Texas Buying and Selling

When you buy or sell your vehicle in Texas, there are certain steps that you must follow in order to be legal within the state.  Texas has state specific guidelines for purchasing, titling, registering and other responsibility that you are responsible for, as a driver.  Texas sets state laws to ensure that whether you are purchasing or selling your vehicle you are protected under the law.  4dmv.com realizes that it is not always easy to follow the directions set by the state which is why we have compiled this easy to understand guide that will bring you all the state specific information you need to know.

Texas Vehicle History Reports

Texas vehicle history reports are helpful for both the buyer of a vehicle and the seller.  A Texas vehicle history report allows the interested car buyer to know all the specific details regarding the vehicles past history.  This includes information such as the number of owners the vehicle has had, the number of accidents it has been in, if any, whether the vehicle has ever been salvaged, the service repair reports on the vehicle, and so on.  Any buyer interested in a used vehicle should definitely obtain a vehicle history report to ensure that they are not purchasing a lemon.  Vehicle history reports can be obtained online for a minimal charge.  For more information on how to obtain a vehicle history report online visit 4dmv.com’s section title Vehicle History Reports.

The buyer is not the only person that benefits from a vehicle history report.  The seller can also benefit tremendously.  Many times a seller presents their car in the best light possible.  But, when they can back the car’s condition up with a vehicle history report, it is often times the greatest selling point they have.

Whether buying or selling a vehicle, a vehicle history report is something that you should consider.

Texas New Car Dealer Purchase

Many motorists in the market for a new car prefer to purchase from a car dealer.  This is simply because, whether the purchase is of a new or used vehicle, there is a certain security that the car buyer receives.  New cars have the advantage of coverage through warranty, which some used cars may have as well.  Any buyer purchasing a new car also has the advantage of the Lemon Law.  There are specific guidelines that should be followed in regards to the purchase of a new or used vehicle, which are:

  • For all used car buyers, the dealer should give documentation that the vehicle is drivable.
  • Certification that the vehicle has been inspected and passes smog and emissions requirements must be provided.
  • The vehicle must have been inspected at least 30 days prior to its sale
  • The auto dealer should give you a detailed packet of all the parts and services covered under warranty.
  • A Bill of Sale needs to be included in the sale which states the specific condition of the car as well as other important information
  • An odometer reading as well as salvage disclosure must be provided with the sale of the vehicle
  • Should the vehicle been used as a fleet car there must be disclosure of this in the sales contract
  • Titling and registration will be handled by most dealerships
Dealership Purchase Tips

Although purchasing a new or used car through a dealer often times means greater security there are some tips that you should be aware of.

  • Prior to purchasing your vehicle you should research it online.  This can be done through vehicle reviews, consumer reports, and other online resources that are free to consumers and will help ensure that they make an informed decision regarding the vehicle.
  • The best times to purchase from an auto dealer are the first of the month, the last of the month, the end of summer, or the last few weeks of December.  During these times you will find the best price breaks, bonuses, rebates and sales.
  • Always visit more than one dealership to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal.
  • Should the vehicle that you are interested in needs to be ordered by the dealer, you should receive the same price as those vehicles that are on the lot.
  • Bring ads with you when you are shopping of comparison vehicles that are offered for a cheaper price to give the dealer incentive to bargain.
Texas Private Seller Purchases

Purchasing a vehicle from a third party in Texas is a bit more complicated.  To begin, the buyer is responsible for the paperwork such as titling the vehicle and registering it.  While there are some great used vehicles on the market, there is also the risk of purchasing a lemon.  To ensure your purchase, 4dmv.com recommends that you obtain a vehicle history report on the vehicle prior to its purchase as well as having the vehicle inspected.

Prior to meeting the vehicle owner, familiarize yourself with him/her on the telephone.  Ask question to determine the credibility of the seller.  Should you feel as though you are interested in the vehicle, make arrangements to see it in an area that is safe for the both of you.

Should you decide to purchase the vehicle you will be responsible for:

  • Obtaining proof of ownership from the seller such as a Bill of Sale
  • Odometer disclosure
  • The amount the vehicle was purchased for
  • Lien holder statement certifying any liens on the vehicle have been satisfied.
Selling Your Texas Vehicle

When you decide to sell you vehicle, there is documentation you will be responsible for.  This documentation is vital to protect you as the owner of the vehicle.  As the owner of the vehicle you will have different options in selling your car such as trading it in to a dealership, selling it through a private party or donating it to charity.

When you decide to sell your car through a private party, you will need to ensure that you the proper documentation to the buyer so that they can transfer the title and remove register the vehicle in their name.  This removes you from being liable for the vehicle.  It is always suggested to keep a Bill of Sale for yourself as well as providing one for the buyer to ensure your safety.

When you sell your vehicle you should remove your license plates and registration sticker from the vehicle, this will ensure that should something occur, you are not cited as the vehicle’s owner.

Buying or Selling Without Title

If a vehicle can be bought or sold in the state of Texas, a title must be present.  If you are the seller of the car and cannot find the title then a duplicate you must file for a duplicate title.  For more information on titling a vehicle visit our Titling Section.

Buying or Selling Without A Registration

When you are selling a vehicle, it is your responsibility to have the registration of the vehicle.  Should you not be able to find the vehicle’s registration at the time you wish to sell then you will need to obtain a duplicate registration.  For information on how to obtain a duplicate registration visit our Registration Section.