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Car Dealers – 5 Things You Need to Do Before You Sell a Car

car dealers california dealerships
dealer check list 5 things to do

As a dealer there are multiple moving parts in your business. Paying attention to all of them is difficult, but imperative, to be profitable and to keep compliant with state laws. 

  1. Always run a vehicle reports on the vehicle. A vehicle report is a report that is run up against the DMV database, the NMVTIS database, and, Carfax. Each of these reports will run you under $5 each. These reports help you confirm the following: who the current owner is, what is the branding status (if it is a junk, salvage or clean title), what the status of the registration is, and, if the current title in your possession is current. Running these reports CONFIRMS the documentation that is given to you by the trade-in vehicle seller or the auction house that sold the vehicle.
    1. Click here to sign up for carfax.com reports
    2. Click here to run NMVTIS reports
    3. Call us at 951-409-9091 so we can help you run California and other state reports
  2. Have a smog on file for each vehicle. Doing this will avoid the headache of having to do a smog after the vehicle has left the lot. Once a customer leaves with their vehicle it is difficult.
    1. Click here to verify when the last smog was done
    2.  Click here to find a smog station
  3. Take photos of the vehicle. From the 4 corners, the odometer reading, the emissions label under the hood, and, the federal label on the side of the door. This allows you to refer back to information that is on the vehicle and may help for future issues that may arise.

4. Have a VIN Verification done. For vehicles that are not in the DMV database (out of state vehicles) have a VIN verification done on the vehicle. This, like the smog, avoids the issues of having to have a customer come back to the dealer. You can take your vehicle to the DMV and get the inspection done, however, you can also have a private company like our sister company Quick VIN Verification to come to your dealer and get it done for you. In the scenario where teh vehicle did leave the lot, Quick VIN Verification can also come straight to your customer’s home or business and get it done there conveniently.

5. Document whether or not the car has BOTH license plates: By far, this is the most common complaint customers have post-sale. However, it is also the most avoidable mistake because all you have to do is look to confirm if the vehicle has both plates. It is an additional $25 to get plates, however, the $25 is nothing in comparison to the headache of having to deal with an unhappy customer.


This list is short, but encompasses 80% of the issues that you will run into as a dealer. Most of the items on this list target 2 things: compliance and headache avoidance – and you, being a licensed dealer, must do your best to operate as clean as possible. 


If you have any more questions or need our services call us at 951-409-9091 or you can email us at @ leads@quickautotags.com. Visit us on our dealer page to read more on our California DMV services for dealers!

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