Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller in Kansas

When you purchase a used car from a private seller, there are several steps you'll need to complete. Here's everything you need to know to do a deal in Kansas.
When you buy your next used car from a private seller, there are a few more complications to navigate. Fortunately, we’ve figured out how to make the process a whole lot easier. Read on to learn the steps you’ll need to take—and how PrivateAuto can help.

Is it Better to Buy From a Private Seller or a Dealer?

Dealerships traditionally are more convenient, whereas private vehicles usually offer better value.

Here at PrivateAuto, we’re big fans of going the private seller route. Here are the advantages:

1. Avoid fees. Dealerships charge documentation fees that range from $50 to over $1,000.
2. Get a better price by cutting out the middleman and going to the source. Dealers need to buy low and sell high to make a spread and keep the lights on. You don’t need to help out with that.
3. You drive the deal on your terms: PrivateAuto allows you to make offers and negotiate the best deal directly with the seller.
4. In some states, buying from a private seller means no sales tax. For example, Hawaii and Nevada charge sales tax on retail (dealership) car purchases, but not on private-party ones.

We think you should be able to complete a private-party transaction as easily as you could buy a used car from a dealership. Read on to see how we make this possible.
Image highlighting DealNow by PrivateAuto

What Are the Steps to Buy a Used Car in Kansas?

When you buy a private-party used vehicle in Kansas, you’ll go through the following sequence:

1. Find a car to buy
2. Take the car for a test drive
3. Handle paperwork
4. Pay the seller
5. Transfer ownership
6. Register the car
7. Get new license plates

Let’s go over the process in more detail.

Find the Right Car at the Right Price

Obviously, you need to find a car to buy. Based on your budget, vehicle requirements, and other factors, you probably have a good idea of what you’re looking for. It’s time to find it.

Start Your Search

When it comes to finding a car to buy online, here are your options for finding the perfect private-party used car for you:

Online classifieds
Local classifieds such as KSL Cars (Utah)
National classifieds such as Craigslist and OfferUp.
Vehicle listing sites such as Autotrader
Social media listings (e.g., cars for sale on Facebook Marketplace)
Auction websites such as Bring a Trailer and eBay Motors

While these sites can be great resources to find that Toyota Tacoma you’re looking for, they fall short when it comes time to do the transaction. That’s why we call them “meetingplaces” instead of true marketplaces.

PrivateAuto is a transactional marketplace that offers self-serve technology solutions for every aspect of the deal. If you’d like to see how easy the private-party purchase can be, shop our used cars for sale to start the process.

But hey, we don’t hate the other listing sites. In fact, they may 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 DealNow. DealNow allows you to create your own dealroom on PrivateAuto, invite the owner of the car you want to buy, and fast-track the transaction. Get your deal started now!

Negotiate Price

Of course, you want to get the very best vehicle for your budget. PrivateAuto allows you to make an offer on cars for sale. 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 smart buyer wants to know about the car they’re getting. The two best ways to learn about a vehicle’s background are a vehicle history report and research on the car’s title.

Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report is a really smart idea when buying a used car. It covers ownership history and maintenance records and demonstrates 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 know how well the car has been cared for
2. You have visibility into any accidents or insurance claims
3. You can see service records, major repairs, and other work

A vehicle history report can help you steer clear of buying a bad used car and help you identify the good ones.

Conduct Title Research

Before meeting up with the seller, it’s always good to do preliminary research on the car title.

You can use the National Insurance Crime Bureau website to research the title of a vehicle to protect yourself from fraud.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes sellers will attempt to mislead or outright deceive. For instance, they may try to pass off a salvage title as a clean title.

Good title research will help you check for:

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

Simply ask the seller for their full name and the vehicle identification number (VIN) in advance of meeting up. Run the title check, and have one less thing to worry about.

Take the Car For a Test Drive

Unless you’re buying a car remotely, you’re going to want to test-drive it. PrivateAuto lets 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.

Complete Kansas Paperwork

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

1. Title
2. Odometer disclosure statement
3. VIN inspection

Kansas Certificate of Title

You and the seller need to fill out the official Kansas Certificate of Title. A Kansas title will require you and the seller to complete the following information at the time of the sale the following info:

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

Odometer Disclosure

A Kansas vehicle title already contains an odometer disclosure section. However, some vehicles may require an additional odometer disclosure document. To determine if you need any additional documentation, contact your local county treasurer's office.

Our in-app workflow includes an odometer disclosure entry, where the buyer and the seller confirm mileage before taking the next step.

Kansas Bill of Sale

While Kansas 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 vehicle identification number (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 Kansas 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 vehicle. No printing or scanning—simply sign electronically in the PrivateAuto mobile app. It’s stored in your PrivateAuto account as a reference, should you ever need it.

Do a VIN Check

When buying a used car in Kansas, you need to check the VIN that the seller has written on the title.

Carefully compare it to the actual VIN on the car. You want to avoid the problem of having the wrong car information number on the title when you go to register your newly bought car at the county treasurer's office.

The PrivateAuto app has a VIN field where buyers and sellers individually confirm the VIN. This helps eliminate errors (or the rare case of outright seller fraud).

Pay for the Car

When it comes time to pay the seller for their car, there aren’t a lot of great options—or haven’t been until now. Cash is inconvenient and risky, PayPal has fees, Venmo and Zelle have low transfer limits, and checks and wire transfers are slow and unwieldy.

We got tired of the limitations associated with existing payment methods, so we created a solution. We call it PrivateAuto Pay. Our users call it magic. Here’s how it works:

1. No transfer fees.
2. Instantaneous transfers. Close the deal when you meet for the test drive.
3. Works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No coordinating around banker’s hours.
4. No exchange of contact or banking info.
5. Skip inconvenient and costly third-party escrow services when you take advantage of our escrow-like safeguards.

You’ll never want to buy a car any other way. Oh, and if you’re buying a car on a different website, invite the seller to DealNow to enjoy all the same benefits.
Image highlighting Buying Car Privately by PrivateAuto

Kansas Title Transfer and Registration

After you have the signed title (and car) in your possession, you’ll go to the Kansas county treasurer's office to complete the title transfer process. At the same time, you’ll register the vehicle in your name, get new license plates, and pay your Kansas sales tax owed. Here’s what you’ll need to provide when you visit the county treasurer's office:

The Certificate of Title, signed over to you by the previous vehicle owner
A completed application for a certificate of title
Lien information (if applicable)
Payment for the Kansas vehicle sales tax: 6.5% of the purchase price
Payment for Kansas’s vehicle title transfer fee: $10
Payment for Kansas’s repossession title fee: $3
Payment for Kansas registration: from $42.50 to $52.50
Payment for a Kansas license plate: $45.50 and up, depending on plate type
Valid ID or driver's license

Read our complete guide to a Kansas title transfer for more info on the subject.

Kansas Vehicle FAQ

Is it illegal to title jump in Kansas?

It is illegal to title jump in Kansas and in every other state. Only purchase vehicles that have the title in the seller's name. It is illegal for a seller to sell a car that is titled to someone else.

What is a quiet title in Kansas?

Does Kansas require emissions testing?

How many miles should you buy on a used car?

When I buy a car from a private seller, can I drive it home?

What to do after you buy a car from a private seller?

How much are Kansas license plates?

What if I want to sell my car in Kansas?

Is there a lemon law for used cars in Kansas?

Can I use my old license plates on my new car in Kansas?