Whether you’ve been thinking of selling your car for some time or looking for a way to earn extra income, it’s a great time to sell your used car. Selling to a private party may take a few more steps than a trade-in at your local dealer, but it’s the best way to get the most value for your car. Find the safest way to transfer money when buying a car by comparing the top five ways to sell your car to another individual.

1. Avoid Fraud When Selling Your Car

There are, unfortunately, some fraud concerns when selling your car privately. There are many scams out there, so choose your advertising and payment transfer system carefully. PrivateAuto offers a great way to show your used vehicle without risking theft, forged checks, or other fraudulent activity.

Take Your Time

Take your time with the transaction. Don’t let a buyer rush you to take a low offer or accept payment without verifying it. The types of fraud usually attempted vary depending on the way you’re communicating with your potential buyer and how the buyer wishes to pay. If your buyer gives you a now-or-never ultimatum and you feel rushed, it’s probably best to walk away. The right advertising for your vehicle should have a long line of buyers ready to make similar offers without unnecessary pressure.

Transfer the Title Safely

Wait to sign over the title until you’ve confirmed the payment. The last thing you want is to have a scam buyer drive away with your car, title, and cash. A bill of sale is required in only some states, but a good idea in many private sales situations is to sign one. This gives you written evidence of the transaction and the agreed-upon sale amount in case there’s a dispute later on.

PrivateAuto is one safe online location to manage signing over your title safely. It’s important to only take this step once you’re ready to let go of your vehicle, so discuss all the other paperwork and confirm your payment first.

2. Operate on a Cash-only Basis

Many private sellers feel cash-only sales are the safest option. Accepting cash only does have a few advantages, but also a few disadvantages. Consider the pros and cons of cash before choosing a cash-only sales strategy. This may be a popular option for used car sales, but you may wish to look for more convenient options to avoid the risk of theft.

Advantages of Cash

Cash is very difficult to counterfeit, so an envelope of cash is likely to be genuine. There are some easy ways to tell if cash is genuine, so review the safety features on bills before accepting a large amount of cash. You should also take the time to personally count out every bill. You wouldn’t want to accept less cash because of an accident or intentional buyer scam.

Most banks require transactions over $10,000 to be reported. There may also be a slight delay in processing the cash. As long as you have a bill of sale or other paperwork, you shouldn’t be concerned with reporting the income. Your accountant can help you weigh different ways to claim this income.

5 Safe Ways to Transfer Money in a Private Car Sale

Disadvantages of Only Accepting Cash

If you’ve ever felt conspicuous carrying a large sum of cash, you understand one of the greatest disadvantages of accepting cash. A wad of bills in your pocket or in your vehicle is a prime target for theft, and there’s no protection available if you have a large sum of cash stolen from you. Try to minimize this disadvantage by asking to meet and transfer the cash in a bank to avoid walking or driving around town with a load of cash.

Another disadvantage of accepting cash is that it limits your prospective buyer pool. Many buyers are unable or uninterested in withdrawing that amount of cash for a used vehicle. If you want a quick sale at the highest possible price, then you may want to consider accepting other safe forms of payment.

3. Handle Checks with Caution

Your buyer may offer a personal or cashier’s check for your used vehicle. In most situations, a personal check should not be accepted. This type of check may be fraudulent or may simply be connected to an account with insufficient funds. Cashier’s checks are verified, so they’re safer than personal checks. It’s not a good idea to work with an out-of-town check, as you won’t be able to verify it easily.

Accepting a check isn’t the safest way to transfer money when buying a car, but it can be done in a safe manner if you and your buyer are willing to be flexible. Even with many ways to spot a fake check, it’s still best to proceed with caution.

4. Accept Payments in a Bank

Any type of payment is safer to accept at a familiar bank in your area. Accepting payments in a bank not only keeps you safe from attempting theft, but also provides a convenient location to verify a check is legitimate. Cash or checks can be immediately deposited for peace of mind all around.

The safest way to accept a personal check is to meet the buyer at their local bank. The bank can verify the check is real and can be processed without bouncing. A check can still take up to a week to clear, so consider holding your vehicle or title until it fully clears.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible or practical to meet in person at a bank location. Busy schedules, a long-distance sale, or other factors may make your buyer hesitant to schedule a meeting at your bank. Consider online payment security for the safest way to transfer money when buying a car. This helps you manage your payment in a safe way without driving to a bank.

5. Choose PrivateAuto Pay for Higher Amounts

PrivateAuto Pay is the first payment app designed specifically for selling or buying a car privately. With this service you can advertise your car, print a window brochure, allow buyers to schedule meet-ups or make offers, eSign the Bill of Sale, and instantly transfer funds in the parking lot.

To use PrivateAuto Pay, both parties must verify their drivers license and confirm identity using facial recognition technology. PrivateAuto helps avoid scammers and brings a level of trust before two strangers meet in a parking lot.

PrivateAuto's integrated banking technology is as quick and secure as an interbank transfer. While most forms of payment over $3,000 are not instant and not available on weekends, holidays, or after hours, PrivateAuto Pay is the only way to securely and instantly transfer higher dollar amounts anytime.  PrivateAuto leaves the seller with peace of mind knowing funds are in their account, and it's ok to release the car and title.

Watch PrivateAuto Pay being used to purchase a Porsche 911 Carrera S from a private seller in the parking lot.

PrivateAuto Pay | Safest way to transfer money in a private sale