Whether you live in the Great Plains, the Southern or Middle Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau or the Wyoming Basin of Colorado, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 1.5 million registered trucks and cars in the state of Colorado, it is no wonder that thousands of private car owners from the Centennial State have used Autotrader to sell their car. Most U.S. states consider the vehicle title a legal document which is why it is advised to use the legal names (no nicknames) of both parties involved along with legible handwriting using a black or blue ink. Mistakes, errors and using white out may void the document so be careful and take your time filling it out. We’ve outlined below the 8 steps required to sell a car in the state of Colorado
Step 1: Allow the Buyer to Have the Vehicle Inspected by a Third Party
Step 2: Clean Out the Vehicle
Step 3: Remove the License Plates
Step 4: Prepare a Bill of Sale
Step 5: Collect Payment from the Seller
Step 6: Sign Over the Title
Step 7: Report the Sale of the Vehicle
Step 8: Cancel any Insurance and Subscription Services Associated with the Vehicle
Part of the buyer’s due diligence should be to have the car inspected by a mechanic of their choosing prior to purchasing. Autotrader advises all prospective buyers to have a used car they might buy inspected by an independent mechanic. The one exception might be when buying a certified pre-owned car from a brand name dealership. In this case, the automaker (Ford, Honda etc) has a required inspection program that the selling dealer must follow.
While the buyer should be willing to pay for this inspection themselves, as the seller, you’ll want to work with them to determine when and where the inspection is to be held. It’s a good idea for you as the seller to keep the report for your records, especially if any issues with the vehicle are uncovered.
Assuming the buyer wants to move forward with the sale after having the vehicle inspected, make sure you clean it out before moving forward with the transaction. In fact, you should probably clean the car thoroughly before advertising it for sale. While removing all personal possessions is a given, this is also a good time to scan your garage for anything that originally came with the vehicle that you’ve since removed, such as floor mats, cargo nets, and even cup holder liners. Finally, remove all registration and insurance cards from the glovebox and keep them with you.
License plate numbers are tied to the owner of the vehicle, so when you sell your car, you’ll want to remove your license plates and keep them. In fact, Colorado law states that sellers must retain their own license plates before the buyer drives off. Plates left on the vehicle by the seller can result in the seller being liable for traffic violations and other infractions committed by the new owner.
If you want to transfer these plates to another vehicle, you’ll need to have a copy of your old registration to do so.
While a Bill of Sale is not required for selling a vehicle in the state of Colorado, it’s a good idea to create one for both you and the buyer. Think of this as your receipt for the transaction. There’s a template vehicle Bill of Sale on Colorado.gov, although you’ll likely want one that’s a little more comprehensive. Luckily there are many other templates available online. A vehicle Bill of Sale should include both the buyer’s and seller’s full name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and signatures, along with the vehicle’s make, model, year, color, VIN, and the odometer readout at the time of sale. It should also include fields for the date of the transaction and the sale price.
Keep in mind that the buyer may bring their own Bill of Sale for you to fill out. Either way though, it’s a smart move to bring a copy of yours for both you and the buyer when you go to complete the transaction. The Bill of Sale can be helpful if problems arise when the buyer goes to transfer the title or register the vehicle in their name.
It’s best to collect payment from the seller before signing the title over, as undoing the sale after this point will be complicated.
To transfer ownership to the buyer, you must sign in the appropriate areas on your Colorado vehicle title. Be very mindful when doing this as any mistakes can void the document. On the back of the title, you’ll first enter the vehicle’s odometer reading (in whole numbers) at the time of the sale, provided the vehicle is less than ten years old. Next, print your name exactly as it appears on the front of the title. If there are two or more registered owners on the title and there is an ‘and’ or nothing between their names, the signatures and printed names of both individuals are required. If there is an ‘or’ in between the names, then the signature and printed name of just one individual is required. Also complete the fields for date of sale and purchase price.
If working with a “Rebuilt from Salvage” title, the seller must first complete a Rebuilt from Salvage Disclosure. If you don’t know why the vehicle was salvaged to begin with, a vehicle record search must be completed to determine the reason. Remember, if you’re buying a car with a “rebuilt” or “salvaged” title, this can impact your ability to purchase insurance.
Additionally, any liens shown on the front of the title that have not been released will need to be signed off on by the lienholder. Alternatively, you can obtain an original release document from the lienholder.
A title is required for selling a vehicle. If you’ve lost your vehicle’s Colorado title, request a new one here.
After transferring the vehicle to the buyer, you have to report the sale to the state of Colorado. You should do this within five days of completing the sale. This takes about five minutes to do online or at the closest county motor vehicle office.
After the buyer has taken possession of the vehicle, make sure to cancel your insurance policy on that vehicle, along with any telematics, satellite radio, or internet subscriptions associated with the vehicle as well.
For more information on selling a vehicle in the state of Colorado, visit the Colorado.gov DMV page.
Yes. License plate numbers are tied to the owner of the vehicle, so when you sell your car, you’ll want to remove your license plates and keep them. In fact, Colorado law states that sellers must retain their own license plates before the buyer drives off.
While a Bill of Sale is legally not required for selling a vehicle in the state of Colorado, it’s a good idea to create one for both you and the buyer. The Bill of Sale can be helpful if problems arise when the buyer goes to transfer the title or register the vehicle in their name. Many private owners notarize their Bill of Sale as a best practice.
There are several forms and documents you’ll need: