I-17 101 traffic interchange

Buying Or Selling A Used Vehicle?

Buying Or Selling A Used Vehicle?

September 13, 2022

Buying or Selling a Used Vehicle?

Ready to buy a used car? Don’t be deceived. 

The Arizona Department of Transportation-Motor Vehicle Division encourages consumers to protect themselves when buying a used vehicle, either from a private party or a used vehicle dealer and advises to follow these steps:

1- Once you find a vehicle you would like to buy, find a mechanic you trust to inspect the vehicle, make sure the odometer has not been tampered with, seller is not attempting to cover up water or collision damage that wasn’t properly repaired.  Now that we have had so much rain in our state and country, make sure you ‘literally’ smell the car, if it has been in a flooded area the car may have a ‘musty smell’, you can also find mud in the car (under the matts, inside the seat belt system, etc.)... you don’t want to have malfunctioning issues of the electrical system or engine in the near future. 

2- Verify the vehicle’s title doesn’t have a lien. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous sellers that go to an auto-title/loan business and receive a loan against their vehicle one day before they sell it. The auto-title/loan business applies a lien to that particular vehicle so it can’t be sold until the loan is paid. When a vehicle title has a lien, it can not be transferred to a new owner. Avoid this issue by buying in advance that vehicle’s Motor Vehicle Record at an MVD or Third Party office.

3- Before you pay for the new-to-you car, it could be safe to ask the seller to go together to transfer the title at an MVD or Third Party office; it is a way to avoid fraud.

Don’t lose your hard earned money, walk away if you see any of these red flags. 

If you sold a vehicle, follow these steps:

1- Make sure the title of the vehicle you are selling is signed and provide it to the buyer. (If title transfer bill of sale is being provided make sure its signed and notarized).

2- Take the license plate off the vehicle before the new owner drives it away.

3- Complete a ‘Sold Notice’ form either online or by printing a copy from the ADOT-MVD website and submit it to an MVD or Third Party office; you will need the buyer’s name and address to complete it. This process takes off any future responsibility once your car has a new owner.

Be wise and follow these safety tips to protect yourself.