Selling your car privately rather than trading it in is a complicated financial and legal transaction that is going to take you some time. However, you can get a better price for your vehicle by putting a ‘Used Car for Sale’ ad in the private car sales section of your local paper and a sign in the windscreen, so it's definitely worth the trouble if you want to get the most money for your used vehicle. In fact, you can even Buy and Sell Used Cars for Profit, if you're looking for a second income.
If you've got a car for sale, then it is important that you complete the transaction legally and properly, to avoid getting into trouble. And that's where we come in. We're taking a look at how exactly you should sell you vehicle.
Before You Put Up Your Car for Sale
Selling cars is a complicated business and not something that any of us do very often, so you need to be sure you do it right. Any car represents a large sum of money, so before you put a Car for Sale ad up there are a few things you need to do.
You must have proof of ownership. If the car is under a finance agreement then you will need a letter of settlement from your lender saying how much is owed on the loan. Some buyers may want to make part of their payment direct to your lender because that way they know the loan is actually paid off and the loan company is not going to come and repossess the car. A letter of settlement is only valid for 14 days, so don’t ask for one too far in advance (and when you're ready, you simply go to your financing company and request the letter, it's easy!).
Pro Tip: It’s generally simpler to pay off any car finance before offering your car for sale, then sell the car once you have the transfer of ownership form the finance company in your hand, if at all possible.
You must also have a Certificate of Roadworthiness issued within 6 months of the date of sale, to prove that the car is roadworthy and safe to drive. This costs about R200, depending on local charges and is a legal necessity if you are selling your car privately, though not needed if you are trading it in to a car dealer.
Get a notification of transfer of ownership form that is available for download. You need to read this before you sell your car so you will know the proof of buyer’s identity requirements.
Finally, before you post that car for sale ad, remember that there are thousands of Rands involved here, so keep things legal and get a Sale Agreement form. You can download a free form from various South African legal sites.
The Roadworthy Certificate only covers a basic inspection of your vehicle, but you can choose a more thorough inspection at a higher cost. Having a Multi-Point Check or a Technical Inspection will reassure buyers about any potential problems with your car (making them potentially more likely to buy), but may set you up for high repair bills before you can sell it. The risk is up to you, and depends on whether or not you think that a more thorough inspection will be worth the cost.
Post Your Car for Sale Ad!
Once you've covered the above steps and have all the paperwork in hand, you can then go on to post your car for sale ad in a newspaper or online, and hopefully you'll quickly sell your car! However, getting a signed sales agreement and some cash in hand isn't the end of the process. There are some important considerations after you've agreed on a sale!
After You Sell Your Car
The paperwork for you as a seller is not too bad at all after you've sold your car. But do stay on top of things to avoid potential problems at a later date. Here are the things you'll need to think about:
Getting the Cash
Once the payment is in your bank account (and ONLY when the funds are added to the available balance) you will need to give the buyer a receipt. This proves that everything is legal and that money has changed hands. In the event of a legal dispute later, this receipt could be valuable evidence!
Filing the Paperwork
Check your buyer’s identity documents and fill in the notification of transfer of ownership form that you downloaded. Sign it and send it off once the payment has cleared to your bank account. You'll find all the info you need about filling in the form and where to send it on the form itself. If you forget to do this you will be liable for any speeding or parking fines that the new owner incurs and the police will come looking for you if the vehicle is used to commit any crimes.
Notify your insurance company that you have sold the vehicle because some will give you a refund, and if you're paying monthly your insurance company will need to stop taking premium payments from your bank account.
If you are have a satellite tracker fitted then mention that in your Car for Sale ad and expect a separate payment to cover its cost. If you sell a car with a satellite tracking device installed then you will need to contact the tracking company. If the new owner has paid you for the tracker then pass on his contact details, but even if no payment was made you should notify the company so they can stop tracking the vehicle.
Selling Your Car in Conclusion
Putting up your car for sale yourself is a bit more work than taking it to a dealer and trading it in, but it’ll be worth the hassle when you see the extra cash in your bank, and you’ll be glad you filled in the few forms and organised that roadworthiness test. Sure, it'll cost you some time, but the extra profit is worth making a private sale for many people.
Main Subject: car for sale
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