Selling car, meeting buyer, what now?
November 10, 2012 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Selling a car in the UK. Buyer v.keen, wants to see car and buy it ASAP (Monday). What do I need to do, and how can I protect myself against any scam?

I advertised my car on Gumtree this morning. One buyer emailed almost straight away, and we did the haggling on the phone and agreed a price and a meeting time. He says he's buying the car as a present for his wife, hence his hurry (it's a Prius, which is moderately obscure here, so this is believable).

I've told him to bring cash, and we live very near a bank, so I think I can protect myself against payment fraud. I presume I'll need to prepare some kind of document of sale - basically filling in the blanks of this template: . Is there anything else I should be doing or worrying about? Is this what a 'v5' book is used for? We also don't have insurance to cover the test-drive that the guy will presumably want - am I right to understand that he needs to provide this himself?

I know nothing about cars (and can't drive!) so please don't assume I know anything whatsoever!
posted by piato to Work & Money (4 answers total)
This is basically all you need to know. But-

Yes, unless your insurance specifically allows any driver with your permission to drive the car, the buyer must have their own insurance, although in my experience this is often ignored - so you might want to contact the buyer and remind them.

Cash is best but can still be forged, of course, so exchange cash for a receipt and get it checked at a bank when you pay it in before you exchange paperwork and hand over the keys. And take someone with you.
posted by cromagnon at 4:38 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Definately seconding cromagnon's 'take someone with you'. I'll even go farther: ONLY let him take the car for that test drive after you've seen his driver's license and proof of insurance (& preferably left a copy of the info at home), plus insist that both you AND your friend will be in the car with him --- hand him the car key AFTER all three of you are in the car, get the key back BEFORE you & friend get out, and DO NOT have any other keys (house key, whatever) on that key chain.

(Maybe I'm paranoid, but safe & paranoid is better than calling the police to report a crime ranging anywhere from car theft to assault.)
posted by easily confused at 8:28 PM on November 10, 2012

Is the car insured? If not, then he can't take it for a test drive because you're committing an offence and if a police vehicle with ANPR spots it, the car'll be impounded. He'll need to show he has insurance to drive 'any other car with the owner's permission' which should cover him for a test drive.

Don't let him go for a test drive in it by himself. Never get out and leave him in the car with the keys.

If he doesn't bring cash and arranges to pay by, say, bank transfer or banker's draft, there are specific things you need to do.

- make sure you let him know he can't have the car until the payment is cleared.

- before you release any vehicle or registration documents to him, verify with the bank that any payment has cleared. If you hand over the car against uncleared funds and it turns out the draft is a forgery or the transfer is bogus, you'll have lost the car and the money.

- specifically tell the bank that you are selling a car and will not be releasing the car or the documents until the bank tells you that the funds are cleared and it's safe to do so.

(This is really important, because if the bank says funds are cleared and you rely on that and release the car, then it turns out they're not and the money's reclaimed, you can ask the bank to reimburse you. But the bank has to know that you'll be releasing the car based on what they tell you. Either do this on the phone where the call is recorded, or, if you go into the branch, get them to write it down, with the branch stamp on it, saying the funds are cleared.)

- If the bank warns you that the funds might be reclaimed, then you wait until the bank confirms the funds are cleared.

Also, drive a hard bargain. I bought a Prius last year (from a dealership) and the guy there told me that a lot of the Priuses bought second-hand in the UK end up being sent to India. The reason is that a used Prius bought for £10K in the UK will sell for £25K in India, so second-hand ones are really at a premium.
posted by essexjan at 12:43 AM on November 11, 2012

As seller you are supposed to notify the DVLA of the sale. The new owner just keeps their part of the document and gets sent a new registration document once the DVLA has been notified by you.

So once you're happy you have the cash and you're happy you can release the vehicle to the buyer be sure to also send the DVLA your change of owner bit of the registration document. Otherwise the vehicle remains registered in your name and any speeding fines etc come to you..
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:45 AM on November 11, 2012

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