How to Write a Receipt for Selling a Car

hands with pen and paper next to car keys
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
What You'll Need

If your vehicle still has a few miles left in it, you might want to consider selling instead of scrapping when it's time for a new car. If you're selling the car yourself, not through a used car dealership, there are a few steps you don't want to forget.

One of the most important things to remember when selling a car is to write a car sales receipt correctly. An incomplete or inaccurate car sales receipt can cause all sorts of problems in the long run. We know more than one person who has ended up needing a car sales receipt and doesn't have one, and it was a long and expensive lesson to learn.

So if you're buying a car, make sure that you get one. And if you're selling a car make sure you write one up.

Why Is It Important to Have a Receipt When Selling a Car?

Like any other expensive good that you purchase, proof of purchase is essential for a few reasons. Firstly, a car sales receipt is good because it put all of the information out on paper and requires signatures from both parties, thus giving your agreement a paper trail.

Secondly, as a buyer of a used car, you have certain legal protections. Both the seller and the buyer benefit from a detailed car sales receipt because it protects both parties in the event of legal action.

What Does a Car Sale Receipt Look Like?

car invoice on a clipboard

There's no one singular form that a car sales receipt is filled out on, though you could certainly purchase a template online and download and use that.

A car sales receipt can simply be typed up on a piece of computer paper, filled with the appropriate information, and signed by both parties. It's important to make sure all of the right information is on the car sales receipt, and that both signatures are in blue or black pen.

What Information Should Be Included on a Car Sale Receipt?

If both the buyer and the seller hope to be legally protected by a car sale receipt, make sure to include the following information on your receipt:

Names of the seller

The date at the top of the document

Vehicle identification number (VIN)

Year, make, and model

Description of the vehicle's condition (including odometer reading)

A line stating that the buyer agrees to purchase the car as seen and test-driven

The price of the car

How much the buyer is paid toward the car, and how much they have left to pay toward the car

The buyer’s name typed out

The seller’s name typed out

A place for signatures

When in doubt, list more on the paper than you think you need to. This receipt will protect both the buyer and the seller in the event that something goes south Dash so if you think there's a chance that you should list it on the receipt, you probably should just go ahead and list it on the receipt.

Here's a sample form in case you'd like to print it as a template.

car receipt template

Can a Bill of Sale Be Handwritten?

Can a car bill of sale be handwritten? Technically, yes. If you don't have access to a computer and a printer, you can technically right out your car bill of sale by hand as long as all of the information is still included and the paper is still signed in pen.

Do I Need a Receipt When Buying a Car Privately?

Yes! A car bill of sale protects you as a buyer. Because the bill of sale lists the damages and defaults of the car, you are protected if the seller did not disclose something about the vehicle and you need to get your money back or take legal action.

Receipt from the sale of a car should also include a line about you purchasing the car knowing all of the damages, the history of the car, and having test-driven the car. This line also protects you if the seller withheld information from you, and legal action needs to be taken.

Ready to sell your used car? Here are four laws you need to know when selling your car and check out what you're liable for as the seller.