If you are a private seller negotiating a sale with private buyer, you may be wondering what you need to bring when you make the final ownership handover. Obviously, you'll need to bring the car and its keys, but there are some other things, particularly legal documents, that need to be exchanged that may not be so self-evident. Your buyer may or may not expect you to bring these things, but even if your buyer is not particularly well informed, you should be. If you neglect to bring important documents with you, you could encounter issues later on.
The Basics: The Car and Accessories
To get the somewhat obvious out of the way first, you should bring the car, all spare sets of keys and any associated accessories to the exchange. This includes things that came with the car, such as an owner's manual. It can also, if you're feeling friendly, include accessories that you don't plan to use again, such as a car cover made specifically for the car model you're selling. Do not keep spare keys. It is true that the new owner will probably know that you've kept your own set of keys, but doing this is dishonest and could lead to legal trouble if you decide to make use of those keys at a later date.
Technically, a sales agreement isn't a legally mandatory document. You aren't legally required to give one to the buyer, and in fact, you aren't even legally required to use one during the sale. However, it is a really good idea to have one. The sales agreement is a type of contract that allows the seller to clearly describe the terms under which the car is sold. This can be helpful if there are any disagreements or future issues with the buyer. Include details about the car, such as the make, model, model year, registration number, chassis number and engine size. In order to comply with the Consumer Protection Act, the sales agreement should also include a detailed list of any known mechanical or other issues the car has at the time of sale. This is particularly important because it could end up saving you, the seller, from having to pay for repairs in the future. If you disclose the car's issues, the seller can't claim that you tried to mislead him or her.
If you feel comfortable without a formal sales agreement, you should at least provide the buyer with a detailed receipt. This is as much for your use as for theirs, so make sure to keep a copy. Include similar details as would be included on a sales agreement, including details about the car, its current mechanical or cosmetic issues, the amount the buyer paid and the buyer and seller's names and addresses.
Also known as the proof of ownership, the registration certificate is the document that certifies that you own the car. If you initially bought the car with a bank loan, the bank received this certificate and held on to it until you paid off your loan. The bank is supposed to return this registration certificate to you once your loan is paid off, but if you have paid your car off and still have not received your proof of ownership, you should contact the bank and have them send it to you. If your car is still under finance, you will not be able to provide your seller with this certificate at the time of sale. However, you technically don't need the registration certificate to sell the car. Selling a car under finance is a separate topic, though. If you do have the registration certificate, you need to give that to the buyer when you deliver the car, keys and sales agreement or receipt.
Service History Documents
It is also a good idea to provide the buyer with any receipts of service or repairs that have been performed on the car. These documents help give the buyer an accurate picture of what problems the car has had. Providing a service history isn't strictly required by law, but thanks to some of the buyer protections provided by the Consumer Protection Act, it could end up being helpful for you if any disputes arise. You should also keep copies of these documents for yourself.
There are several things you absolutely need to bring with you when you sell a car, and a few others that, while not mandatory, are a good idea. The mandatory things include the car and all sets of keys plus a registration certificate or other proof of ownership if you have it. You should also have either a receipt or a sales agreement to document the sale; bring it with you to the exchange and have the buyer sign both copies. Keep a copy for yourself and hand one over to the buyer. Other than that, things like accessories for the car and service history documents are optional but usually a good idea to turn over to the new owner.