Tip #5: Gather Documentation

To sell your car or truck, you’ll need the registration and title. Can’t find the title? You may have filed it in a safe or safe deposit box. Also, if your car was financed, the bank may still be holding the title. Track down those documents before you need them, because getting a duplicate registration or title takes time.

Put documents related to vehicle maintenance, repairs, or upgrades in a folder to show prospective buyers. Make sure there are no credit card or personal identification numbers on any receipts. Also, if you write off part of your vehicle expenses on your taxes, you may need to make copies for your records.

Ordering a vehicle history report is easy and affordable. It shows mileage and ownership history, any reported accidents, major repairs, and recalls. More than that, it offers peace of mind to prospective buyers.

Black hat scoop from an ex-curbstoner:

“We used to get ‘independent vehicle safety inspections’ done by a mechanic we knew. They didn’t mean much, but when they were printed up on a computer they sure looked official. As a buyer, I wouldn’t totally trust a report provided by the seller.”

Do not sign and turn over the title until you have the buyer’s money in hand. At that time, you’ll also want to make out a bill of sale, noting that the sale is “as is.” You’ll also need to file a notice of ownership transfer and release of liability to the appropriate state agency and your auto insurance company.

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