Often, people opt to buy and sell their cars privately rather than through a dealership. As with every car sale – private or dealer-based – there are certain risks and rewards involved. The process can be simple, however, as long as you know what you’re doing.

Private Vehicle Sales in Florida

As in all states, there are certain laws and regulations that dictate what’s allowed for private auto sales. What it boils down to is that you’ve got to do it the right way. Florida actually has a number of regulations dealing with selling a car on your own.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) suggests you follow these guidelines for privately selling your vehicle:

  1. Buying and Selling Cars Privately in FloridaIn Florida, the only vehicle you can sell privately is a car that you own.
  2. Selling three or more cars in a 12-month period requires you to have a state dealer license.
  3. If a car wasn’t titled in Florida, a complete vehicle identification number (VIN) check must be done by the seller.
  4. VIN checks must be verified by either a Florida DHSMV compliance officer, a licensed Florida motor vehicle dealership, a Florida notary public, or a law enforcement officer.
  5. Florida license plates stay with the seller, not the car.
  6. Paperwork must be filed with the state to remove your registration from the vehicle.

One of the biggest advantages to selling a car privately is that you have more of an opportunity to get full resale value from the sale. Remember to use several valuation tools to come up with a solid estimated price, or even have your vehicle appraised by a franchised dealer.

Buying a Car Privately in Florida

When you choose to purchase a car in a private sale in the state of Florida, be sure you know what you’re getting into. It’s especially important to have a vehicle you’re interested in inspected by a trusted, certified mechanic, because Florida isn’t a used car Lemon Law state.

The DHSMV recommends visiting their website to verify odometer readings and check for recalls. It’s also a good idea to make sure all seller information matches the information on the title. You should be able to verify this on a paper title – which is required for the transfer of ownership – even though Florida allows electronic title holding. Because both parties need to fill out the title, the DHSMV recommends heading to a motor vehicle service center together.

As a buyer, remember that private sellers can’t collect tax, but it’s still collected by the state and due at the time of transfer along with license and registration fees.

Getting the Car You Need in the Sunshine State

If you’re looking to buy privately because you think there’s no way you can qualify for financing on a new or used vehicle, you might be surprised by what’s available to you. There are special finance dealers from coast to coast that work with lenders that have financing available for people who are struggling with bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy. You just need to know where to look.

Here at Auto Credit Express, we work with a nationwide network of dealerships, and we want to help you get connected with a local dealer that can get you into the car you need. The process is simple, just fill out our easy online auto loan request form, and we’ll get to work matching you with a dealership as soon as possible!