Buying A Used Car From A Private Seller In Nebraska

When buying a used car from a private seller in Nebraska, the following info should keep you on track.
When searching for the best used car, it’s important that you stay safe and secure. Let’s talk about how to navigate the Nebraska car-buying process.

By the way, PrivateAuto has private-party used vehicles for sale in Nebraska, and also provides an end-to-end platform to get the transaction done, from immediate payment transfers to secure messaging.

The Process of Buying a Used Car in Nebraska

In Nebraska, you will go through the following steps when buying a used car from a private party.

1. Find a seller who has the car you want
2. Set a price the price
3. Schedule a test drive
4. Take care of the documentation
5. Pay the seller
6. Have the seller transfer ownership of the used car title
7. Register the car in your name and pay fees and sales taxes
8. Get new license plates

Let’s go over the process in more detail.

Find a Car

You’re better off purchasing from a private party than from Nebraska dealerships. Dealerships have the incentive to buy as low as possible and sell as high as possible; it’s how they make money. You’re far more likely to get a better deal by going directly to a private seller.

On the PrivateAuto app, you will be able to go through a wide selection of used vehicles for sale in Omaha, Lincoln, Beatrice, Wahoo, and elsewhere across the state of Nebraska. We offer security and many convenience features no other competitor has to offer.

We verify the identity of every single seller, so you’ll always know who you’re negotiating with. You can go through the used car listings and make offers within our app, and when the seller accepts your offer, you can go ahead and schedule the test drive. It all happens within the app and you never have to give out your personal info to strangers.

Go For a Test Drive

When you find a car that will work for you, and settle on a purchase price, it’s time to take the car for a test drive.

Schedule the Meetup

Other used car marketplaces leave the buyer and seller to schedule the meetup by exchanging personal info. Organizing a meetup involves a lot of back-and-forth. With PrivateAuto, all of your personal info is kept private. Our handy in-app scheduler allows the two of you to arrange the perfect time and place.

Check The Vehicle History Report

It’s always good to research the vehicle's history before committing to it. You can get a detailed history report through a service like CarFax. Or, you can get a vehicle history report when you purchase it through PrivateAuto.

AutoCheck and PrivateAuto have partnered to provide buyers with a motor vehicle information check and report. When PrivateAuto sellers go for a Premium listing, we include the vehicle history report for your inner piece.

Do a Mechanical Inspection (Optional)

Before buying a used car, you might want to perform a mechanical inspection on it.

This is at your discretion and is more advisable for cars that have higher mileage. If you are skilled enough, you can perform the inspection at the time of the test drive. Or, you can make a deal with the seller and get it inspected by a professional mechanic.

We give you all the tools and technology necessary to close the deal at the test drive meeting. If you’re opting for a professional car inspection, you’ll be adding at least a couple extra days onto the closing process.

Take Care of The Documentation

Documentation is an essential part of the transaction process. Different states have different document requirements, but here are the most common documents involved in a used vehicle transaction:
Odometer statement
Bill of sale

Certificate of Title

Both you and the seller will fill out the Certificate of Title. Required information includes the following:
Buyer's name and address
Date of sale
Sale price
Mileage odometer reading
A Vehicle Registration Application

Odometer Disclosure Statement

When you purchase a used car that’s less than 10 years old, Federal law requires the seller to fill out the odometer disclosure on the back of the title.

If there’s no room on the title, fill out the Federal Odometer Disclosure Statement

You can verify the accuracy of the odometer certification the seller enters on the title by checking the odometer yourself. Keep in mind that there are severe penalties for sellers tampering with car odometers in order to provide inaccurate readings.

Our app includes an odometer reading entry, where both the buyer and the seller confirm mileage before taking the next step.

Nebraska Bill of Sale

In Nebraska, a bill of sale (form 6) is required if purchasing a vehicle from a private seller.

PrivateAuto includes a Nebraska bill of sale as part of our standard in-app transaction process. At the appropriate phase in the transaction, both you and the seller will be prompted to e-sign the bill of sale within the mobile PrivateAuto app.

The whole transaction, including the bill of sale, can be completed in a few minutes when you meet for the test drive and approve the car. It’s so fast and convenient you won’t believe it. And then, you will always have the electronic bill of sale accessible in your PrivateAuto account to prove that the transaction was legitimate.

Check the VIN Information

When purchasing a used car, always check the vehicle identification number 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 incorrect VIN on the title when you go to register your newly-bought car with the State of Nebraska.

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

Send Payment to the Seller

It’s time for you to pay the seller for the vehicle. Until PrivateAuto arrived on the scene there haven’t been a lot of safe ways to send large amounts of money in a private vehicle transaction.

Welcome to PrivateAuto Pay

Our integrated banking gateway, PrivateAuto Pay, allows you to instantly send any amount of cash. The seller will get the payment in a matter of seconds, whether it's late at night or a national holiday. We charge no payment processing fee. It’s truly revolutionary.

So, if you don’t like the idea of carrying a briefcase full of money or waiting for a check to clear, you’ll love PrivateAuto Pay.

Vehicle Financing Available

Oh, and if you didn't want to pay out-of-pocket for your next vehicle, you can apply for a used car loan right within the PrivateAuto app. Once you get approved, your profile will show that you have verified funds, making you stand out from other buyers.

When closing the deal and sending payment, our lending partner will pay the seller in full. You'll make monthly car payments to the lender. It's that easy. Wondering how much your payments will be? Our vehicle loan calculator will tell you.

Nebraska Title Transfer

The fundamental component of the entire transaction is transferring a Nebraska car title from seller to buyer. Once the seller signs the title and hands it to you, the vehicle is legally yours. There are still some steps remaining after the title transfer, but you now own the car.

To transfer Nebraska vehicle titles successfully, sellers must complete the Transfer of Title by Seller section on the front of the title certificate and include the name and address of the buyer, odometer information, the selling price, and the date sold.

What to Do When There is Joint Ownership

If there is more than one seller listed on the title, both sellers will need to sign the document in order for the title transfer to be legitimate.

Should You Conduct Title Research?

Before going to meet up with the seller, it’s always good to do preliminary research on the vehicle title.

Any Nebraska attorney will recommend using the National Insurance Crime Bureau website to research the title of a potential used car purchase 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:
The car having been declared a total loss in an insurance claim
Reports of the car having been stolen
Release of lien notation

Finalize with Nebraska DMV

When the seller is out of the picture and you own the vehicle, you need to finalize the process by visiting your local Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) location.

You’ll need to complete the following at your the DMV:
1. Finalizing the transfer of title with the State of Nebraska.
2. Registering the car in your name and getting new registration tags
3. Paying taxes and fees
4. Getting new license plates

Transfer the Title in Nebraska

After buying a used car in Nebraska from a private seller, you’ll need to complete an Application for Certificate of Title, attach it to the title, and submit it to the DMV along with the required documentation and payment.

In the state of Nebraska, transferring the car title and registering your vehicle will be done at the same time. When purchasing a used car, you will need to provide your local Nebraska department of motor vehicles commission office with the following documents:
The original title signed and dated by both the buyer and seller
Evidence of insurance card
The current odometer reading recorded on the original title

License Plates and Registration

Different states have different regulations for license plates in private vehicle sales. Some states allow the plates to remain with the vehicle and pass to the buyer. Unfortunately, Nebraska is not one of those states. When you buy a used car in Nebraska from a private owner, Nebraska laws mandate that the seller must remove the license plate from the car.

In the State of Nebraska, first-time registering can be done at the County Treasurer's office or by mail:

You’ll need to submit the following:
Bill of sale
Nebraska evidence of insurance card
Current odometer reading
License plate forms for new personalized or specialty plates

Nebraska Fees When Buying A Used Car

The car buying price never includes the used vehicle sales tax, registration, and title transfer fees, which the buyer will pay on top of the car itself.

Here are additional fees you'll pay beyond the purchase price when buying a used car in Nebraska:
Title fees begin at $29.25
Nebraska sales tax of 5.5% on the purchase price of the car
License fees are $15
Registration fees are $3.30

By the way, PrivateAuto charges no buyer fees. The buyer pays for the vehicle only and has no transaction-related costs on our platform.

Purchase Your Dream Car with PrivateAuto

PrivateAuto makes buying a used car fast and hassle-free. No matter if you’re looking for a Ram Pickup 1500, Toyota Tacoma, Tesla, or Honda CR-V, you’re sure to find a great deal on the ride of your dreams.

We are the only end-to-end car-buying platform that gives you everything you need to get the deal done, from making offers to sending payments.

Browse our used cars for sale in Nebraska.

Selling your vehicle? Choose PrivateAuto to get the best price and transact efficiently and safely!

Nebraska Car Buying Frequently Asked Questions

How to protect yourself when buying a car from a private seller?

To protect yourself when buying a car privately, we recommend the following practices:
1. Never give out your contact information
2. Deal with verified sellers only
3. Have a bill of sale to legally validate the transaction
4. Send the payment through PrivateAuto Pay

What kind of insurance does my used car need?

What is a temporary tag?

Is buying a car privately for cash a good idea?

Who pays for the title transfer fee in Nebraska?