New York has its own laws for buying and selling used cars. This guide will walk you through the process.

Step 1 - Research the Car’s History

PrivateAuto now partners with AutoCheck, the report which delivers the best value for the price. It can show you a lot about the car’s history.

  • Liens on the title.
  • Branded title (total loss, fire/flood damage, rebuilt from salvage).
  • Maintenance records.
  • Accidents reported.

Step 2 - Test Drive the Car

Forget the continuous back-and-forth texts and phone calls. When you shop with PrivateAuto, you can schedule a test drive right on the platform.

Choose from the available times and meet the seller at the locale shown.

Step 3 - Get an Inspection

You’re buying the car as-is. That is, there’s no warranty. An inspection can reveal hidden mechanical problems.

PrivateAuto includes an inspection scheduling tool. It lets you schedule an inspection with a local ASE certified mechanic.

Step 4 - Complete the Paperwork

Certificate of Title

Complete the transfer of ownership section on the certificate.

  • Buyer name and address.
  • Selling price.
  • Date of sale.
  • Odometer reading (cars 10 years old or less).
  • Damage disclosure.
  • Signatures of you and the buyer.

Bill of Sale

New York law requires a bill of sale (Form MV-912) for any title transfer, even if it’s a gift.

Step 5 - Complete the Deal

If you can, close the deal at a New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. It’s the best way to make sure you have everything taken care of.

  • Registration/license plates.
  • New title.
  • Pay sales tax or show proof of exemption.


PrivateAuto makes it easy to shop for a used car from a private party.

  • Ready-to-sign electronic documents.
  • Test drive and inspection scheduling tools.
  • Keeps your private info safe.
  • Verifies seller ID so you can avoid scams.

Plus, you get free tips for buying a car in New York.