A used car invoice is a billing document used by private sellers and dealerships to collect payment for the sale of a used car, truck, or RV. The form can also serve as a sales receipt, providing a record of the transaction for future reference and accounting purposes.
Car + Trade Invoice Template – An all-encompassing form used to record information regarding a trade-in vehicle in addition to a sold car.
Table of Contents
An invoice designed to collect payment for the sale of a used motor vehicle will contain fields that allow for a complete description of the sold vehicle, the seller and buyer’s contact information, the length of time the buyer has to pay, the total cost of the vehicle and any additional charges, and instructions on how the buyer should go about paying for the vehicle. Recommended vehicle-specific fields include:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Vehicle Extras / Notes
Generally, there are two (2) options for selling a used motor vehicle: 1) Trade or sell it to a new or used car dealership, or 2) list if privately online. Both options have their pros and cons, with one being the more recommended option.
Before proceeding to one of the options below, it is important that the vehicle owner conducts a significant amount of research to understand the fair value for their car. Two popular sites for estimating a vehicle’s worth are NADA Guides and Kelley Blue Book (KBB).
How to trade a used car in
To trade in a used car, simply drive it to a local dealership during their business hours and ask them to give you an estimate on how much they would pay for the vehicle. When a dealer has given an offer that sounds appealing, it is very important to not take the offer if it is the first number they’ve given. Negotiate. Depending on the value of the vehicle, offer ten (10%) to twenty (20%) percent lower than the price they offered. They may counter, or they will stand firm on their price. When it feels as though the highest possible value has been reached, write it down, and repeat the same process with several dealers. This will ensure the vehicle is traded-in for the highest possible amount.
- Use the fact that a new car will be purchased through the dealer – the fact that the dealer will be selling a vehicle will increase their willingness to offer more money for the trade-in.
- Clean the car thoroughly. It can be argued that some dealers take cosmetic looks into considerations, whereas others don’t. Why take the risk? Cleaning the vehicle will take a few hours at best, but can lead to receiving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more for the trade-in.
How to sell a used car privately
Selling a vehicle privately can result in a receiving a much higher selling price in comparison to trading a vehicle in. However, the length of time until someone purchases the vehicle is unknown. It could take a few days to several months, or even longer for specialty or exotic vehicles.
Head to one of the car selling platforms below (under “Where to Buy Used Cars”), and create a listing. It is important to set the price in a relative range as to the NADA and KBB numbers that were found during the initial research. Then, ensure the following:
- Take high-quality pictures
- Be honest – take pictures of damage, and write in the description if it needs brakes, belts, or other mechanical work
- Include the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) – this gives prospective buyers the option to run a check on the vehicle to see if it was involved in any accidents, had water damage, was owned by multiple of owners, and other important information.
Although it may take longer to get it listed just right, the increased likelihood of a buyer taking notice of the vehicle will most likely save time an worry later down the road.
Used cars for sale can be found both online and in-person. Popular platforms for finding used cars include:
- Craigslist – Free postings, largely unregulated. Proceed with caution.
- Autotrader – Includes dealer and private listings. Minimum listing cost of $25.
- eBay Motors – Includes the option for auctions as well as a “buy it now” button.
- Bring-a-Trailer – Mostly expensive, rare, and luxury vehicles. Vehicles are sold via auction only.
- CarGurus – Free listing if the vehicle doesn’t sell. $99 if it does.
Alternatively, searching for nearby used car dealers on Google Maps can provide local opportunities for used vehicles that may not be posted online.