The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here’s the situation, I finally found the project car I’ve been searching for; a 1991 MR2 Hardtop, n/a, 5spd. I ran the CarFax and it looked good. I took it for a test drive, we worked out a fair price – and then (what I feel to be) the snag. The kid bought the car from somebody else 6 months ago but never registered it. So now the previous owner’s name is on the title which the current "owner" never signed. So now I’m going to pay the current owner for a car that was never registered to him.

I already called the DMV and there are no liens on the vehicle.

Who should I get the Bill Of Sale from, the previous owner or the current seller? Does it matter if the name on the Bill Of Sale doesn’t match the name on the Title?

It just sounds like a recipe for me to get screwed, should I run from the deal or is this “common” practice? I hate to walk away from the car I've been searching for.

What do you think???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
I think I would call the previous owner and ask him to drop me a note just to be sure.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,844 Posts
The kid that never registered the car is trying to sell you the car by "jumping the title" so he doesn't have to pay registration fees or taxes on the car. This is considered illegal activity, however if you verified the title with the prior owner's name on it to be clean, you could use it to register the car in your name. Is this something you want to get involved with? I wouldn't do it--just tell the kid to go to the DMV and get the title in his name and then you will buy the car from him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I think I would call the previous owner and ask him to drop me a note just to be sure.
I'll get the phone number and call him.

The kid that never registered the car is trying to sell you the car by "jumping the title" so he doesn't have to pay registration fees or taxes on the car. This is considered illegal activity, however if you verified the title with the prior owner's name on it to be clean, you could use it to register the car in your name. Is this something you want to get involved with? I wouldn't do it--just tell the kid to go to the DMV and get the title in his name and then you will buy the car from him.
I told him that would be the correct (legal) way to do it, but to pay $250 just to sell it sucks - but he should have paid it in the first place! Then he could have had it sold by now because I would have bought it after the test drive.

It seems like such a headache over a $2k car, but that is still $2k I don't want to flush down the toilet...

Is a Bill of Sale still valid if the person never registered the car?

I think I'll just call the DMV at lunch and see what I should do. They'll probably suggest for him to register the car = the legal way ;)

Anybody else have any suggestions and/or been in a similiar situation?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,844 Posts
Is a Bill of Sale still valid if the person never registered the car?


Anybody else have any suggestions and/or been in a similiar situation?
A Bill of Sale from the kid is worthless...as far as anyone is concerned, he is not the legal owner of that car.

I had this situation happen to me when I was a kid and bought a Datsun 240Z. The title wasn't in the name of the seller and I had to jump through hoops to get the car titled because he has bought the car with a "jumped title" as well. It was not fun and even involved having a police officer inspect the car and sign off that it was not stolen. It just wasn't worth it.

Remember, the owner prior to this kid is the legitimate owner of the car as far as the legal system is concerned unless he wrote a Bill of Sale to the kid. If you approach this prior owner of this car asking for a Bill of Sale in your name, he can't legally give you one because he never sold the car to you. This is just not something you want to get involved with in case something goes wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,376 Posts
This is a very common situation with project cars.
Some places won't let you title a car that isn't driving.
Bills of sale are what counts.
If you are concerned, verify that the car is legit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
btw - He did end up transfering the title in his name after I told him I'm walking away, so I did end up buying it. It is clutering my garage as I type ;)

The poor car was very neglected and couldn't even handle the 10 mile drive home. But I bought the car planning to do a V6 (1MZ-FE) swap anyway. I have my work cut out for me with the swap because it is far from plug & play but it should be a pretty awesome car after I'm finished - I hope, we'll see...

:sheep:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top