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Best Payment Methods When Selling a Car Privately

Best Payment Methods When Selling a Car Privately

Payment anxiety is probably the number one fear of anyone selling a car privately. Of the many risks of private sales, being scammed or ripped off with payment is the most common. So, what are some safe payment options when selling a car privately?

Payment Methods

Bank payment

The most safe payment options is directly into your bank. A bank transfer means the funds are there and cannot (usually) be reversed. Only cleared funds can be transferred so you’re on relatively safe ground.


If you sell your car to our dealership, we pay directly into your bank. It’s fast and safe, which is why we use it.


Still king for many car sales. It’s usually the go-to payment method for lower-value cars. Once you get over $10k or so, cash becomes less convenient but up to that, it’s relatively safe to accept cash. That is as long as you see the cash being withdrawn from the bank or you can deposit the cash in your bank before handing over the keys.


That way, the bank will check the cash to make sure it’s legit and you are much safer after the sale if you aren’t carrying thousands of dollars in cash in your pockets!


Banker or Cashier's Cheques

are an also relatively safe payment methods for car sales, with one condition. You need to be there when the cheque is being cut. You want to be present in the bank, with the buyer when the cheque is being drawn to ensure it’s legitimate.


Banker’s or cashier’s cheques can be forged just as easily as personal cheques so this is the only really safe way to accept this type of payment.


Avoid Escrow and Other Payment Methods

Any buyer that wants to set up a payment plan, use escrow or wire transfer should be avoided at all costs.While there are legitimate escrow and wire transfer services, they are too open to fraud and there are too many scam services to take the risk.


Escrow can be faked, as can wire transfers. Unless you know the service and have a way to verify its legitimacy, we recommend avoiding these types of payment options.


Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away

We recommend being clear in your ad about what payment methods you will accept. Outlining exactly the methods you’ll accept and those you won’t is a useful way to weed out the scammers. Then, if they contact you or come to see the car and still want to use one of those methods we recommend avoiding, be prepared to walk away. The used car market is strong enough for there to be plenty of demand. If this sale doesn’t work out, another will.


Alternatively, just sell your car to a dealership. We take all the hassle out of selling a car. We pay cash, direct into your bank and guarantee you’ll be completely safe and well looked after during the process!


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