Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

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Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby nirvines88 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:19 am

This week I'm selling a used car that I don't drive anymore. My ad on Craigslist said the car would be sold "as is". Does this clear me of any problems if the car should break down when the guy is driving it home, or a week later? (I don't think it will break down, but you never know!)

Also, in terms of car insurance, I plan on just calling my insurance company to end coverage on the car the second the title leaves my hand. I will also be removing my license plate. Anything I'm missing here?

Last thing: Should I have this guy sign a waiver? "e.g. nirvines88 is selling this car to ___________________ AS IS. It is possible this car has mechanical issues. The seller makes no guarantees to its safety, drive-ability, durability, etc. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have it checked out by a mechanic."
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby Random Poster » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:34 am

nirvines88 wrote:Anything I'm missing here?


Contact the DMV (usually you can do this online) and advise them of the change of ownership, in case the new owner gets 100 (or whatever) red light camera/photo speeding tickets on the way home.


nirvines88 wrote:Last thing: Should I have this guy sign a waiver? "e.g. nirvines88 is selling this car to ___________________ AS IS. It is possible this car has mechanical issues. The seller makes no guarantees to its safety, drive-ability, durability, etc. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have it checked out by a mechanic."


That type of language is typically in the bill of sale, although the "AS IS" part could be broader to include "including all faults, whether known or unknown, visible or invisible," and you could disclaim all warranties, whether statutory, implied, or express, including, without limitation, any warranty for fitness of purpose or merchantability. The only thing you should represent is that you are the record owner of the car (and, I suppose, the mileage of the car, if your state requires it).

ETA: Despite your request for it in the thread title, the above is not legal advice, I'm not your lawyer, and you are not my client.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby dm200 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:52 am

When I have sold cars, my concern is that of "liability" if the new owner causes damage/death right after I have "sold" the car. I have NO IDEA of the legalities, but for this concern, I have the buyer sign that he/she has purchased the vehicle on this date, at this time. I always take back/keep the plates from the vehicle when it is sold.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby Grandpaboys » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:39 pm

I have sold my used cars in Texas. I went to a local used car dealer and received some very good advise. I learned a lot.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby Default User BR » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:20 pm

Random Poster wrote:Contact the DMV (usually you can do this online) and advise them of the change of ownership, in case the new owner gets 100 (or whatever) red light camera/photo speeding tickets on the way home.

That would difficult with no license plate.


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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby tyrion » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:39 pm

I'm pretty sure the correct answer is to go to your state's DMV website and look up the proper process (specifically for your state). Lots of people sell cars. Don't make this too complicated.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby MathWizard » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:00 pm

I assume you just mean general advice about a legal mattter.

Here are some things you may want to consider.

I've bought and sold many used cars.
Generally you just sign over the title on the back. Nowadays, you might want to make a copy.
I don't remember on the plates, but I think that I kept them per DMV rules.

I don't know how this would work with CraigsList, but I've always asked for a cashier's check.
Once the title is signed over, if the personal check bounces, you can't just take back the car.
Also, don't promise the car to someone for more than a set length of time. If you accept an offer,
tell them you expect them back within the hour with a cashier's check, or the car may be sold to
the next buyer. Otherwise, you might lose out on a sale to a later buyer when the first just goes
home, having decided to pass on the car.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby Random Poster » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:20 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Random Poster wrote:Contact the DMV (usually you can do this online) and advise them of the change of ownership, in case the new owner gets 100 (or whatever) red light camera/photo speeding tickets on the way home.

That would difficult with no license plate.


Brian


True. Change the hypo then to "in case the new buyer uses the car in a hit-and-run accident, leaving parts of the car behind that can then be traced to the old (registered) owner" or "in case the new buyer uses the car in a manner similar to how Timothy McVeigh used a U-Haul truck." My underlying point is the same.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby interplanetjanet » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:24 pm

nirvines88 wrote:Also, in terms of car insurance, I plan on just calling my insurance company to end coverage on the car the second the title leaves my hand. I will also be removing my license plate. Anything I'm missing here?

The license plate thing varies by state. In some of them they are retained by the seller, in some the plates stay with the car when sold - here, people would be baffled if you tried to sell them a car and demanded to keep the plates.

dm200 wrote:When I have sold cars, my concern is that of "liability" if the new owner causes damage/death right after I have "sold" the car. I have NO IDEA of the legalities, but for this concern, I have the buyer sign that he/she has purchased the vehicle on this date, at this time. I always take back/keep the plates from the vehicle when it is sold.

In California, a portion of the title is torn off and retained by the seller to be sent in separately - it is a release of future liability related to the vehicle. I would expect that a signed bill of sale could accomplish the same thing if push came to shove.

If you're very concerned I suppose you could do the sale at a DMV office.
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby nirvines88 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:27 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone! I sold my car today and I ended up having the guy sign a generic waiver/bill of sale.

No call about the car breaking down and him not making it home, so I assume he made it! :beer
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Re: Selling a Used Car (any legal advice?)

Postby donall » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:54 pm

Not sure I would accept even a cashier's check nowadays.
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