Thinking about selling your car? It may seem like a complicated process upfront, but once you know what documents you need and how to get started, you may find out that you can sell your car in just a few simple steps. If you’re looking for all the information you’ll need when you want to sell your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place!
Before you begin the process of selling your car, it is important to confirm that your vehicle is completely lien-free, so that the car buyer will be confident in buying your car. When a car has a lien, this means the vehicle is technically owned by more than one party. People might have a lien on their vehicle if they are still paying off the purchase of their car with an auto loan. Or, if you’ve ever had car title loans, you will know that title loan lenders will place a lien on a vehicle when they approve funding.
If your vehicle has a lien, you cannot legally sell that vehicle until the lien is removed and you are listed as the sole owner on the vehicle title. To confirm your vehicle title is free of any liens, you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number (also known as the VIN) into the online VinAudit report tool. After you enter your VIN, you can retrieve a vehicle history report that will show your car’s history including your vehicle specifications, title records, and past issues such as accidents and theft, as well as confirmation whether or not the vehicle has a lien.
It’s a good idea to have formal documentation of your vehicle history before you sell your car because anybody looking to buy your vehicle is likely to request this information right away. It is common to want all the information about a vehicle’s history before acquiring it or using it as an asset. For example, before title loan lenders like LoanMart accept a vehicle as collateral for auto title loan funding, they will run a VIN Check with the help of a service like VinAudit to make sure they have the most up-to-date and accurate data about a vehicle and its history.
Since everyone from large companies to individuals can run a vehicle history report for your car on their own, it would be smart to have already done this for someone looking to potentially purchase your vehicle. The more upfront you are about the facts related to your car, the more comfortable people will feel about buying from you.
While pulling a vehicle history report on your car is the best first step when looking to sell your car, it is not a required document. There are, however, other documents that are required when selling your car.
Unless your vehicle is covered by an exemption, for example based on its age or weight, one of the required documents you need when you are selling your car is an odometer disclosure. Because of the Truth in Mileage Act enacted in 1986 by the United States Congress, anybody looking to sell their vehicle may need to provide an odometer disclosure with the following information:
In addition to the odometer disclosure, you will also need to provide the title to the vehicle when selling your car. To make a private sale of a car official, you will need to transfer the vehicle title to the person who is buying your car. After that, the buyer can opt to have a new title issued specifically in their name. To transfer a vehicle title, it might be a wise choice to complete the process at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. From there, a DMV associate can walk both the vehicle buyer and seller through the process of transferring the vehicle title to the car’s new owner!
Once the sale of your vehicle is complete, the last document the buyer needs is a Bill of Sale to show that the vehicle has been purchased legally.
Selling your car doesn’t have to be a daunting process when you know what to do. Check out this helpful checklist you can follow if you’re looking to sell your car:
1.Get the Value of your Vehicle and a History Report – You can get current estimated market prices of your specific car using tools such as Kelly Blue Book. At that point, you can consider other damages, issues, or modifications you’ve had done to your car to help determine a selling price you want to offer.
2.Take Pictures of Your Car and Prepare it for Sale – After you know the price you’re looking for on your vehicle, the next step is to give your vehicle a thorough wash inside and out to make sure it is looking its best. Then you want to take several pictures of the inside and outside of your vehicle, so potential buyers can get a general idea of the vehicle and its condition upfront.
3.Advertise the Sale of Your Vehicle – There are several different ways you can go about advertising the sale of your vehicle. One option is to simply post a for-sale sign in the window of your vehicle listing your asking price, odometer reading and contact info; that way you are constantly advertising the sale of your vehicle wherever you go. You can also post your vehicle for sale online on sites like AutoTrader or Craigslist and wait for people to contact you.
4.Gather Your Paperwork and Transfer Your Title – Once a buyer has contacted you and both of you have agreed to a selling price, the final steps are to gather the paperwork, receive your funds, and transfer the vehicle title. When you receive payment for your vehicle and prepare the odometer disclosure, transferred vehicle title, and bill of sale, you have successfully completed the process of selling your car!
When it comes to starting a food truck business, the first question is always “How much does a food truck cost?” If you’re buying a used food truck from an owner, the standard price is around $50,000 – $100,000. If you’re looking for real world examples, you can go to the Roaming Hunger Marketplace, where you’ll find pre-owned trucks, trailers, and carts for as low as $35,000 (or less).
The real costs of buying used, however, can be a lot more complex. While it may seem like a steal, buying a used, as-is food truck is like buying a home that’s a fixer-upper. What you see – and sometimes what you don’t – is exactly what you get.
Below we’ll tell you how to be a smart shopper as you invest in the most important piece of your new food truck business.
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Food Truck
The price of a used, as-is food truck is significantly less than building or leasing a new truck. This can be a great fit if you’re handy/resourceful, and willing to invest some time into fixing it up (instead of paying someone else to do the same). For more information, here’s a handy guide on how the costs compare between a used and new food truck.
A used food truck may already be permitted – ask the seller when and where to see if it’s in the areas you want to serve. For more permit tips, check out our Tips And Tricks To Make It In The Industry article.
Warranties are likely expired
Newly built food trucks come with warranties, but on a used food truck the equipment is likely older: that means you’re out of pocket when your fridge or generator breaks.
Directly related – when you buy a used truck and cooking equipment, you aren’t 100% sure what works and what doesn’t. Make sure you have some cash on hand to cover future repairs.
Outside financing is to get tough
Traditional lenders have a hard time evaluating the quality of a used food truck, so they’ll likely choose not to loan at all. Expect to pay cash.
No flexibility in layout
The kitchen layout and equipment that it comes with may or may not work for your food concept – it’s hard to bake pizza on a truck designed for burgers. So be ready to (possibly) compromise.
Permitting and inspection trouble
Just because the food truck was once on the road doesn’t mean it’ll pass permitting and inspection again or that it was ever permitted to begin with – so be doubly sure not to assume otherwise.
A used food truck might look a little rough. Plan to put in some serious elbow grease or about $800 (standard) to have your truck professionally deep-cleaned.
What to Do Before You Buy a Used Food Truck
Learn the truck’s history. Ask for the VIN of the vehicle in advance and run it on VinCheck.info to look for accidents, liens, a salvaged title, mileage, etc. Remember, the truck probably had another life before becoming a food truck – that’s normal – but you want to know as much about it as possible.
Check with local food truck authorities. Do your research and talk to local government agencies about permitting and inspection requirements everywhere you expect to serve food. (Again – they might even be able to tell you if the truck you want to buy is already permitted to serve there!)
Create an inspection list. You’ll want to focus on the condition of big ticket items like the generator, engine, transmission, and cooking appliances, but that’s no reason not to check whether the turn signals work and how much tread the tires have. Make sure to leave empty space to make notes next to each item during the walkthrough with the seller.
Get expert’s opinion. When you go to view the truck for sale, try to bring both a commercial automotive mechanic and also someone with experience cooking on a food truck. They should be able to advise both on the reliability of the food truck and also help determine whether it’s a good fit for your needs. Even if costs a couple hundred dollars for their time, this will be money well spent to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
Decide what’s important to you. Just like buying an older home on a budget, buying a used truck means you’ll probably need to make compromises. Think hard about what’s going to actually contribute to the success of your food truck business and use those answers to evaluate whether the used truck you’re considering is right for you.
In conclusion, buying a used food truck means you need to put a lot more effort up front to make sure you’re covered in the long run. Once you’re on the road, you’ll need a reliable equipment both on the road and in the kitchen. For more information on starting and growing a food truck business, read the advice food truck owners gave on starting a food truck business.