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How should you take payment for your car?

As with so much in the car-selling process, there are simple steps you can take to keep yourself safe

Online bank transfers are the best way to get paid, and these can be done quickly via the ‘Faster Payments’ or CHAPS systems. However, you have to provide the buyer with your bank details, which you may not want to do.
Cash is an alternative, but it’s worth considering that you arrange for the handover to happen at a bank. Not only can the staff there count out the notes, they can guarantee that they’re genuine. If you decide to accept a cheque or banker’s draft, you should safeguard yourself by getting proof of the buyer’s name and address in advance – just in case you need to chase them up. Then, before you hand over the car, you should confirm with your bank that the funds have cleared – which is not the same as the funds appearing in your account. It’s quite possible that the buyer might not be keen to wait for the several days that this can take, but a genuine buyer should be prepared to do so. Likewise, you can use an ESCROW – where a third party acts as a mediator between the buyer and seller, holding and the distributing the money – but you should make sure that the company is legitimate by checking with the Financial Conduct Authority, who keep a list of unauthorised firms and individuals to avoid. Finally, no matter how the money changes hands, the most important thing is that you should provide a receipt to the buyer – and keep a copy for yourself.

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