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A bill of sale can be tricky to write and easy to get wrong. Happily, there are plenty of templates available online that are easily customised and ready to be used in no time.
In this guide, we explain what a bill of sale for cars is, what clauses it should include and where to find legal templates to help get you started.
What is a bill of sale (car)?
Also known as a sales receipt or proof of purchase, a bill of sale (cars) is a legal document used to transfer the ownership of a vehicle between a seller and a purchaser. A bill of sale is essentially a legal sales receipt, which must include all the details of the transaction, such as the amount of money offered in exchange for the car being sold.
The seller can either be an individual or a company selling vehicles. Similarly, the buyer can be an individual or a company interested in buying a car.
Get a bill of sale template (car)
Download this template at Lawpath
More on where to find car bill of sale templates
You do not have to create a bill of sale when selling a car from scratch. Plenty of services online offer legal templates for free or in exchange for a small fee. Find car bill of sale templates on the following sites:
- LawDepot. Answer several questions on LawDepot's website to receive a customised car bill of sale. The cost to download the document costs $19. Alternatively, get access to an unlimited amount of legal documents and templates when you subscribe to LawDepot, starting at $4.99 per month.
- LawPath. It only takes 10 minutes to customise one of the many free templates that you can find on this website. The first document is free. If you require more templates, you can subscribe to LawPath for $24 per month to access an unlimited number of legal documents.
- Microsoft Office Templates. Download a free motor vehicle bill of sale template from the Microsoft Office website. To customise the document you'll need access to a word processor such as Microsoft Word.
- LegalTemplates. Download a customisable PDF or Word car bill of sale for free via LegalTemplates's website. As LegalTemplate is based in the US, care will need to be taken to adjust the bill of sale so that it abides by Australian law.
You can find more legal documents and templates here.
What clauses does a bill of sale (car) include?
A bill of sale (car) is a private agreement between a seller and a purchaser. It includes relevant details about the transactions and the vehicle which is being sold. This includes as follows:
- Buyer and seller information. Personal information such as the name, address, email and telephone number of both the buyer and the seller
- Vehicle information. Information about the vehicle such as the model, make and year of the car.
- Odometer disclosure statement. The mileage of the car at the time of signing the bill of sale. A confirmation statement by the seller declaring that the odometer has never been tampered with is also included.
- Payment terms. The purchase price for the car along with how and when the payments are to be made.
- Ownership transfer. A statement explaining that the ownership of the car is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
If you're unsure whether your car bill of sale contains all the clauses it needs to, then you may want to get in touch with a legal professional.
Bill of sale (car) vs sales contract
A bill of sale is used to exchange a vehicle and is signed by the seller and the buyer during, or immediately after, the exchange of ownership of the car. The seller usually buys the car "as is" and they can demonstrate their rights on the vehicle at any moment.
On the other hand, a sales contract regards the future sale of the car between the seller and the purchaser. Regardless of when the ownership of the vehicle is exchanged, this document is always signed before the transaction happens.
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Frequently asked questions
When should I use a bill of sale for cars?
A bill of sale for cars should be used when a vehicle is being bought or sold. The document is a confirmation of the transfer of ownership of the car.
How effective is a bill of sale for cars?
The bill of sale for cars acts as evidence to prove that the vehicle was sold from a person (or company) to another. In case of a dispute or any legal problem, this document can be used in court by both the seller and the buyer.
The bill also showcases information about the legal owner of the car. For example, it can be used when registering a new car, or to demonstrate that you are not liable for any fines and violations associated with a vehicle that you have sold.
Do I need a lawyer to write a bill of sale for cars?
When it comes to writing and signing a bill of sale for cars, hiring a lawyer is not compulsory. However, one of the conditions of this contract is that the vehicle is accepted "as is", meaning that the purchaser must review the current conditions of the car before signing the contract.
Once the agreement is reached, the seller is not liable for any issues with the car or any features that may not function properly. For this reason, seeking the help of a lawyer may be useful to ensure that both parties understand the terms of the agreement.
How do I write a bill of sale for cars?
When writing your bill of sale, you can use one of the templates listed above. All you need to do is to complete these forms with your information and the details of your transaction. Both the seller and the purchaser must agree to the terms and sign the document.Back to top
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