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Buying a vehicle is a major purchase, whether you’re buying from a dealer or an individual, or new or used. Not only does it usually take a big chunk of change out of your pocket, but it’s also the catapult that’s going to get you from Point A to Point B (those two very important points usually being home and work, and vice versa).

  • Dealers

Although it can often be more expensive, doing business with a dealer is sometimes the safest, and easiest, way to go. Whether you’re buying, selling, or trading, the dealer can handle all procedures and paperwork for you, as well as collect all applicable registration and title fees.
Before you visit the dealership, take some time to decide what kind of vehicle you’re interested in, whether you want to trade or buy, and how much money you’re willing to spend. Too many times buyers fall victim to what seem like “good deals” simply because they just wanted to just “look around” on their way home from work.
Enter with a plan. Consider visiting the websites of your local dealerships to get an idea of the inventory they have in stock. Call the dealerships and speak with a salesperson about what kind of vehicle you’re looking for, what you’re able to pay, and when you’d like to look at their vehicles. This begins a relationship with the salesperson, and lets him or her know that when you show up, you already know what you want.

  • Used Car Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided a guide of rules for sellers and buyers of used cars, the Used Car Rule. The guide includes information about the dealer, the vehicle, and the warranty, as well as information about violations and penalties.
For more information, you can download the Staff Compliance Guidelines for the Used Car Rule.
Note that dealers are also required by law to inform you of any salvaged status vehicles, Lemon Law returns, and any repairs made on a new vehicle if those repairs meet or exceed $500. If you want to make sure the vehicle you’re considering purchasing doesn’t fall into any of these categories―just ask!

  • Individuals

Buying a vehicle from an individual can help you save money, and selling a vehicle to an individual allows you to make a little extra cash without having to trade in or go to a dealership.
Whether you’re buying or selling, these are just a few of the forms you’ll need to obtain:

  1. Bill of Sale
  2. Odometer Disclosure Statement
  3. Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration
  4. Motor Boat Transaction Record Application for Title/Registration
  5. Notice to County Clerk of Vehicle Acquisition

For more online forms, including those that cover liens, visit the forms section provided by the Transportation Cabinet as well as the Central Forms Library.

  • Buying From an Individual

If you’re buying a vehicle from an individual, you’ll probably want to do some research. Our Vehicle History Reports section will get you started. You may also want to check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to find out if the vehicle you wish to purchase has been seriously damaged.
Make sure that the individual notifies you of a salvage title, as well. Do a thorough inspection of the vehicle, and ask about a salvage title if you have suspicions.
Some sellers will suggest that you to have the vehicle professionally inspected. Take advantage of this, and if your seller doesn’t offer an inspection, suggest one yourself.

  • Selling to an Individual

If you’re selling a vehicle to another individual, you might also want to protect yourself by going to your County Clerk’s office with the buyer and completing the transaction right there. This ensures that the vehicle is taken out of your name and prevents the system from generating additional taxes for you to pay.

  • Buying/Selling Without a Title and/or Registration

If you’re buying or selling a vehicle that is missing its title or registration, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to obtain duplicates before you can complete the sale.

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