How should you take payment for your car?
Selling your car on the second-hand market can be a stressful affair – where are you going to sell it? How much are you going to ask for it? Do you need to get that dent fixed on the front wing? Should it have been serviced or gone through its NCT recently? Would it be best to clean it, thoroughly, outside and in? But, beyond all of this, the biggest stress of all is getting the financial recompense for letting your car go to a new owner. Here are the three main ways of taking payment for your car:
- Cold, hard cash
Seems archaic, in this day and age of electronic payments, but in transactions between private individuals (i.e., there’s no car dealer nor garage involved), cash is still king. Obviously, once you’ve been haggled with by the buyer, you’ll have a final selling figure in mind. This is likely to be several thousand Euro, at the very least, so it’s a substantial amount of folding to be dealing with at one given moment. Therefore, some people prefer to do the final handover of the cash at their local bank, so they can pay the money in instantaneously. However you decide to employ the money given to you for a car sale, though, the most obvious thing is: count it. Carefully. Twice, if needs be. You’re talking about letting go of a big asset when selling a car and the buyer is not going to be insulted that you’re checking every final cent of your money is present and correct. Do not sign over any ownership paperwork until you are satisfied you have the right money for the figure agreed.
- Instant bank transfer
This one’s much cleaner and neater than the above, and it will increasingly become the norm as physical money becomes obsolete in the years to come, with all payments taking place electronically. The security issue here is that you have to reveal your bank account details to get the instant transfer completed – this is going to be down to your own judgment of the buyer. Nevertheless, it’s the same basic principle as above: if you’re going to take payment via an instant bank transfer, then make sure you’ve checked your account to see the cleared funds in your possession before you sign over the car. This will take a matter of minutes to log onto your banking and open up the relevant account.
- Cheque or banker’s draft
The final method of payment is a cheque or banker’s draft, but both of these are incredibly uncommon these days; a cheque is also the payment method that it most susceptible to scams. Therefore, if you’re taking a cheque from the buyer, you’re going to have to make it clear – possibly before they even arrive to see the car, either via phone call or email conversations with them – that if they intend to pay by cheque, they need to pay you a non-refundable cash deposit (say, €100) if they agree to buy the car, then they must write out a cheque for the full amount. Tell them you will then immediately head to the bank to pay it in and you will only sign the car over if and when the cheque clears in your account. This takes a matter of days, so the buyer will need to go away and return again once you’re satisfied. Also, if you’re taking payment by one of these two methods, make sure you’ve got a scan of a utility bill or similar from the buyer that lists their address, in case of any problems with payment further down the line.