How does a private party test drive work? Do I
need to hold something collateral while they
take my car for a drive?
I suppose you could hold their drivers license or keys. I would go along.
Do meet in a safe place like the front of a police station and take a friend if you feel the need.
Exactly, go with the potential buyer. Most police departments welcome people from craigslist, Ebay, etc. coming to meet at their police station. There's cameras and, of course, police officers around. Ask to see your buyer's driver's license before you go on the test drive. Make sure the license is current and they are the person to whom the license is issued. Your buyer will drive and you'll ride in the passenger's seat. If there's two people, which may be the case, you can ride in the back seat. Keep conversation to a minimum as they will want to hear what's going on with the vehicle and concentrate on how the vehicle performs. Be friendly but not a chatterbox. Absolutely bring a friend along if you would feel more secure. After all you don't know the buyer and they don't know you so it's perfectly normal to bring a friend and perfectly normal for the buyer to not come alone. I usually do the test drive alone but make it a point to tell a friend or family member what's going on. Then I touch base with them after the test drive is over. Be sure to get a first name and telephone number for your buyer too. Give that information to your friend or family member if going alone. Just an added precaution. We've all heard the horror stories!! Lastly, do NOT release the vehicle or the title until you have payment in full for the vehicle. If your buyer is paying by certified check give them a receipt, you keep a copy of the receipt too, and they can pick up the vehicle and the title when the check clears. Don't take a personal check, unless it's for a deposit on the vehicle to hold it. Again, don't release the vehicle or title until the balance due has been paid in full!! Hope that helps! Jim
Take a photo of the driver and their license. Keep in mind that there are a lot of fake certified and cashiers checks out there. Do the actual transaction in your bank and have the banker verify funds...................if they can. Most checks take 2 weeks to clear, IF they ever do.
Last comment. Trust your gut feelings. If it feels bad, make an excuse and walk away!