Click here for a Bill of Sale

Congratulations! You bought a car, so now what do you have to do?

Once the decision to purchase has been made, it's time to close the deal. If buying from a private seller, bring along two 'Bill of Sale' papers. One is for you and the other is for the seller. At this point, the seller should give you the title to the car. When you have the title, compare the V.I.N. on it to the number on the car. This number should match EXACTLY. If there are any differences, blemishes, or erasure marks, then you should not proceed to purchase the vehicle. Any differences would mean that the title is not for that vehicle, and any blemishes or erasure marks will most often be rejected by the D.M.V., which means that you will not be able to title nor plate the car. If there is more than one name listed under 'Owner(s)', then BOTH names must sign the title, not just one! In most cases, if the seller has an out of state title, then you will have to have a police officer verify the VIN before you can get your registration.

If the seller still has a lien, it is crucial that you know that their finance company will not release the title to you unless the entire balance is paid in full! There are different ways to go about this, which will be subject to your individual situation. If you are taking out a loan for the car, then talk to your loan officer and explain to him or her that there is an existing lien on the car you want to purchase and how you should go about proceeding with the sale. Most will want the buyer to come to the bank and sign a power of attorney and they will make the check payable to the sellers finance company, instead of the actual seller.

If you are paying cash and the seller has a lien, then contact the company the seller has their lien with and explain to them the sales price and who you should write to the check out to as well as where to mail it. (Do NOT write a check directly to the seller) These are very touchy subjects that require a different approach depending on the lenders rules, so be sure that if you want the vehicle, always get a signed bill of sale in addition to any paperwork the companies give you. If the balance is higher than the sales price, then the seller must pay the difference in order for the lender to close the account and release the title.

How much of my payment is interest?

The amount of interest per payment will change every month based on your balance. To calculate the exact amount of interest per payment, we will give you an example of a loan and demonstrate how the payment stays the same, however the ratio of principal v/s balances changes. For the following example, we will use a loan with an amount to finance of $15,000, an interest rate of 7.5%, and a term of 48 months, with a monthly payment of $362.68. (Note: The $15,000 is not the sales price of the car, it is the amount to finance after taxes, fees, and down payments.)

The formula to figure out how much of your payment goes to interest is as follows: (Balance * Rate) / 12 = Interest applied to payment.
So for your first payment, we would use the following calculation to figure how much of your monthly payment is going towards interest: ($15,000 * 7.5%) / 12 = $93.75
This would be the amount of money applied to the principal balance from your first payment: $362.68 - $93.75 = $268.93

Buying a car can sometimes be a very stressful if you are not familiar with how to proceed with the transaction. After spending about 45 minuates looking over the vehicle, you want to make sure all that time was well worth it. The only variable that will change depending on your location is the smog/emission testing. In many cases, it is the buyers responsibility to have the vehicle inspected, however you should contact your DMV to be certain. Below we have a link to each DMV for every state in the US. Please bookmark us as we continue to update this site.

Click on any of the 50 States below to visit the
Official DMV website of the State. (opens in new window)

Alaska Alabama Arkansas Arizona California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Iowa Idaho Illinois Indiana
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana North Carolina North Dakota Nebraska New Hampshire
New Jersey New Mexico New York Nevada Ohio
Oklahoma Oregan Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia
Vermont Washington Wisconsin West Virginia Wyoming

Just Added!!! ---> Frequently Asked Questions

Can I return my car within 72 hours?

The is no truth to the 3 day "Right to Rescind" on vehicle purchases. Once you take physical delivery, the vehicle is yours unless the financing falls through. California offers the buyer to purchase a 3 day return option, however it must be done prior to taking delivery. Otherwise, unless the dealership offers a return policy, the sale is final.

Do I have to be 18 to buy a car?

You can not sign any vehicle contracts unless you are either 18, or have been deemed an "Emancipated Minor" by the courts.

Are there any Used Car Lemon Laws?

Actually there are states which have Used Car Lemon Laws, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York to be exact. Each of the mentioned states have different definitions of what actually qualifies as a "Lemon".

New Car Lemon Laws have guidelines that also vary per state; typically involving a specific amount of attempts to fix the SAME problem or the amount of time a person is without their vehicle. People get understandably upset when their new car breaks down, however blaming the dealership is not the answer since they are not the ones who built the car. This is a great question because simply having problems with a vehicle does not automatically make it a lemon.

Below are the links to the 6 States with Used Car Lemon Laws

What does it mean when they say Residency Restrictions apply?

In some rare cases, rebates only apply to a certain City or area. A good example of this is the Auto Show. When it's in Detroit, the "Auto Show" rebate only applies to residents in a close radius. Once the Auto Show moves to Chicago, then the rebate only applies to Chicagoland residence. This is just 1 example, however it's basically what they mean by "Residency Restrictions"

Can the dealership make me bring back the car?

Unfortunately, all contracts are void if the lender rejects the loan. IF this happens to you, take the vehicle back ASAP as well as cancel any insurance you may have purchased for the car. Whether you buy from a small dealership, or one in a large auto mall, all contracts are void if the lender rejects the loan. Also, do not hide the car because that is theft and you can go to jail. The car is not yours, it belongs to the dealership.

Can I trade in a Leased Car?

Technically, you can not actually "Trade" in a leased car. The dealership would adjust the sales price to compensate for the equity/negative equity in your 'trade'. Your buyers order would not list a trade. In this case, either you or the dealership will call for a buyout amount. The dealer will compare the figure to how much it would cost to pay off your remaining payments. This amount will be used to adjust the selling price. Also, the dealerships often get a lower buyout amount than you do, so you will want to let them get a figure for you.

What happens when I trade in a car that I still owe money on?

If you trade the car in to a dealership, they pay off the loan. Depending on your trade in value v/s payoff, you might get money added to your new loan (negative equity) or money applied to your loan. If you have negative, it will increase your payment. It's still your responsibility to make sure they pay it on time. In addition, if you have a payment due and the dealership pays the loan late, you will get a blemish on your credit. Your current vehicle loan is your responsibility until the dealership finalizes their end and sends the check.

If you do get a blemish because of a delinquent payment from the dealer, it will NOT be removed. Even if you have paperwork stating the dealership bought the car, that will not matter because the lender only cares about your current agreement with them.

Do I get a sales tax credit when I trade in my car?

This depends on which state you live in. California, Hawaii, Maryland, and Michigan do NOT give tax credit on trade-in vehicles. Also, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not currently charge sales tax on vehicle purchases.

Can I get a better deal buying in this Recession?

Used car prices are all proportioned. This means that if the car prices at the auctions lower, then the sales prices might lower as well. The economy does not effect the sales of used cars as much as new.

Used car dealerships operate strictly by profit because there is no hold back or manufacture stair step money. Since they rely on profit, they can not lower prices simply because there is a 'recession' unless they car buy cars for less at the auctions. They still must make their fair share of profit to stay in business, so in short unless the dealers cost decreases, their sales prices will remain where they are today.

More to come and don't forget to bookmark us!

We are not affiliated with any other automotive web site, company, or lending institution. We give our customers the tools they need to make an educated purchasing decision for themselves. We offer no opinions in regards to which manufacturer, make, or model a customer should purchase. This system has been designed around actual car buyers who experienced problems, some severe, and is beneficial to use whether you are going by yourself, or bringing someone to help you look at the vehicle. The program is 'dealership friendly' and has been developed with cooperation from Auto Mechanics, Sales Consultants, and Sales Managers. The Auto Evaluator is a guide, not a guarantee and always consult a qualified mechanic. The Auto Evaluator and all it contains is a TradeMark of Mistar Enterprises, LLC.