Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller in Oklahoma

If you’re looking to buy a private-party used car, you’re smart. Dealerships charge fees and markups, which you can avoid when you buy directly from an individual. Let’s walk through the entire transaction process for the state of Oklahoma.
The private-party car market is filled with scams and fraudsters, and private transactions can be intimidating.

PrivateAuto streamlines the private car buying experience and makes it easy and safe. From encrypted messaging to instantaneous payments, we are the only transactional marketplace for private-party used vehicles.

Should I Purchase from a Dealer or a Private Party?

Dealerships can be more convenient (before PrivateAuto, that is), while private-party cars offer better value.

The private-party vehicle purchase offers the following advantages:

1. You drive the deal on your terms. PrivateAuto allows you to make offers and negotiate the best deal directly with the seller.
2. Get a better price by cutting out the middleman and going straight to the source. Dealers must buy low and sell high to make a profit and keep the lights on. You don’t need to fund them.
3. Avoid dealer fees. Car dealerships charge documentation fees that range from $50 to over $1,000.
4. Enjoy security and convenience when you do the deal with PrivateAuto. Our transactional marketplace gives dealer-like convenience in the palm of your hand. From scheduling the test drive to sending instant payments, you’ll love how easy the process is.
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Oklahoma Used Car-Buying Process

In Oklahoma, you will go through the following steps when buying a used car from a private owner:

1. Find a car
2. Research the car
3. Arrange the test drive
4. Inspect the car
5. Sign the bill of sale
6. Pay the seller
7. Have the seller sign over the title
8. Insure the car
9. Register and title the car in your name
10. Pay sales taxes and fees
11. Get a new plate

Let's go over these steps in more detail.

Browse Used Cars Online

You’ll probably want to shop online, regardless if you are searching for a work truck, a classic car, or a family SUV.

There are lots of car-buying platforms with used cars for sale by owner:

Online classifieds
National classifieds such as Craigslist and OfferUp.
Local classifieds such as KSL Cars.
Vehicle listing sites such as Autotrader.
Social media listings.
Auction websites such as Cars and Bids and Hemmings.

While these platforms help you find used cars in your area, all of them lack transactional capability. Because they leave you to your own devices when it comes down to closing the deal we call them "meetingplaces".

Another major downside to most of these websites is that they mix dealer inventory with private-party cars. Most of them don’t have an easy way to filter by private-party vehicles, so you’re left burrowing through a glut of dealer listings to find the private offerings.

We’re the world’s first and only fully self-service tech-enabled solution for every stage of the deal.

We have nothing against other listing sites. If you find your car on one of them, we’re happy for you. 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 start a deal on any site, and finish it on PrivateAuto. Invite the seller to DealNow and fast-track your transaction.

Research the Vehicle

It’s a great idea to do some research on the vehicle beforehand. A vehicle history report can help you avoid buying a bad car.

We have partnered with AutoCheck to provide vehicle history reports on premium listings. AutoCheck gets its data from these sources:

Car dealerships and extended warranty companies.
State Departments of Motor Vehicles (BMVs).
OEM manufacturers.
Auto auctions.
Salvage auctions.
Service records from maintenance facilities.
Import and export companies.
Rental and fleet companies.
Collision repair shops.
Insurance companies.
Vehicle inspection and state inspection stations.

An AutoCheck report reveals important info about the car’s history that you should know.

Title history: salvage titles, junk titles, flood damage, hail damage, storm damage, fire damage, and more.
City and state of previous registration, number of owners.
Accidents and damage reports, stolen vehicles.
Regular maintenance (or lack thereof).
Manufacturer buybacks or lemon titles.
Rental, taxi, lease, or government use.
Lien information, vehicle ownership transfers.
Odometer rollback.
Emissions records.
Collision repair history.
Major repairs.
Open recalls.
Structural or frame damage.
Service, repair, and maintenance performed.
Total loss and reason for the loss.
Stolen vehicles.

Go for a Test Drive

Once you’ve found your dream car and settled on a price, it's time to take it for a spin.
Other marketplaces force you to exchange sensitive info with the seller and have a dreadful back-and-forth conversation about scheduling. Your privacy is compromised, and you waste a lot of time.

We keep your sensitive info private and secure. All communication happens through our secure messaging system. Our in-app scheduler makes it easy to schedule the meetup: just select from the seller’s available times and show up at their designated location.

Vehicle Inspection

Before buying the car, you should inspect it. Even better, arrange a professional pre-purchase inspection by a qualified mechanic (especially if it’s a higher-mileage vehicle).

Here are some of the things to inspect:

Body: check for obvious damage, body panel alignment, uneven gaps, mismatched paint, and signs of damage repair. Look closely for any indications of collision repair. Check for rust underneath and around various body panels. Check headlights, brake lights, and other lights.
Undercarriage: inspect under the car for leaks, rust, and damage. Look at brake lines, exhaust, and suspension components.
Fluids: check all fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. Look for leaks and make sure the fluids look clean and at proper levels.
Tires: examine tire treads and make sure there is sufficient tread depth. Also look for any cracks, bulges, or other tire damage. Check the spare as well.
Maintenance records: review the vehicle history report and check maintenance logs to understand repair and ownership history.
Test drive: drive the car under different conditions to test acceleration, braking, steering, and transmission, and to feel and listen for any mechanical issues.
Interior: ensure all controls, electronics, air conditioning, and heating work properly. Look for any warning lights on the dash when the car is started. Check for water damage, stains, or tears inside.

Sign an Oklahoma Bill of Sale

Oklahoma requires a bill of sale in private-party car transactions. The bill of sale is a legal document that protects both buyer and seller by memorializing the terms of the sale.

Here are the necessary elements in a bill of sale:

The make, model, and year of the car.
Date of the transaction.
Price of the car.
Your full name and signature.
The other party’s full name and signature.
A description of the car.
A warranty disclaimer stating the car is being sold as-is.

PrivateAuto provides an official Oklahoma bill of sale as part of our standard in-app transaction process. At the appropriate stage of the transaction workflow, the buyer and seller will be asked to sign the Oklahoma bill of sale electronically in the PrivateAuto app.

Pay for the Car

It's time to pay the seller. Existing payment methods are inconvenient, risky, or expensive (or a combo of all three). That’s why we developed PrivateAuto Pay.

You can send unlimited funds to the seller with no transfer fees. Holidays, weekends, or nights—anytime. The seller will receive the money immediately. It’s convenient, secure, and most importantly, easy to use. Its instantaneous nature provides escrow-like safeguards for you to control the deal.

If you are not in a place where you can pay cash for your next car, you can apply for a used auto loan directly within the PrivateAuto app. When your application is approved, your profile will show that you have verified funds, which will set you apart from other buyers.

Our lending partner will pay the seller in full when you close the deal and send payment. You will make monthly car payments to the lender. It's that simple. Want to know how much your payments will be? Our car loan calculator will tell you.

Sign the Official Title

After you’ve paid for the car, you and the seller will each fill out and sign the certificate of title, and the seller will give it to you. This is the crowning step that makes you the official owner of the vehicle.

Both parties need to fill out the title certificate thoroughly. The following info is required:

Damage disclosure statement
An odometer disclosure statement (in many states)

Odometer Disclosure

Federal law requires the seller to complete the odometer reading statement (also known as an odometer disclosure). In many states, the title includes an odometer disclosure. For other states, an additional odometer disclosure statement is required as a separate document.

You can always complete the Federal Odometer Disclosure Statement to make sure your bases are covered.

Inspect the odometer to verify that the seller’s entry is correct. Keep in mind that sellers who tamper with a car's odometer to obtain a false reading can face serious consequences.

The PrivateAuto app has a field for the odometer reading so that both the buyer and the seller can check the mileage before moving forward.

VIN Check

Always verify the VIN to compare it to that written on the title. You want to avoid having the wrong VIN on the car title, as this will cause all sorts of grief later on.

The PrivateAuto app has a field for the VIN, where both the buyer and seller can check it for accuracy. This helps to eliminate errors (or the rare case of outright seller fraud).

Get Auto Insurance

Before driving the car home, you’ll want to have it covered under an insurance policy. Most states require liability insurance at a minimum; it’s up to you whether to get more coverage.

PrivateAuto makes it easy to compare rates and get car insurance right in our app.
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Finalize with Oklahoma MVC

You technically own the car at this point, but the Oklahoma MVC needs to be aware of that. It’s time to register the car in your name, transfer the title in the state records, and get a new license plate. They will require the following:

Properly Assigned Purchase Agreement (or Form 722-1 )
A completed Notice of Transfer of Ownership of a Vehicle form
Payment for Oklahoma’s vehicle title transfer fee: $17.
Payment for Oklahoma vehicle registration fee: from $26 to $96.
Payment for Oklahoma combined vehicle sales tax: 4.5% of your vehicle's purchase price
Payment for the tire tax
Payment for the VIN inspection fee: $4.
Valid ID, driver's license, or other proof of identity.
Lien information (if there is a lien holder on the title).
Proof of insurance.
Completed odometer disclosure statement (if applicable)

License Plates

Some states allow the license plates to remain with the car when sold. Oklahoma requires the seller to remove the plates from the car. As the buyer, you’ll apply to the MVC for a new Oklahoma license plate (the cost of a standard plate is included in vehicle registration).

Oklahoma Vehicle FAQ

Does Oklahoma charge two types of taxes?

According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, Oklahoma levies two taxes on motor vehicles.

1. Vehicle excise tax: $20 on the first $1,500 of vehicle value and 3.25% on the rest of the value. The value is assumed to be the same as the car’s sales price, unless there’s a significant discrepancy (covered below).
2. Sales tax: 1.25% of the value of the car.

What is the difference between a title fee and a title transfer fee in Oklahoma?

How does the OTC establish the value of cars in Oklahoma?

How much is vehicle registration renewal in Oklahoma?

How much is a duplicate title fee in Oklahoma?

Does Oklahoma offer temporary registrations?

Is registration less expensive for electric vehicles in Oklahoma?

What is the sales use tax rate in Oklahoma City?