Ways to Pay for your Car

Money Transfer Guide

Congratulations! You've found a car you love, and you've agreed a price. Now you just need to pay for it...

First, agree a method of payment that you are both happy with.


It's not as secure as arranging a bankers draft or bank transfer, but if you agree on paying by cash make sure you do the following:

  • Don't hand over any cash before you have seen the vehicle
  • Arrange to meet inside the seller's bank where you can safely handle large amounts of money without risk
  • If you can't meet at a bank, try to take someone with you
  • Ask the seller to count the cash in front of you so there's no disagreement about how much you've given them
  • Ask the seller sign a receipt or agreement as soon as you hand over cash
  • Once the receipt is signed, the cars is yours, so make sure you get all documents and keys from the seller


Money transfers online can be a good way to send and receive funds, however, some fraudulent sellers may ask buyers to pay for the vehicle upfront. Avoid this as most bank
transfers happen within 2 hours of the request, if your are going to do it online you could do it in the presence of the seller so they are happy the funds are on the way to him.

You could also look for third party payment services which have the benefit of including fraud protection schemes, these schemes can reimburse you for any losses occurred as the result of any illegitimate activity.


If you choose to pay by cheque, it's likely the seller won't hand over the keys until it has cleared. It is vital, therefore, you get a proof of payment from the seller.
Ensure the seller writes you a receipt which includes the cheque details. The seller should also write clearly 'Subject to cheque clearing'.

Bank transfers

A bank transfer is one of the quickest and most secure ways to pay for your car.
If the seller shares the same bank as you you'll be able to transfer funds to their account in minutes.
For different banks the funds could take up to 3 hours to show as cleared. The seller is unlikely to part with the car before the money is in his or her account.
Once the funds arrive in the seller's account, the car is yours. Ensure the seller writes you a receipt and hands over the car, its keys and all documentation (see Completing the paperwork).

Online banking

  • Don't make any transfers before you have seen the vehicle
  • Try and make online transfers in the presence of the seller
  • If you're not with the same bank as the seller, the transfer could take a few

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