How to Sell a Car in NC

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In recent years it’s gotten easier to sell a car in NC or other states because of the Internet. You can now use online sites to advertise and reach far more potential buyers. However, to sell a car in NC you need to know the rules set out by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and have a clear plan for marketing your old car. That way, you’ll sell your car in less time and with fewer headaches.

Things You'll Need

  • Car title
  • Bill of sale
  • Prepare everything before you put your car on the market. Make sure you have the title. If you don’t, contact the DMV to order a duplicate title. If you can’t get a duplicate title, the only way you can sell a car in North Carolina is by applying to the DMV to take out an indemnity bond.

  • Find out your car’s fair market value from the Kelly Blue Book (see link below) and prepare a bill of sale (you can access online tools for doing this using the other link at the end of this article).

  • Get your car ready to show to prospective buyers. Like a house, a car sells better if it’s clean and in good running condition. Have the car detailed and remove any personal decorations like bumper stickers. You may want to invest a few dollars in making minor repairs like fixing tears in the upholstery.

  • Mount an advertising campaign. Putting an ad up on car buying/selling websites is a great start. You can create a webpage with detailed photos and information. Placing flyers on local community and college bulletin boards is another effective strategy. Don’t neglect traditional methods like newspaper ads and local auto buying guides.

  • Do the required paperwork when you strike a deal. You need to fill out the back of the title with the buyer’s name, address and the date of the transaction. Include the odometer reading and fill out the “disclosure of defects” section. Sign the form in the presence of a notary public. The signature must be notarized to be valid in North Carolina. Have a bill of sale. This is a convenience for the buyer and once signed provides proof of the amount of the sale for both of you.

  • Remove the car tags before you turn the car over to the buyer. You can have the tags transferred to use on another vehicle through the DMV, or you can return them to one of their license removal locations. However, don’t cancel your liability insurance on the car until this is done. Until you turn the tags in or re-register them, you are still required to have liability insurance on the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make photocopies of documents for your records.

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