How do I buy a used car in Virginia?

I just relocated to Virginia for work. I moved from New York City, where public transit was great and I never needed a car. Now I need to buy a car but don’t want to spend a lot of money, so I’m looking at a used vehicle. How do I buy a used car in Virginia?

Both moving and having to start driving are big changes! Buying a new car in Virginia is a fairly simple process. All you need is some paperwork, a safety inspection, and a trip to the DMV.
Before completely taking ownership of the vehicle, you will need to complete the following documents:
  • Vehicle’s title/form SUT 1
  • Assignment of Title by Owner
  • Certificate of Title and Registration
  • Odometer statement to verify mileage before purchase
Make sure that the title includes your information as well as the seller’s. You will also need to list the purchase price of the vehicle. For cars more than five years old, you’ll need a Form SUT 1.
Once you fill out these documents, confirm the vehicle is up to date on its safety inspections. If it has failed a recent inspection or is up for renewal, you should work with the seller to rectify this before you provide payment for the car.
After this, you can formally transfer the vehicle to your name. Bring the above-listed documents to the DMV, as well as your Virginia driver’s license and payment for registration fees.
You will also need to have proof of a current insurance policy to register the vehicle. For help finding a new auto insurance policy, ​​download the Jerry app, which provides personalized quotes from over 50 of the nation’s leading providers, including Nationwide, Allstate, and Travelers, so you can get the coverage you need at a great price.
Good luck!
Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Nov 17, 2021

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