Texas has unique laws for buying a used car from a private party. This guide will help you through the steps.

Step 1 - Research the Car’s History

Find out the car’s real value with a history report.

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

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

Step 2 - Test Drive the Car

Arranging a test drive often leads to never-ending calls, emails, and texts. Use the PrivateAuto test drive scheduling tool instead.

Simply choose a time and meet the seller at the designated location.

Step 3 - Get an Inspection

A vehicle inspection can reveal hidden mechanical problems.

Use the PrivateAuto inspection tool to schedule an inspection with a local ASE certified mechanic.

Step 4 - Get the Paperwork

Certificate of Title

Complete the Assignment of Title section on the back of the certificate.

  • Your name and address.
  • Date of sale.
  • Odometer disclosure.
  • Your signature.
  • Seller’s signature.

Bill of Sale

Texas 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 straight from the app.

Step 5 - Complete the Sale

If you can, finalize the sale at a county tax office. It’s the best way to avoid unwanted surprises.

You will need to show proof of insurance when you register and apply for a title. Also, you’ll owe a 6.25% motor vehicle sales tax.


With PrivateAuto, it’s easy to buy a used car in Texas.

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

Plus, you get free tips for buying and selling a used car in your state.