Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller in Arkansas

Arkansas is a great state to buy a private-party used car. Here's what you need to know to complete the entire transaction while protecting yourself.
PrivateAuto streamlines the private vehicle buying experience and makes it enjoyable and safe. Keep reading to see how to buy your dream car in Arkansas, and how we make what could be a daunting task quick and safe.

Find the Right Car for Your Budget

You’re probably shopping for private-party used cars online, which means you’ll be using one of the many websites that list cars for sale. You probably have some idea of what type of car you’re looking for and what you can afford; if not, take some time to narrow that down. Then, it’s time to start your search.
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Start Your Search

When it comes down to buying your dream car online, here are your options for finding the private-party used car for you:

Online classifieds
National classifieds such as Craigslist and OfferUp.
Local classifieds such as KSL Cars.
Auction websites such as Bring a Trailer and eBay Motors.
Vehicle listing sites such as Autotrader.
Social media listings like Facebook Marketplace.

While these platforms introduce you to cars for sale in your area, they lack transactional capabilities. We call them "meetingplaces" because they connect you with a car (and its seller)—and then leave you to muddle through all the details (and there are a lot). From communicating to setting up a test drive to sending the payment, it can be a lot to manage.

We are the world's only transactional marketplace that offers self-serve technology solutions for every part of the deal. If you’d like to see how simple and stress-free buying from a private seller can be, shop our used cars for sale to kick-start the process.

We don’t hate other listing sites. Some have a lot more private-party car inventory than we do. But we still want you to have the transactional security and convenience that our users enjoy.

That’s why we created a fast-track solution called DealNow. It allows you to create a personal dealroom on PrivateAuto, invite the private owner of the car you want to buy, and get the deal done quickly.

Get your deal started now!

Negotiate Price

You want to get the very best car for your budget. PrivateAuto allows you to make offers on cars you like. You never know if the vehicle’s owner will accept less than their asking price until you try.

On other sites, you’d have to message the seller and have an awkward conversation. PrivateAuto lets you make an offer with the click of a button. The seller can then accept, reject, or counteroffer.

Research the Car

A savvy buyer will try to find out as much as they can about the car they’re getting. The two best ways to learn about a vehicle’s background are:

1. Research the car’s title
2. Get a vehicle history report

Research the Vehicle Title

Before meeting up for the test drive, it’s smart to do preliminary research on the car title.
You can use the National Insurance Crime Bureau website to research the title to protect yourself from car-buying fraud.

In some cases sellers will attempt to mislead or outright deceive—they may try to pass off a salvage title as clean.

Title research will help you check for:

1. An outstanding lien.
2. Reports of the car having been stolen.
3. The car has been declared a total loss in an insurance claim.

Ask the seller for their full name and the vehicle identification number (VIN) in advance of meeting up. Run the title check, and you’ll have one less worry on your mind.

Get a Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report is a smart idea when buying a used car. It covers ownership history and maintenance records and shows you how well the seller cared for their car.

PrivateAuto provides a vehicle history report for all premium listings.

Here are some reasons a vehicle history report gives you peace of mind.

1. You have visibility into any accidents or insurance claims.
2. You know how well the car has been cared for.
3. You can see service records, major repairs, and other work.

A vehicle history report can help you steer clear of buying a faulty used car and help steer you away from car-buying scams.

Meet Up For the Test Drive

One of the best things about PrivateAuto is that we let you arrange the test drive in a safe, easy, and convenient manner that never reveals your personal information to the seller.

1. Our handy in-app scheduler allows you to pick from the time slots the seller has chosen. No back-and-forth conversations. You'll also see the seller's preferred meetup location.
2. You can opt to transact with verified sellers only, which tends to weed out bad actors who prefer to operate in the shadows.

You’ll schedule the test drive in seconds without ever needing to contact the seller. It’s just one of the many ways we streamline private car purchases.

Complete Arkansas Paperwork

Paperwork is a critical part of the transaction process. Here is the paperwork involved in an Arkansas used car transaction:

1. Vehicle title
2. Bill of sale

Arkansas Certificate of Title

You and the seller need to fill out the official Arkansas certificate of title. An Arkansas title will require you and the seller to complete the following information at the time of the private sale:

Odometer disclosure
Seller’s hand-printed name, signature, and address (if there is more than one seller listed on the title, both sellers will need to sign)
Date of sale
Purchase price
Your hand-printed name and signature

Arkansas Bill of Sale

While the state of Arkansas doesn't require a bill of sale, we recommend you always complete one with the seller. A bill of sale protects you by memorializing the terms of the sale, the VIN, the selling price, mileage, and the names and signatures of both parties. If the seller ever wants to contest the transaction or any part of it, you have their signature on a legal document with all of the terms and details to back you up.

PrivateAuto makes it easy with an official Arkansas bill of sale right in our app. You and the seller review the details, and then digitally sign the bill of sale after inspecting the car. No printing or scanning—simply sign electronically in the PrivateAuto app. It’s stored in your PrivateAuto account as a reference, should you ever need it.

Pay For the Car

Before we created PrivateAuto Pay, there weren’t any great ways to pay the seller. Cash is inconvenient and risky, PayPal has fees, Venmo and Zelle have low transfer limits, and checks and wire transfers are slow and cumbersome.

We got tired of the limitations associated with existing payment methods, so we created PrivateAuto Pay.

Here’s how it works:

Instantaneous transfers. Close the deal when you meet for the test drive.
No transfer fees.
Works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No coordinating around banker’s hours.
No exchange of contact or banking info.
Act as your own escrow service with our secure deal flow.

You’ll never want to buy a car any other way. Even if you’re buying a car on a different platform, you can just invite the seller to DealNow and enjoy all the same benefits.
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Arkansas Title Transfer and Registration

After the seller signs the title over to you, you’ll go to the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to complete the title transfer process. At the same time, you’ll register the vehicle in your name, get a new license plate, and pay your Arkansas sales tax owed.

Here’s what you’ll need to provide when you transfer your car’s title at your local DMV branch office:

The Certificate of Title, signed over to you by the previous vehicle owner
Lien information (if applicable)
Payment for the Arkansas vehicle sales tax: 6.5% of the vehicle price
Payment for Arkansas’s vehicle title transfer fee: $10
Payment for Arkansas passenger vehicle registration fee: from $17 to $30
Validation decal fee: $2.50
Valid ID or driver's license
Proof of insurance

Read our complete guide to an Arkansas title transfer for more info on the subject.

Arkansas Vehicle FAQ

How much are sales taxes on a used vehicle in Arkansas?

The Arkansas car sales tax rate is 6.5% of the vehicle's purchase price. In addition, you may be required to pay local taxes.

Depending on where you live in Arkansas, you could end up paying from 0% to 4.125% local sales tax on top of the state’s 6.5%.

See a complete list of all Arkansas municipality and county tax rates on this official resource. Or, enter your address here, and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) will tell you what your combined tax rate is.

How do I avoid sales tax on a used car in Arkansas?

How much does it cost to register a car in Arkansas?

What is the average cost of auto insurance in Arkansas?