5 Tips for Selling a Car Without a Title

Want to sell your car but don’t have a title? No worries! Learn seven great tips you can use for selling a car without a title – legally.

On average, Americans drive the same car for six years — about the same length of the average car loan. 

That means that throughout your driving lifetime, you’ll find yourself selling and buying a handful of vehicles. But, the first time you go to sell your current vehicle, the process can seem intimidating and hard to navigate. 

Are you ready to sell your vehicle but don’t have a title? Keep reading to discover tips that will help you with selling a car without a title.

1. Track Down a Title From Your Lender

Before you start to sell a vehicle without a title, stop to think about why you don’t have a title. Did you ever have a title for the vehicle?

If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer through financing, odds are you weren’t actually given the title. With secured loans, the financial lender holds on to the title until the loan is paid in full. This may be why you don’t have a title in hand. 

So, if you’ve already paid the loan in full, you may need to formally request the title. Call up your lender and ask what you need to do to receive your title. Many lenders will send it through the mail, but in some cases, you may need to visit the financial institution in person. 

If you still owe a small amount on the vehicle, consider requesting a pay-off quote. Once you’ve paid off the vehicle and have the title, it will be much easier to sell the vehicle.

2. Selling With a Lein

Sometimes, you still owe a decent amount on a vehicle and don’t have the means to pay it off before going through the selling process. In these instances, you can sell the vehicle with a lien still attached or try to roll over the loan with the same lender. 

To sell a vehicle with a lien, you’ll first need to find a potential buyer. Explain to them that you still owe an amount on the loan and arrange for all monetary transactions to take place at the financial lender. 

For example, you may still owe $3,000 on the vehicle loan but the buyer is willing to pay $6,000 for the vehicle. In this case, the buyer meets you at the lender with $6,000. You use half of this money to pay off the loan and receive the title and the remaining is your profit. 

That way, the buyer knows the transaction is legal and they receive the title immediately. 

If you’re wanting to buy a new vehicle from the same dealership as your old lender, they may offer to roll over the remaining loan amount to your new loan. So your old loan is essentially paid in full, but your new loan consists of your new vehicle purchase price in addition to the amount that remained on your old loan. 

3. File for a Replacement Title

You may be asking, “can I sell my car if I lost the title?”. What happens if you had your title at one point in time but are unable to find it or it was destroyed or damaged? In these cases, you can file for a replacement title through the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Here is the online process for receiving a replacement title in New York. You must fill out identifying information for both yourself and the vehicle. Fill out all the information requested and pay a small fee. If approved, you’ll receive a new replacement title in the mail in a few weeks. 

Each state has different requirements for requesting a replacement title, so you’ll want to visit your local DMV’s website to find your specifications. 

Once you receive the replacement title, you are now able to sell your vehicle normally without any issues.

4. Some States Allow a Bill of Sales 

Looking for other ways how to sell a car without a title? Check into your state’s laws. Some states only require a bill of sales for certain transactions. 

For example, in New York, if you’re selling a vehicle model older than 1972, you can instead fill out a certification of sale or transfer. This requires proof of ownership and a bill of sale from the previous owner. 

Connecticut has a similar method. This state does not require titles for vehicles that are 20 years older than the current year. Instead, you’d apply for a supplemental assignment of ownership

Depending on which state you live in, you’ll want to do some research to see if any of these options are available for you.

5. Sell to a Junkyard 

The last, but probably the easiest tip to sell car with no title is to sell to a junkyard. 

Junkyards are not in the business of reselling cars for driving purposes. Instead, they sell individual parts of the vehicle or scrap the vehicle for materials. As such, these businesses don’t need a title. 

Instead, you can show proof of ownership through the vehicle’s registration and your driver’s license. This is enough proof for a junkyard to give you a little bit of cash for your scrapped vehicle. 

Keep in mind, that this route will give you the least amount of profit. So this should be done only if your car is undrivable or if you’ve exhausted all other options.   

Selling a Car Without a Title Is Possible 

Using these tips, it’s easy to see that selling a car without a title is possible — and legal. 

Throughout the process of selling your vehicle, always be honest about the fact that you don’t have a title. Explain the reasoning behind not having a title and be willing to go through extra steps to ensure your sale is legal. 

Now that you’ve sold your old vehicle, it’s time to start shopping for your new car. Visit the Automotive section of this site to get a better idea of what kind of vehicle you’re looking for. 

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