A vehicle purchase agreement is a document that you might need to write when you sell a vehicle. Vehicle purchase contract documents are always necessary when you sell your own car. You do not want the buyer to argue with you about the purchase price, the condition of the vehicle, or the nature of the car purchase agreement after the fact.

No matter what kind of item you decide to sell, you should always make sure that you have a purchase agreement on hand to confirm the details of the sale. A vehicle purchase agreement is easier to write than you might think, and it can protect you from problems after the sale has been completed.

Vehicle Bill of Sale
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Vehicle Purchase Agreements

Can You Write a Vehicle Purchase Agreement?

You can easily write your own vehicle purchase agreement if you wish. This document is fairly simple to draft and can be brought with you to the meeting that you hold to complete a car purchase. Even if you are planning to sell a car with a cash-only deal, you need to be sure that you do not skip over the vehicle purchase contract step.

These are the reasons that you should be sure to write your own car purchase agreement when selling a vehicle:

  1. There is no bank or professional entity involved in the sale of the vehicle. This can lead to problems with the vehicle purchase process that you will want to avoid.
  2. The purchase price, the condition of the vehicle, and all of the other information relevant to the sale will be written down and agreed upon by both parties via signature.
  3. The contract can state that the vehicle is being sold as-is and that the vehicle purchase agreement does not allow for the buyer to come back to you to demand that you pay for repairs or alterations to the vehicle.
  4. A used car will have mileage on it, and this information will be clearly recorded in the purchase agreement as well.
  5. The car will not have any stated trade-in value that you have promised to the buyer. This is one of the important financing details that car dealerships use to create a valuation for vehicles, but which does not matter in a private vehicle purchase agreement.

All of the details and information relevant to the sale can easily be included in your car purchase contract. The more detailed you are when writing this document, the better.

Car Sale Contracts

What Are The Components of a Vehicle Purchase Agreement?

If you have never drafted a vehicle purchase agreement, you will need to know what information you need to include in the purchase agreement document. You need to note more than the car purchase price. These various components of a vehicle purchase contract need to be included in the document that you are creating:

  • The date of the purchase should be one of the first things that you record on your car purchase agreement. This is key information for many reasons, and it makes it clear when the car purchase took place.
  • The names of both parties involved in the sale. No nicknames, shortened names, or slang can be used in this part of the car purchase agreement. If more than one person is involved in the car-buying process or the down payment is being paid by someone else other than the buyer, this information needs to be noted as well. Be sure to collect all the information for everyone who is going to be buying the car.
  • Get the address and contact information for all the parties that are involved in the car purchase agreement. This is critical information in case there is a dispute over the nature and details of the sale down the road. Many people forget to save and collect contact information for the buyer of their car, and this can lead to confusion later on.
  • A statement that the contract is for a car purchase agreement. Make sure that you state in this part of the contract that the car is being sold “as-is”. You can go into more detail later on about the condition of the car and any details about potential repairs that you will not be paying for.
  • Describe the vehicle make, model, year, color, and mileage. You will also need to add the VIN to this section. If you are not sure how to find the VIN, it is typically on the dash at the base of the windshield or on the information sticker on the door of older vehicles.
  • Add the agreed-upon purchase price to the contract and include considerations like sales tax in the information in this part of the contract.
  • If you are allowing a down payment for the vehicle purchase agreement and you are willing to let the owner complete payment of the total purchase price in the future, you will need a section that explains this part of the arrangement. Financing details are critical in this section since this legal document will guide the repayment process going forward.
  • A damage disclosure statement can be required when the car has suffered damage in the past or is not in a condition that would be considered to be repaired. Be as detailed as possible in this section so that the buyer will not attempt to come back and demand that you pay for additional repairs.
  • Delivery of Vehicle details might need to be included in your car purchase agreement as well. This is not always necessary as most private parties just meet somewhere and exchange money and the contract for the car. However, if you are going to deliver the vehicle, you will want to use this official document to explain the process of delivery.
  • The conveyance of title section is used to indicate in legal terms that you are going to pass the title over to the new owner and that you will take the right actions to allow for the title to be transferred to the new owner.
  • An odometer reading declaration is important to include in your bill of sale as well. Make sure that this information is added on the day that you deliver the car or meet with the new owner to exchange money for the bill of sale.
  • Buyer’s responsibilities need to be listed in the next section. This can be mention of things like transferring the title within a reasonable amount of time and payment of fees and other costs associated with taking ownership of the vehicle.
  • Indicate the name of the state whose laws are governing the contract.
  • Add an acknowledgment that each party has read the agreement and is signing the document with full knowledge of what the contract entails.
  • If you want to include a section that indicates which kinds of actions or situations might lead to the possibility of the contract being null and void, you can. However, in most cases, this kind of bill of sale should not allow for the buyer to come back to the seller and demand repairs or resolution of issues that happen once the car has been sold.
  • A signature section needs to be at the end of the document. Everyone who is involved in the sale of the car will need to sign. This means that those who helped with the down payment and those who plan to put their name on the title of the car also need to sign this part of the document. Always use full legal names in this section if you want the contract to be legally binding.

Is a Vehicle Purchase Agreement Legally Binding?

This vehicle purchase agreement is legally binding if it has been drafted correctly and signed by both parties involved in the sale. You can choose to offer a more basic version of this document for a simple sale, but you will still need to be sure that the correct names are listed on the document, that the state the sale is taking place in is mentioned, that the sales amount is correct and that the date of the sale is listed.

Basic agreements that are signed by all purchasing parties can be quite simple and still hold up in a court of law. Obviously, the more information that you put in this document, the better. However, there are instances where a very simple version of this kind of sales contract can be a big help.

Car Purchase Agreements

What are the Minimum Details You Need to Include in Your Bill of Sale?

If you are going to create a very simple bill of sale for your car buying agreement, you will need to be sure that these minimum details are included:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Body type
  • Body color
  • Year
  • Mileage
  • Car vehicle identification number (VIN)

These basic details might be all that you wish to add to your sales document. However, the smaller the number of details, the more likely it will be that there are issues with the sale. You may not need to include financing information or things like trade-in details like dealerships, but your bill of sale does need to include anything that you think could lead to confusion or dispute with the new owner of the car.

Can I Write in Details Related to the Sale on the Day That I Meet the Buyer?

It is actually quite common for most of the details of the bill of sale to be filled out by hand on the day that the car changes hands. Written information in the contract does not impact the legal nature of the contract or its potential to be used in a court of law as needed. Things like the odometer reading, the information about the buyer and seller’s addresses and phone numbers, and other details that are discussed on the day of the sale can be entered into the document by hand.

Make sure that you use black ink, as it is easier to see when you scan or make copies of the documents in question. You should try to ensure that you can make a quick copy of one original document when you are done signing. This is the best way to ensure that there is no confusion and no tampering with the contract that governs the sale.

Car Purchase Agreement Examples

Do I Need to Include Sales Tax in My Private Car Sale?

The laws regarding tax on purchases of things like vehicles can vary from state to state. If you are not sure about this part of the sales process, you might need to consult with a legal expert or a tax expert before you sell your car. It is always a good idea to be sure that you know for sure what your responsibility is related to the tax owed on the sale.

Sales taxes are not charged in every state to those who live there, and people who are buying out of state will still need to comply with the tax laws of the state where the sale took place. This can be complicated, and sometimes having expert advice can be a big help when it comes to this part of the car-selling process.

Drafting a Correct Vehicle Purchase Agreement Is Important

When you choose to sell your car on your own, you need to be certain that you use a sales contract to record the details of the sale. You will want to avoid having issues or disagreements with the person who has decided to buy the car, and you will also need to be sure that you have a legal document in hand if you need to go to court.

From the damage disclosure statement to the odometer reading, you will be able to make sure that your bill of sale includes all of the information that you think is relevant to the transaction. No matter how simple your bill of sale is, you should draft it properly so it can be used in a court of law if necessary.

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TemplateLab October 11th, 2023
Ryan Duffy
Ryan Duffy