What is a buyer’s/seller’s contract?

A buyer’s/seller’s contract is, like the name suggests, essentially a car sale receipt. It proves you’ve sold a specific vehicle for a certain price to a named person on a particular date.

The contract should always include the words ‘sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee’. But bear in mind that this wording doesn’t affect the legal rights of the buyer. This means that the vehicle must match its description and be roadworthy. There are no grey areas in UK law – it is illegal to sell a car in an unroadworthy condition to anyone.

If you’re selling a used car privately, then you should print off two copies of the car seller’s contract. One is for you. The other one is for the buyer.

Both copies of the buyer’s/seller’s contract need to be completed and signed in person by the two parties. Each of you should then keep safe a copy of this document as a car sale receipt.

Do I need a contract to sell my car privately?

Yes, anyone selling a car privately needs to provide the buyer with a buyer’s/seller’s contract as proof of sale.

What’s included in a car buyer’s/seller’s contract?

Car buyer’s/seller’s contracts are quite straightforward and easy to draft. We’re going to leave a contract template linked here but here’s a summary of everything this private car sales receipt should have.

Car details

  • Make: ____________________________________________________
  • Model:____________________________________________________
  • Registration number: _______________________________________
  • Mileage: __________________________________________________

Vehicle identification number match V5C document? Yes/No

Document completed by buyer/seller Yes/No

Document (V5C) exchanged Yes/No

Buyer has received V5C/2 (green slip) Yes/No

Comments & Notes


The contract should always include the following legal wording:

The undersigned purchaser acknowledges receipt of the above vehicle in exchange for the cash sum of £_______________, this being the price agreed by the purchaser with the vendor for the above named vehicle, receipt of which the vendor hereby acknowledges. It is understood by the purchaser that the vehicle is sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee.

Purchaser ______________________________________________

Vendor ________________________________________________

Date __________________________________________________

How do I write a contract to sell a car privately?

Writing a buyer’s/seller’s contract to use as a receipt when you’re selling your car privately is less scary than it sounds. Check out the template and guidelines we’ve given you above and you’re sorted.

Do you need other documents when selling a car privately?

Yes, when selling a used vehicle privately you will also need the following documents:

  • MOT certificate if the car is over three years old (for the buyer)
  • Any old MOT certificates and other maintenance receipts you may have if you’re selling with a full-service history. This is not compulsory but the buyer will appreciate it.
  • The V5C – Vehicle Registration Document -, which needs to be sent to the DVLA. You’ll need to complete the new keeper details on section 6, sign section 8 and then give it to the buyer.
  • The car’s handbook, service logbook and any receipts you have (for the buyer).

You can check everything you need in our car documents guide.

So, that’s everything you need to know if you need to write a buyer’s/seller’s contract to sell a used car privately. You can download our car sales receipt here. Use it well and good luck!