Here is a helpful guide from the PrivateAuto staff for buying a used car in Michigan.

Step 1 - Gather Documents

Certificate of Title

Complete the following on the back of the title:

  • Your name, address, and signature.
  • Seller’s signature.
  • Date of purchase.
  • Odometer reading.

If there’s no room for mileage on the title, complete the Federal Odometer Disclosure Statement.

Bill of Sale

Michigan doesn’t require a bill of sale. It’s a good idea to have one anyway. It can help you avoid tax and legal issues later on.

When you buy a car through PrivateAuto, the seller will have a bill of sale you can sign directly from the app.

Step 2 - Get a Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report can reveal important info about the car:

  • Accidents reported.
  • Fire, flood, and storm damage.
  • Maintenance records, and more.

PrivateAuto now partners with AutoCheck to provide you with a vehicle history report.

When you buy through PrivateAuto, some sellers may provide an AutoCheck report.

Step 3 - Get a Mechanical Inspection

Private used car sales are usually “as-is.” That is, you pay for any repairs once you buy the car.

An inspection can reveal hidden mechanical problems.

Work with an ASE Certified mechanic. It means the mechanic is skilled with most cars and light trucks.

Step 4 - Seal the Deal

If you can, meet with the seller at a Michigan Secretary of State branch office to complete the purchase. It’s the best way to make sure all the paperwork is complete.

If you’re buying from a PrivateAuto Premium seller, you can securely transfer payment for the car.


When you buy a car in Michigan, PrivateAuto puts dealer-like services in the palm of your hand.