Texas Bill of Sale
Buying or selling a car privately instead of through a dealership can be a complicated and risky process. A bill of sale is an important way of recording that the vehicle sale has taken place, and it’s always a good idea to create a paper trail in case you need to prove you are no longer liable for the vehicle after you transfer it. Though a certificate of title will also serve this purpose, a bill of sale is an excellent form of extra protection against fraud or misunderstanding.
Why Sellers Should Use a Bill of Sale
Even though it is not a legal requirement in Texas, you have every reason to complete a bill of sale when selling your car. If the person buying your car causes an accident with it after the sale, they could potentially deny having purchased it from you, and you could be held at least partially responsible for what the new owner did with your car. A bill of sale provides solid proof that a transfer was made, and therefore all liability now rests with the new owner. It also acts as a receipt for your own personal records.
Why Buyers Should Use a Bill of Sale
It is possible that after you purchase a car from a private party, they may later try to claim that they never sold you the car and that it is legally still theirs. If they are ever successful at this, it means you will lose the car and never see the money you paid for it ever again. A bill of sale protects you, and proves a transfer was made. It also records the condition of the vehicle at the time of purchase, it case it is later discovered that there were severe damages which the seller never disclosed. The seller will not be able to claim that they told you otherwise.
What You Should Include on a Bill of Sale
Though standard form bill of sales are available online and from your local county tax collector’s office, it’s also perfectly acceptable to write your own. If you write your own bill of sale, there is certain information you should include to ensure its completeness and effectiveness. Here’s what you’ll need to include:
- The date of the sale
- The sale price
- The full name and address of both the buyer and the seller
- A general description of the vehicle, including its make, model, and condition
- The vehicle identification and license plate numbers of the car
- The person who owned it before the current seller
More Tips for Buying a Car
Though completing all the required and recommended documentation will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth and satisfying vehicle transfer, there are plenty of other steps you can take to avoid disappointment and disaster. Always thoroughly investigate the condition of a used car, and hire a professional mechanic if you lack the expertise to evaluate it yourself. Run a background check on the car’s VIN to see if it is salvaged or has ever been in an accident the seller neglected to mention. With just a little bit of precaution, your car-buying experience will be safer and easier for everyone.