At a glance:

  • A car bill of sale is an agreement that proves you’ve sold (or bought) a specific vehicle to a named person on a particular date
  • You don’t need to worry about this type of receipt if you’re buying a used car through a dealership or online
  • Determine exactly which documents you need when selling a car privately
  • At Motors, we’re here to connect you with the right dealer, helping you to find your perfect preloved car without hassle


Ever asked yourself what makes a car deal final? 

Well, no matter whether you’re selling your used car privately or you’re a buyer having just purchased a car, you’ll need a car sale receipt. It’s a legal requirement and creating one is simple – just follow our steps and create your own. If you’re buying from a dealership, however, a slightly different process applies – read on to learn more.

First things first though… what actually is it?

What is a buyer’s/seller’s contract or car bill of sale?

A buyer’s/seller’s contract is, as the name suggests, essentially a car sale receipt or agreement. It proves you’ve sold (or bought) a specific vehicle to a named person on a particular date. This is essential if you are buying a second-hand car privately.

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 bill of sale. One for the seller, one 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.

What should be included in a car sale receipt?

Car buyer’s/seller’s contracts are quite straightforward and easy to draft, but it’s crucial you make sure yours has all the right information in. Here’s a summary of everything this private car sales receipt should have.

Car details

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

Vehicle identification number matches V5C document? Yes/No

Registration document completed by buyer/seller Yes/No

Registration 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 car sale receipt when you’re selling privately isn’t as scary as it sounds. Just follow the guidelines we’ve given you above and you’re all sorted.

Do you need other documents when selling a car privately?

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

  • 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 must 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’ll need for buying a used car in our handy car documents guide.

Before you exchange your sold-as-seen receipt, be sure to check and double-check your personal information is correct, and the wording is as it should be.

Once that’s done, you’re good to go!

Do I need a car sales receipt if I’m buying from a dealership?

You don’t need to worry about this type of receipt if you’re buying a used car through a dealership or online; as with most purchases, consumer rights are in place to protect you. 

If you’ve bought a used motor from a dealership, you have the right to return the car within the first 30 days of purchase – this is the short-term right to reject rule under the consumer rights act 2015. If you’ve found a fault with your vehicle, you’re entitled to a full refund, or you can ask for a repair, but you will of course have to prove the issue was there when you bought the car. 

Buying through a dealership also means you’re protected under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. The car you’re buying must be fit for purpose, be of satisfactory quality and must match its description. If this isn’t the case when you receive your car, speak to the dealership as soon as you can. 

What do I need if I am buying a used car from a dealership online?

If you’re buying from a dealership, you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork. Take the time to have a read through it whilst you’re at the dealership, and ask questions if anything is unclear.

At the very least, you’ll need:

  • The V5C or logbook of the vehicle
  • Servicing booklet
  • Car manuals
  • Your sales contract
  • Any paperwork relating to your car finance deal (if you opted for one).

So there you have it. That’s everything you need to know if you’re writing a buyer’s/seller’s contract to sell a used car privately. Here at Motors, we’re all about connecting you to the right dealer and helping you find the perfect used car  – why not check out our listings?

If you’re looking to buy privately, head over to Gumtree to browse thousands of used cars from private sellers.


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