Tennessee has a few unique rules for buying a used car from a private seller. This handy guide will make things simpler.

Step 1 - Research the Car’s History

The car’s history can reveal things that might lower the car’s value.

  • Reported stolen.
  • Accidents/total loss.
  • Liens.

PrivateAuto’s trusted partner, AutoCheck, gives the best value for the money.

Step 2 - Test Drive the Car

Put an end to the never-ending calls, emails, and texts when you arrange a test drive. Use the PrivateAuto test drive scheduling tool instead.

Just choose a time and meet the seller at the assigned location.

Step 3 - Get an Inspection

A vehicle inspection can reveal hidden mechanical problems.

With the PrivateAuto inspection scheduler, you can book an inspection with a local ASE certified mechanic.

Step 4 - Get the Paperwork

Certificate of Title

Complete the Assignment of Title by Registered Owner section on the back of the certificate.

  • Odometer disclosure.
  • Seller’s hand-printed name, signature, and address.
  • Date of sale.
  • Selling price.
  • Your hand-printed name and signature.

Any white-out, erasures, or scratch-outs void the title.

If you make a mistake, you’ll need to order a duplicate.

Bill of Sale

Tennessee doesn’t require a bill of sale. It’s still a good idea to get one from the seller. It’s legal proof of transfer of ownership.

When you buy from a PrivateAuto seller, you get an electronic bill of sale form. You can fill it out and sign right in the app.

Step 5 - Complete the Sale

If you can, finalize the sale at a county clerk’s office. It’s the best way to make sure you meet all the requirements.


PrivateAuto makes it easy to buy a used car in Tennessee.

  • Schedule test drives and inspections.
  • Keeps your info private.
  • Verifies seller ID so you can avoid scams.
  • Ready-to-sign state-specific documents.