How to Sell a Car in Texas: Laws, Paperwork, and Methods to Consider

January 27, 2012

If you are looking to sell your car in Texas, there are some you should keep in mind that are specific to Texas. Each state has unique processes to go through, and being aware of them is the best way to ensure the sale goes smoothly. Because Texas is such a large state, there are also strategies that will make your life easier as a seller.

Step One: Check Insurance

The first thing you need to make sure of is your car is insured. By Texas law, your car must be insured when you sell it. It is also the seller's responsibility to provide insurance for the first 30 days after the date of sale. If you drive your car normally, you will most likely already have it insured. If you do not drive the car very often, make sure it is insured.

Step Two: Decide Where to Sell

You will want to find the optimal placement for your vehicle's ad. If you sell locally, you will not have to worry about buyers who are not able to travel far distances to buy. On the other hand, if you broaden your area of coverage, you will have more potential buyers. It depends how far you are willing to travel in order to complete the sale. Make an Internet search with keywords like 'sell car Dallas' or 'sell car San Antonio' or wherever would be the best market for your location. If you are selling a truck, also look for sites like 'truck listings Houston.'

Step Three: Secure the Payment

When accepting payment for a car, make sure you protect yourself from risk. You should only accept cash, cashier's check or money order. While it may be tempting to make life easier for the buyer, you run a great risk of not getting your money if you accept a personal check. If you are selling the car for enough money that the buyer has to secure financing, make sure you are paid in full. This will protect you from having to go through the process of repossessing the car if your buyer falls behind on payments.

Step Four: Transfer the Title

Once payment has been securely received, sign the title over to the buyer. On the vehicle title, there is a section where you can sign it over to a new owner. Fill this out completely, sign it and give it to the buyer. In addition, provide the buyer with a bill of sale, with the words 'paid in full' written. Obtain a title transfer form from the county. Fill out the form, sign it and take it to the county office along with the title certificate. Texas law requires you complete this within a month of the sale of your car. It officially and legally completes the process.

With these particulars in mind, selling your car in Texas will be easy, surprise-free and most importantly safe and secure.

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