Buying A Car Without Title? Can you Buy a Car Without Title? The answer is yes, but approach it with caution.
A car title declares the vehicle’s legal owner. That means someone who possesses the title can come back later and claim ownership of the car, and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it, even if you have paid for the full price.
So just because you have found a car you love, and it’s a great price, you will still need to do due diligence when buying a car without title. For one, you’ll need the title to prove that you are the legal owner of the car upon concluding the transaction.
This however is an issue that can be resolved, and you shouldn’t be discouraged right away to walk away from the sale.
That said there are a couple of scenarios where the seller may legitimately not have a title. The car title may have been damaged, misplaced, or stolen. However,a big red flag that you should definitely consider, as it is entirely possible is that the vehicle itself is stolen.
So here’s what you should do in order to protect yourself and the money you are about to put down for the sale.
Research the Car Thoroughly
A missing title should be a red flag for an impropriety like a stolen car, a flood vehicle or a salvage title. So determine if the car is, in fact, what the seller portrays it to be.
Get an Online History Report
To determine the car is what the seller says it is, get a vehicle history report online via a reputable VHR site like AutoCheck or Carfax. You can then confirm the vehicle’s legal status, the car’s title status, its odometer report, and a record of previous accidents or insurance claims. You can also determine abnormalities, inconsistencies and contradictions against what the seller may have told you such as unexplained mileage reports.
If the seller’s story doesn’t check out, it would be unwise to go ahead with the purchase.
Contact the State DMV Office
Here, you will get information using the VIN number. You can request the vehicle’s history in the state, and confirm the title status with the clerk.
Check If the Car Is Stolen
Determine if the car has been reported as stolen by tracking the car’s VIN through the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Only proceed to buy a car without title if there are no red flags that can’t be resolved.
Complete a Bill Of Sale
Write out a bill of sale for the purchase transaction indicating the seller and buyer’s complete information. You want both parties’ full legal names, addresses and phone numbers before paying for the car in full. Include details of the sale, the sale price of the car, the mileage and the car’s VIN number.
Ascertain any terms of the sale, such as “seller to supply title”, “where is”, “as is”, including items included or excluded from the sale.
Pay for the Vehicle
Pay the seller for the vehicle using a method that can be proven later on such as a bank draft or a check. Alternatively, you can agree to place the funds on escrow until the terms of the sale are met i.e., the seller delivers the car’s replacement title as promised.