Pennsylvania’s laws for buying a used car from a private seller are designed to protect consumers. This guide will help simplify the process.

Step 1 - Research the Car’s History

A vehicle history report such as AutoCheck can tell you important details about the car’s past.

  • Title liens.
  • Accidents.
  • Reported stolen.
  • Maintenance records.

Step 2 - Test Drive the Car

The nightmare of endless back-and-forth calls and texts when arranging a test drive…

… Now you can skip it.

You can schedule a test drive right on the PrivateAuto platform. Just choose a time and meet the seller at the assigned location.

Step 3 - Get an Inspection

Find out if the car has hidden mechanical problems.

Use PrivateAuto’s inspection scheduler to book an inspection with a local ASE certified mechanic.

Step 4 - Get the Paperwork

Certificate of Title

You and the seller will need to sign the title in front of an authorized Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) agent.

  • Your name and address.
  • Selling price.
  • Date of sale.
  • Odometer reading.
  • Seller’s signature.
  • Your signature.

The PennDOT agent will need to see proper proof of identification.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is optional in Pennsylvania. It’s still a good idea to ask the seller to provide one.

  • Provides proof of purchase.
  • Can help if any tax or legal issues come up.

When you buy from a PrivateAuto seller, you get an electronic bill of sale and state-specific documents. You can fill them out and sign right in the app.

Step 5 - Complete the Sale

You’ll need to order a new title and register the car.

You can order new plates or transfer plates from a car you sold or disposed of.


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

  • Test drive and inspection scheduling tools.
  • Verifies seller ID so you can avoid scams.
  • State-specific documents ready for electronic signatures.