How to Write a Receipt for a Private Car Sale?

A receipt for a car sale includes the purchase price, some basic information about the vehicle and the date and time of sale. Although the receipt itself is not proof of ownership, it can be useful for both the buyer and the seller.

A bill of sale serves as a receipt in most states in the United States. Some states may require a notarized bill of sale. Sellers and buyers should check with the relevant motor vehicles authority in their state for any particular requirements. While the bill of sale is not proof of ownership, it is necessary to have in possession when the new owner transfers the title. Sellers also benefit because the document records the date and time of sale, protecting them in case the new owner is involved in an accident or any traffic violations. The document should include the following details:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Information specific to the vehicle including make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN) and odometer reading
  • Name and address of both the seller and buyer
  • Price
  • Signature of both seller and buyer with date

Once the transaction takes place, both the buyer and the seller should have their own copy of the bill of sale signed by both parties. A document without either signature will not protect the other party in case of a legal issue.

In the United Kingdom, a seller should provide a receipt that also includes similar details. The Automobile Association provides a template on their website that sellers can use.