How to write a car bill of sale in simple steps


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Write your car bill of sale without a lawyer! Do you need to sell your car the proper way? Can you write a bill of sale? Learn how to do this in simple steps!

Are you planning to sell your car any time soon? You might want to consider having a car ‘Bill of Sale’. While this type of document is not usual in Nigeria, it's always a bonus to have it as a major step to take when planning to sell your car to an individual

In Nigeria, a change of ownership document is the more usual paperwork done when a car is sold. However a bill of sale is important so that both parties (the buyer and the seller) are aware of the exact legal terms that they are both agreeing to. This is in case any matter arises in the future, then this document will serve as evidence. Also a car bill of sale can serve as a buyer's proof of ownership which will serve great functions when trying to obtain auto insurance or prove ownership.

Now what exactly is a car bill of sale? This is a written agreement in which an auto owner assigns or transfers their rights or interest in the vehicle to a buyer. Mostly this document is needed for used car sales. You ‘may’ have the presence of a lawyer to serve as a third party or witness although this is not mandatory as both parties just need a trusted witness each.

The good thing about writing a bill of sale is that you don't need a professional to write it for you can do it yourself. Here is how to write your car bill of sale.


A bill of sale makes sure buyer and seller are on the same page

1. Determine what format your state demands

Like stated before, this may not be required in the state you are residing in or the state the buyer is residing because each state in Nigeria has their own local regulations. Make inquiries about the type of agreement your state might require or if your state is provides a standard bill of sale. If they do, then you will get a document which already has the format on it. If they don't usually require one, then go ahead and create one for you and your buyer which will serve as an agreement between you two.


A bill of sale has relevant information to the sale

2. Determine the price

Before you set out to create a bill of sale for your car, you and your buyer should agree on a price to know if the sale will actually take place. The price also needs to be stated on the bill of sale.

>>> Cars with certain number plates have higher value, you know? Problems of number plates in Nigeria: why some prefer other states' number plates?

3. Determine how the payment will be made

If you and your buyer are already agreed on a price, then there should be an agreement on how the  payment should be made. It's best to choose a payment method or platform that is safe for both of you. Also ensure that a receipt will be collected after the payment to serve as proof.

4. Collect your buyer’s details

Request for the complete legal information of the buyer. This will include their phone number(s), resident address and other details. And also know that you will be providing yours too.

5. Gather your car information

You will be transferring your car to another person, it is recommended and advisable to gather your car information and they should be up to date. Gather car information like:

  • Your car’s official name
  • Custom information (if available)
  • Allocation of Registration Number
  • Proof of ownership
  • The receipt of purchase, if possible
  • Your vehicle registration certificate
  • The car brand, model, designs and year of the car
  • Insurance Clearance (if available)
  • ECMR (Enhanced Central Motor Registry
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find this in the car manual, the door jamb near the steering wheel or under the hood.


Buyer and seller will be happy over a good bill of sale

>>> To get your car higher resale value, check this: Easy instructions to detail your car interior before selling it

6. Bill of Sale writing format

 There are formats to write a bill of sale. You will be  needing a computer for this.

  • The heading of the document should be "Bill of Sale" located at the top and next to it should be the date.
  • Next should be an introduction of you as a seller and the buyer. e.g "I, (the seller's name), of (seller's address) declare that I am the legal and lawful owner of the (car name) and have the authority to sell it.
  • Next should be all your car information.
  • After this, introduce the buyer e.g. I, (seller's name), do hereby sell, convey and transfer the above described item for the price of (input the price) to (input buyer's name and address).
  • Next you should state any information and warranty if available.
  • State any oaths and any legal statement if available.
  • Provide a space for your signature/date, the buyer's signature/date and the third party signature/date.

7. Give it to your buyer and witness to review

After printing it out, give the document to your buyer and third party witness to review and make any correction where necessary.

8. Signing

When all have agreed on the written document, fill the form where needed and sign. This includes the third party witnesses.

So, from above guidelines, Naijauto hopes you can be confident drafting your own Car bill of sale next time. The most important thing when doing this is to gain agreement from both buyer and seller over the terms on the bill.

>>> Do come back to check for useful car buying and selling advice on!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor
Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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