How to Write a Contract for Selling a Used Car

A contract for selling a used car should protect all parties involved.

When selling a used vehicle, it's important to create a contract that protects all parties involved. The contract should lay out the terms of the sale, the type of vehicle involved and what types of payment are acceptable to the seller. Plus, the seller should be clear about what documents will be furnished at the time of sale, such as vehicle title, odometer disclosure statement and smog inspection results.


Step 1

Create a line for the seller and buyer information. The first line of your contract should state that the seller agrees to sell the buyer the vehicle. Make sure to include the full legal name of both seller and buyer and include the make, model and year of the vehicle.

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Step 2

Include a section that details the date of sale and the used-vehicle price. For example: "The date of the sale is Feb. 22, 2009, and the agreed price is $2,000."


Step 3

Disclose acceptable forms of payment. This is the section of your used-vehicle contract where you state what methods of payment are acceptable to you. For example: "On the date of the sale, the seller will accept only cash or a money order from the buyer."

Step 4

Include a section that discusses your responsibilities as the seller. For example, on the date of the sale, you may promise to furnish the vehicle title, registration and odometer disclosure statement. Since the vehicle is used, you also may want to provide proof that the vehicle has passed a recent smog inspection.


Step 5

State that the vehicle is sold in "as is" condition. When selling a used vehicle, it's important to include language about the vehicle condition. For example: "The vehicle is sold in 'as is' condition, and the seller makes no warranties about the condition of the vehicle."


Make a copy of your vehicle’s maintenance records. If the buyer claims there were issues with the car, it’s helpful to have good maintenance records to prove the vehicle was in good condition.


Don’t accept personal checks. If the buyer’s check isn’t good, the seller is left without the payment, the title or the car.