How to Sell a Truck without the Title

January 27, 2012

If you want to sell a truck, and the bank or finance company holds the title to the vehicle, you should know how to pay off your loan and transfer the truck title to the person who buys it (or to another bank is the buyer is getting a loan). If you have not yet paid off your truck, the loan company the legal owner of the truck while you are only registered owner. So, to help you sell your truck, when you don't have the title, here is a guide to show you how.

What You Will Need

  • Truck to sell
  • Someone to buy your truck
  • Customer service phone number of your bank or car loan lender

Step 1 - Find Someone to Buy Your Truck

First, you need to find someone to buy your truck. So, you may want to place an ad in your local newspaper or place a classified ad on the Internet. If you want to find out how much a vehicle is worth, the Kelley Blue Book pricing guide or the Edmunds Pricing Guide can help you find out what the average market value for your type of vehicle is. Regardless of how much you want to sell your vehicle for, you should make sure the selling price at least covers the outstanding loan balance with your bank.

Step 2 - Ask the Bank about the Payoff Amount

When you find someone willing to buy your truck, you'll first need to contact your bank before completing the sale. Dial the number for customer service that should be listed on your monthly car statement and ask them what the payoff amount is for your car loan. They should give you what is often referred to as a 10 day payoff amount. This is the amount, including accrued interest charges, that will satisfy your loan application if paid within 10 days. However, if you can't pay off the loan within 10 days, other interest charges may be applied by your bank before releasing the title.

Step 3 - Complete Sale of the Truck

Now that now that you know the payoff amount of your loan, you can complete the sale of the vehicle. If your buyer pays you cash for the vehicle, simply receive the money or cashier's check and then give him/her a bill of sale for the truck. If the person buying a truck is getting a car loan, there may be documents that you need to sign before the buyer's bank will issue you a check.

Step 4 - Pay Off the Loan to the Bank

After you receive the cash from the sale of vehicle, or the check has cleared your bank, purchase a money order or cashier's check for the payoff amount of your car loan. While you could send them a personal check, a money order or cashier's check will make processing that transfer of title much faster. Also, you should send the check via priority mail so that delays in the mail won't prohibit the quick transfer of the title.

Step 5 - Have Title Transferred to New Legal Owner

When sending your payoff amount to the bank or car loan lender, drop a quick note in the envelope that states the name of the new owner of the vehicle. Also list the buyer's address, so that your bank can send the truck title to them. If the buyer used a car loan to buy your truck, your bank will probably just send the title directly to your buyer's lender.