How To Legally Sell Your Car in Los Angeles

Cali Car Buyers explains the legal and proper way to sell your car in Los Angeles.
Cali Car Buyers provides tips and tricks on how to legally sell your car in los angeles california

Chances are at some point in your life, you will have to buy a car. Here in Los Angeles, as much as we love our public transportation system and the money saving benefits it provides; for most having a car in such a large city becomes a necessity. Additionally there comes a time in our lives where we must part ways with our beloved ride. If you’ve tried selling solo, you may already be familiar with just how challenging the process becomes. This process quickly develops into an annoying pain filled with scams, lowballs and an overall outright headache! So, before you post your car on the classifieds, let’s talk about selling your car- the right way.  

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the three most  important things that should be done when selling your car are: 

  • Release of your ownership of the car by signing the designating line on the title certificate.
  • A valid smog certificate, if applicable.
  • The odometer reading, if the car is less than 10 years old.”

Imagine this – you’re selling your car in Los Angeles and decide to post an ad on Craigslist. A few days have passed and you’ve amassed a few prospective buyers. The prospective buyers are “eager” with  “cash in hand” and readily reply “I’ll come right now”. The prospects soon start being overtly pushy about purchasing with offers that make you ask yourself if these people are crazy! In truth, these so-called “buyers” may very well be  a number of people- including those within the infamous business of illegal and unlicensed “buy and flippers”. These “buy and flippers” tend to resell YOUR car while still under your name, posing to be you! This is fraud, and unfortunately a grim reality of the used car market. Due to this, as the seller you have a large  responsibility that goes beyond signing and handing over a title. At Cali Car Buyers we provide a guide… the right way to sell your ride!

#1 Gather your Paperwork!

As the seller, you have the responsibility to conduct your own due diligence. Due diligence: taking all necessary steps to satisfy the requirements of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Start by making sure you gather the proper forms! Your California Title, also called the “Pink Slip”, is crucial. Sign all of the necessary sections along with dating and writing down the correct odometer reading on the date of sale! On the DMV website, you will also find another crucial form called the  “Bill of Sale”, which the new owner will need when registering the vehicle.

#2 Do Not Forgot your California Smog Check!

In the State of California, all private parties selling their vehicle must possess a valid Smog Check to pass onto the buyer. Reason being, is to control emissions and ensure we sell a properly working vehicle. In order to pass the smog, your vehicle must not have any mechanical lights appearing on the dashboard such as your “Check Engine” or “Service Engine” light. Making all necessary repairs is crucial to pass Smog! 

#3 Find the Right Buyer & Transfer the Ownership

Some proven techniques to sell your car is  posting on local classifieds such as Craigslist, Ebay, PennySaver, etc. In our technological era, using applications such as OfferUp and LetGo, and popular automobile websites like  CarGurus and AutoTrader are also good options! When you’re ready to transfer ownership your personal safety is paramount. Always deal locally during daylight hours and at public locations. Bringing a buddy to accompany you is a great idea.

Once you’ve found the right buyer, it’s time to transfer ownership. On your title there is a release of liability and as the seller, either mailing  or submitting this form online is integral. Doing this will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that you have sold your car and that their is now a new owner.

By gathering a few forms, communicating with the DMV, and ensuring you protect yourself physically and legally is all it takes! We have attached a few links below with more guidance in helping you privately sell your car along with the online links to transfer ownership and liability! However, if all of this seems tedious, Cali Car Buyers is an alternative to private party sales and dealership trade-in offers.

Cali Car Buyers: The Ultimate Way To Sell Your Car 

CaliCarBuyers.com is a local licensed and bonded auto dealer serving the greater Los Angeles area. Our sole objective is to provide a safe and hassle-free alternative than dealing with auto dealerships and private party sales. We offer fair market trade-in value on all cars and unlike private party sales, you do not need to conduct a State Smog! Their only requirement is to make sure you have the vehicle title! Visit our site by clicking here!

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Useful links

  • https://www.dmv.org/ca-california/buy-sell/selling-your-car/paper-work-when-selling-a-car.php
  • https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/sell
  • https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/topbuysell

*Disclaimer, use this guide under your own discretion. Conduct your research. We are not a lawyer, this is only intended for reference. 

Cali Car Buyers

Cali Car Buyers is the best used car buyer serving the entire Los Angeles county. We buy all cars year 2000 and newer, we pay cash, pick up for free, and handle all DMV paperwork. 

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