Do you have a car that you want to sell so you can get a new one? The car title transfer process can be laborious if you don’t have the knowledge to go about it. How fast you transfer your car depends on your ability to evaluate its value, find the best buyer, and prepare all the documents.
If buying a used car was as easy as placing an order for an electronic device online, then this article would not be necessary. Transferring a car involves a lot more than the actual exchange of funds. You have to cancel the insurance, remove all liens on the vehicle (if there are any), and complete the car title transfer.
In this brief article, we give you all the information you need in order to successfully transfer your car title. Read through to find out what exactly you should look out for to simply transfer your car title to the buyer.
Find out the Actual Value of Your Vehicle
How much is your car worth, and how do you determine its real value? Figuring out the actual price of your vehicle can sometimes be challenging. Fortunately, there are several ways of determining the resale value. Below are a few of the methods.
Use a Pricing Estimator
If you are trading in your car and want the best price on the market, then you choose a price you think your vehicle is worth. However, the price that you set should be reasonable and within the price range of your car.
There are various pricing estimators and guides that you can use to determine the price of your car. Such estimators and guides include the Edmund concept, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), and Kelley Blue Book (KBB). When using the Edmunds concept, apply the real market value of the car as the actual price. That means you have to check the local market price of your car model in your area to predict the amount that buyers will be willing to pay for your vehicle.
KBB is a system value calculator invented by Kelley. The calculator shows the pre-owned car pricing, trade-in value, and private party value. However, pricing can sometimes be biased. It favors dealers in terms of price estimation. NADA is a price estimator that collects data from various transactions to evaluate and predict your car’s value. Most sellers prefer NADA to other price estimators.
Other Factors to Determine a Vehicle’s Value
Mileage. The more you drive your car, the less value it has. That means if you keep your vehicle in the garage more than you drive it, it will be worth more than a car that spends a lot of time on the road. This is one of the top features most buyers consider before purchasing a used vehicle.
Additional features. If your car comes with additional features compared to a standard model, then it is likely to retain more value. White and silver vehicles, for example, have a greater value because they are more popular among car owners. Also, if the car has extra features that are not common in a standard model, such as leather upholstery and heated seats, then it is likely to command a higher price.
Model, year, and make. You will find this information on the title of the vehicle and the manual. The letters on the back of your vehicle can also provide this information. For example, if your vehicle is the 2015 Nissan Sentra SL, the trim level is the “SL,” and the model name is “Sentra.” You will need this information to predict the current price and value of your car, and keep in mind that newer models are more valuable than older models
The car’s condition. The condition of your car will also affect the price. A well-maintained car is worth more than a damaged one. The different pricing tools provided above have various descriptions for a car’s condition that determine the value. For instance, Edmunds uses terms such as “Damaged,” “Outstanding,” “Average,” and “Clean,” which all translate to different pricing.
Information Contained on the Title
The car title contains information such as the make, year of manufacture, model, color, the physical address of the seller, plate number, and the mileage covered by the vehicle to the point of resale.
Car title transfer is a crucial part of car resale. Transferring the car title is the only proof that the seller has sold the car to the buyer, and they have no longer have the right of ownership. If the seller does not change the name on the car title, he or she can still keep the buyer’s money and sell the car to another party. If the title of the vehicle never gets changed out of the seller’s name, then the vehicle remains in the original name, and he or she has the right to do anything with the car.
Car Records Required By DMV
Before you sell your car, you must confirm all the details that you need to complete the title transfer in your particular state. Different states have different requirements for title transfer, and confirming with the DMV in advance will help you compile the documents you need to complete your transaction on time. Here are some records that the DMV will ask you to present before you can complete your car title transfer:
Bill of sale. This is the document that informs your state that you have sold the car to another party. You must present a completed bill of sale to authorities before you can transfer your car title.
Odometer reading. The DMV will ask for this reading just like your buyer needs it to predict the value of the car he or she is purchasing.
Disclosure of damage. If your vehicle has had some previous damage, then you must disclose all the information. If you fail to do this, the buyer may hold you accountable for future repairs.
Transfer fees. To change the car title to your buyer’s name, you will have to spend some money. You can agree on who should pay for the title transfer fee.
Certificate of registration or title: This is a document with all the information about the seller and the buyer. It also has some information on cost, type of sale, and the car’s price.
When are you supposed to transfer your car title?
You are required by law to transfer your car title if you are:
- Selling your used car to a new buyer
- Buying a used car
- Changing the plate of the car
- Getting the car as a present from your family or friend, and you intend to change the license plate
Steps to Follow When Selling or Buying a Used Car
When you buy a used car or receive a car gift from a family member or friend, you must follow the right steps to transfer the car title. After filling the bill of sale as mentioned above, here are a couple more things you need to do to complete the deal
- Payment. This is the most critical part of the car title transfer. As a buyer, you should ensure you pay all the funds to the seller. When receiving money from a buyer, you must ensure that he or she pays the full amount before you surrender the ownership. Note: You can be punished by law if you attempt to evade sales tax by writing a lower price for the vehicle on the bill of sale.
- Lien removal. When selling a used car, it is your responsibility to remove all liens on the vehicle before you can surrender it to the next buyer. For example, you might have signed a loan using your car as collateral. To sell such a car, ensure you have an agreement in place with the financial institution in question before finalizing a deal.
Car Title Transfer FAQs
Q: Do all vehicles need to be titled?
A: In some states, old vehicles do not to be titled. For example, in New Hampshire, you do not require to have a title for vehicles that have the model year of 1999 and older.
Q: Can the transferring process be done online?
A: In most cases, you will have to appear in person to file your paperwork at your state’s DMV. However, in some states like California, you can start the process online at NeedTags.com, but you still need to mail in your paperwork.
Q: Is it free to transfer a car title?
A: No, it is not free to transfer a car title. The cost of transfer varies from state to state, with some like Minnesota charging as low as $8, while others like Connecticut charging about $25.
When selling your vehicle to a third party, you want to ensure that the buyer pays the actual market value of your car. The information provided in this article can help you estimate how much your car is worth using the tools we outlined above. If you use the right procedure, it will ensure that you get the real market value for your vehicle and avoid being exploited.
It’s vital that you follow the legal process required by your state when selling or buying a used car. Every state has its own motor vehicle department, but the information and documents you need to complete your car transfer title are similar among all of them. Always ensure you follow the right protocols when choosing the right buyer for your car. To find out all the information that you need for your car title transfer in your state, visit your local DMV official website.
- How to Transfer the Title of a Car – Your Mechanic