Receiving payment - Running a Car
Once you've found a buyer for your car, there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself against threats such as theft, fraud and time wasters.
• Once a price has been agreed, take a deposit, and make it clear that it is non-refundable. That way, if the buyer pulls out and you have to re-advertise, you won't be out of pocket.
• Never hand over the car or any paperwork until you have been paid the full agreed price.
• Be wary of anyone who has lots of money in cash. Counting large amounts of money is not quick, and if you rush you could miscount or fail to spot counterfeit banknotes. The buyer may also be trying to launder stolen money. If you must accept cash, then pay it into your bank before you hand over the car.
• Don't assume a banker's draft is as good as cash. They can be forged, and even the banks themselves can be taken in for a couple of days before they realise it's a forgery and reject it.
• Combat fake banker's drafts, bouncing cheques or a potentially fraudulent foreign buyer by waiting six full business days for the funds to clear. Under banking rules introduced in 2007, you're guaranteed that the bank will pay the funds, even if the buyer's cheque turns out to be fraudulent at a later date.
• CHAPS payments or direct money transfers are safest when selling. It's quick, and you'll know that the money is 'real' once it's in your account.
• Prepare two copies of a written sales agreement, and make sure you both sign and date each copy.
Include the following:
• Make and model
• Registration number and VIN
• Year of registration
• Mileage (if known to be genuine. If not, state 'mileage not verified')
• Agreed sale price and the deposit paid
• Buyer's name and address
• Your name and address
• Note that the vehicle is 'sold as seen'