Do you need a receipt when buying a car privately?

Should you get a bill of sale when you purchase that lovely second-hand motor you’ve seen on Carzone?

There’s plenty of official paperwork to fill in when a used car is changing hands and, if you’re buying from a garage or dealership, then you’ll get a receipt for your outlay. But what if you’re buying privately from an individual owner?

It’s not absolutely essential to get a receipt, or indeed mandatory, but it is highly advisable. It simply negates any future issue where the seller might try and claim you’ve not paid the full, agreed monies for the sale of the car.

To make sure it works for you, the seller should write a receipt and make two copies. If they don’t fancy writing one out, there are plenty of online templates that cover the job, which can be easily printed off and then filled in once the sale of the car is agreed upon (here’s one we made earlier).

These receipts, whether hand-written or an online template, should include the date and time of the sale, the price paid for the car and received by the seller, the registration number, make and model of the car in question, and the names and addresses of both the seller and the buyer of the car. Then get the seller to sign both copies, you sign both copies, the seller keeps one and you have the other and – voila! You’re covered.