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What Consequences Do You Face if Your Used Car Buyer Does Not Register the Car and Change Ownership?

Car Registration

As if finding the right buyer who is willing to pay the right price for your used car wasn’t already difficult enough! Now, you will have to worry about registration and ownership? Doesn’t all your responsibilities as a seller end with handing over the title and the keys? Unfortunately, selling a used car involves a lot of ordeals. Right from conducting extensive market research to setting the right price to ensuring that the title transfer has properly happened, you will have to remain involved until no one can trace your sold car to you. And if you do not see the sale through completely, that is, if your car’s buyer does not register the vehicle in his/her own name, the consequences that follow are not pretty.

What happens when your car goes unregistered?

In one sentence, you remain the car’s owner on paper. Even if you do not currently possess the vehicle’s original title or may have already canceled your insurance, as per the records of the DMV, you are the last known registered owner of that car till the point a new person arrives with the original title and requests for a title transfer. You remain liable for whatever happens with the car as the official paper trail will always lead to you.
What are the consequences then? Here is your list.

Consequence 1: All parking and speeding fines will arrive at your address

Since the DMV records will show your contact details against the car’s license plate. If the fines go unpaid, the notices will arrive at your home and you will be summoned to court, not the new buyer. Your claim that your car is already sold may or may not hold but, in the end, you will probably have to clear the existing fines and contact the buyer to confirm registration.

Consequence 2: Anyone can sue you for an accident

Again, if the buyer rammed into someone or something, the prosecutor will come looking for the owner with the help of the license plate. Naturally, the legal documents will be drawn up against you and not the buyer. Of course, you can fight it but not before burning a few dollars in legal fees just because the new owner did not transfer the title.

Consequence 3: All crimes committed in the car will be traced back to you

Due to same reason of you being the official owner. This particular consequence is worse among the three mentioned here as your statement that you had already sold your car might not hold if the crime was grave in nature. Your hassle will be unimaginable with the worst possibility looming over your head.

What can you do about it?

It goes without saying that you will never want the above consequences to find you in any way when you are selling used cars or used trucks in Greenville, SC. So, you must ensure from your end that the new buyer immediately files for a title transfer.

With car dealerships in Greenville, SC, you will generally not find yourself in this mess. They take care of the transfer paperwork during the selling process and hence, the car you sell is officially transferred almost instantly. In fact, a part of your reduced payment will include the registration taxes which should serve as your assurance that your vehicle is indeed changing hands properly.

However, if you are selling your car yourself, make sure to inform the buyer to file for a title transfer within 10 days. And as you cannot control his/her actions from your side, you must head over to the local DMV office yourself to report the sale of the car as soon as possible. In this case, if the buyer does not register the car but you have informed about the sale, the DMV will automatically mark the car as unregistered after the 10-day mark. This frees you up from all liabilities and you stay safe.

For a further precaution, make a copy of your original title and write down the sale details behind both copies along with the seller and buyer signatures. Or, simply ask the buyer to change the license plate altogether as that will compel him/her to get registered.

Or, simply trade-in your old car

At top buy here pay here car lots like Family Auto, you will never have to worry about unregistered cars. Such dealers follow a full-proof process of title transfer and make sure that you go through with the least hassle as a customer. The chances are high that you will be needing a new used car after selling your old one. Why not trade-in, use the cash equivalent as down payment, and keep the process as simple as merely transferring the keys?
So, search for the best used car dealerships near me and trade-in. Neither will you have worries about finding the right buyer, nor about the consequences of the car remaining unregistered.


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