There are several things to take into consideration when buying or selling a vehicle in Indiana. To help you ease this overwhelming process, the state of Indiana has provided a buying guide to help you make an informed decision. This guide covers a number of areas, such as:

  • Common terms.
  • How to do research on a new car.
  • Trade-ins.
  • Service contracts.
  • Financing options.

The state also provides a worksheet, which you can fill out to help you negotiate the best price for the car you intend to purchase. Two factors are emphasized in this guide: taking your time and the importance of getting enough information for the vehicle you are purchasing. Buying a new car is an expensive exercise, so you need to take correct steps and take good decisions if you don’t want to regret in the future.

Registration and Titling

Whether you are buying a new or used car from the dealer or private party, there are important steps you need to take to transfer ownership into your name. These include car registration and titling.

Buying From a Dealer or an Individual

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, they will handle all the required paperwork for vehicle registration and titling on your behalf. But when you purchase from a private party, you will need to handle all the required documentation yourself. First, you need to obtain the title from the seller signed over to you. You also need to obtain the bill of sale from the seller. You need these two documents in order to register and title your newly purchased car in your name. A typical bill of sale contains the name, signature and address of the seller, the vehicle’s purchase price, sale date, VIN and vehicle’s description. You also need the proof of insurance for the car you have purchased and verification of your SSN. If the title for the vehicle you are purchasing is missing, lost or damaged, ask the seller to obtain a duplicate title before completing the sale. Generally, don’t buy vehicles without a title. You don’t need registration papers in order to register or title your newly purchased vehicle. However, getting a copy of registration papers will help you have peace of mind with regard to the legitimacy of tags. You also need to pay all applicable fees and taxes when registering and titling your car at any nearest license branch in your county. You need to pay the title application or transfer fee. You also need to pay 6% of tax price which varies depending on the vehicle purchase price. You can register your newly purchased vehicle at the same time when titling it or do it later. But generally, you must register your vehicle in order to legally operate it in Indiana. Registration fee is $21.35. Note: You must title your newly purchased vehicle within 31 days from the purchase date.

Selling a Vehicle to an Individual

If you plan to sell your vehicle to a private party rather than a dealership, first you need to prepare the bill of sale and sign it over to the buyer. The bill of sale act as proof of vehicle sale and can be used as a sales receipt. You need to give the buyer the original bill of sale and remain with a copy. This document must be signed by you and the buyer. The buyer needs this document in order to register and title the car in their name. Before delivering the vehicle to the buyer, you will need to remove the license plates mounted on the car. If you don’t have the title to the vehicle you are selling, you will need to obtain a duplicate title from the BMV or any licensing agency in Indiana. You will need to pay $8 title replacement fees. You don’t need registration papers when selling your newly purchased vehicle. However, you need these papers in order to facilitate the sale. Buyers may ask for registration papers to verify the legitimacy of vehicle tags and the vehicle emission inspection certificate.