Any time you’re involved in the sale of property, even to friends or family, it’s a good idea to write or get a receipt for the transaction. This can help you prove ownership or prove that you don’t own a vehicle that was later involved in a crime, theft or accident. Reviewing how to write a receipt for a deposit you pay or receive for a car sale will help you protect everyone involved from potential legal hassles.
Get the Information You Need
Before you begin writing any car scale receipt, get the correct names of the parties involved, including full names and middle initials. If the transaction involves a business, get the company’s legal name. If you’re selling to a friend’s small business, she might be working as a DBA, corporation, LLC or other business structure. Try to get that information and include it on the car receipt.
You should also include the address of both parties, the car’s information and the transaction date. You will need this information not only for the sale of the vehicle, but also to perform a title search and to transfer the title. eForms.com provides a vehicle deposit receipt form you can review or download and print to use for your transaction.
Write the Receipt
Write the word “Receipt” at the top of your document. Use a format for the car sale receipt that includes the following information:
- Name of seller
- Name of buyer
- Make, model, year, mileage and VIN of the vehicle
- Deposit amount
- Signature of seller
- Signature of buyer
- Date of the transaction
- Any sale terms
If the seller or buyer is a business, write the name of the person associated with the business, his title and then signature.
Sample Car Receipt Wording
Your car deposit receipt might use a format like this:
Receipt of Oscar Hurtado $500 as a deposit for the sale of a 2021 Chevy Volt, VIN #123456789, 32,574 miles.
Seller: Ashely Hobson, 123 Main Street, Glen Ellyn, IL
Buyer: Oscar Hurtado, owner, Hurtado Catering, 456 Elm Street, Wheaton, IL
You can include any other terms of your sale transaction to help make sure the seller doesn’t sell the car to someone else before the buyer has a chance to pay the final balance. You can also give the seller a limited time to purchase the car, after which he forfeits his deposit. You might write:
"Balance of $7,500 to be paid by June 1, 2022, at which time the vehicle will be delivered. Failure by buyer to pay $7,500 by June 1, 2022 results in the termination of the sale agreement and forfeiture of the deposit."
You can also specify if this is a refundable vehicle deposit receipt and include the terms for that type of transaction, such as canceling the sale in 72 hours, in writing. Make sure that you specify whether or not the deposit is part of the final sale price of $7,500 or the $7,500 payment is in addition to the $500 deposit. In this latter case, specify that the total sale price is $8,000.
You can include other terms, such as requiring the seller to maintain the vehicle’s insurance and promising not to drive or move the vehicle until the buyer picks up the car. This is why it’s important to include the vehicle’s mileage on the receipt. InvoiceMaker.com provides a vehicle deposit receipt template with an example of one type of sale term for your review.
Get It Witnessed or Notarized
Have someone witness the signing of the receipt, if you can. If possible, have the receipt notarized by a notary public.
You can often find a local notary with a quick online search. Quick-copy shops, lawyer’s offices and even shipping companies often provide notary services. You can also send an email to your co-workers or post in your neighborhood Facebook group to see if anyone is a notary.
Steve Milano has written more than 1,000 pieces of personal finance and frugal living articles for dozens of websites, including Motley Fool, Zacks, Bankrate, Quickbooks, SmartyCents, Knew Money, Don't Waste Your Money and Credit Card Ideas, as well as his own websites.