Selling a Car in Colorado

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If you want to sell your car in Colorado, you’ll need to provide the Colorado Certificate of Title and fill out a bill of sale. Sellers in some areas may also need to get an emissions inspection, and cars less than 10 years old need a valid odometer reading. 
Selling your car privately rather than going through a dealership can get you a better price—but you’ll have to follow the specific process dictated by state law. Every state has its own regulations governing the private sale of cars. Failure to complete all the steps could mean that you’re legally responsible for the car even after your buyer drives off. 
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by Colorado’s rules for selling a car, don’t worry. Car insurance expert and broker app Jerry is here to break down the process for selling a car in Colorado. 
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What you need to sell a car in Colorado

To sell your car privately in Colorado, you’ll need to gather some important forms and information. Make sure you have all of the following: 
  • Colorado Certificate of Title (if you don’t have one, fill out form DR 2539A and pay $8.20 for a duplicate)
  • Bill of sale (use this DMV-provided template)
  • Your signature
  • Buyer’s signature
  • Emissions inspection certificate in some areas
  • Valid odometer reading for cars less than 10 years old
If there is a lien on your title, you will need to pay the loan in full before selling your vehicle. You can either pay the loan yourself, have the buyer pay it on your behalf, or use an escrow service to complete the transaction. 
If you’re selling a car with a rebuilt title, make sure you complete a Rebuilt From Salvage Disclosure form. 

Getting a pre-sale inspection

If your buyer lives in Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, you’ll need to complete an emissions test before you can sell the vehicle. Portions of Adams, Arapahoe, Larimer, and Weld counties also require emissions inspections. For more information on where to get an inspection, check the Colorado DMV website
The seller is responsible for the emissions test. Depending on the age of your vehicle, the test will cost from $15 to $25.

Documenting the sale

You will need to complete a bill of sale to document the car’s sale. Be sure to include the following information: 
  • Full name of seller and buyer
  • Address of seller and buyer
  • Phone number of seller and buyer
  • Driver’s license number of seller and buyer
  • The car’s make, model, and year
  • The car’s vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Color of the car
  • Odometer readout at time of sale
  • Date of sale
  • Signatures of seller and buyer
You can create your own bill of sale or download the template provided by the Colorado DMV. 

Signing the title over

To transfer ownership of the vehicle, both you and the buyer will need to fill out and sign the Colorado Certificate of Title. This legally certifies the buyer’s ownership of the car and releases you from liability. 
Both parties should print and sign their names and include the purchase price and date. If there is more than one owner listed on the front of the title, every owner needs to print and sign their name on the back of the document. 
Once you’ve filled out the title, the buyer will keep it—but you’ll remove and keep the car’s license plates. The buyer will get a new set of plates when they register the vehicle.

Reporting the sale

Once you’ve completed the sale, you have the option to report the transfer of ownership to the DMV within 5 days. Report the transfer online using the Report Release of Liability option or go to your local DMV office. Be ready to provide your license number and the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the verification code from your registration receipt
Reporting the sale is optional in Colorado, but it’s an easy way to shield yourself from any liability for the buyer’s actions after they drive away. Failure to report the transfer of ownership could result in an unexpected hike in your insurance rate if the new owner commits a violation while driving your old vehicle. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Whether you’re buying or selling a car in Colorado, Jerry can help you find affordable car insurance that fits your needs. Just download the app, answer a few questions, and watch as Jerry connects you with competitive quotes from top insurance companies. 
Once you’ve found the savings you need, Jerry will handle all the paperwork and even help cancel your old policy. The average Jerry user saves $879 a year on car insurance! 
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Your car’s value depends on your vehicle’s make, model, year, and condition. Resources like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are a good place to start when deciding how much to charge your buyer.

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