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A Vehicle Sale Agreement is a document that can be used to lay out the details of the sale of a vehicle from a Seller to a Buyer. Using this Agreement, the Buyer and Seller can outline the terms and conditions of the sale and describe the vehicle that is being sold. This document can be used to sell many different kinds of vehicle, including cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and boats.
This Agreement may be adapted for use by private sellers (for example, an individual person selling his or her motorbike on Gumtree), or by businesses (such as a used car yard).
The Agreement contains provisions about the basic logistics of the sale, such as the price and delivery details. It also contains various options which can be included or excluded, such as a cooling off period (if the buyer wants a few days to "cool off" and perhaps change their mind and pull out of the contract), a subject to finance condition (if the buyer wants the option to terminate the contract in the event that they don't obtain a loan), a subject to inspection condition (if the buyer wants the option to terminate the contract in the event that it fails a mechanical inspection), and any other unique conditions that the parties want to include.
In addition, this Agreement allows for various warranties to be included (or excluded), and provides details about other matters such as when and how the Agreement may be terminated.
This Vehicle Sale Agreement is sometimes confused with a Bill of Sale. The two documents look quite similar, but serve different purposes. This Vehicle Sale Agreement is generally signed and exchanged between the parties ahead of time. By signing the document, the parties are agreeing that on some future date, the buyer will pay the agreed price for the vehicle, and the seller will hand the vehicle over to the buyer.
Alternatively, a Bill of Sale is generally handed over at the time that the vehicle actually becomes the property of the buyer (for example, when the keys are handed over). The Bill of Sale serves as a proof of purchase for the buyer, and confirms that the buyer has actually paid for the vehicle, and is now the owner of the vehicle.
How to use this document
This Agreement can be used by a seller who is selling a vehicle, or a buyer looking to purchase a vehicle from a seller. Various details about the parties, the vehicle, and the transaction will need to be included, and the more details that can be provided, the easier it will be for the parties to avoid misunderstandings.
Once the Agreement has been prepared, both parties will need to sign it, and have their signatures witnessed by an independent adult witness (they cannot witness each other). Both parties may keep a copy of the Agreement for their own records.
Importantly, if the Australian Consumer Law applies, and if the seller is providing any warranties against defects in relation to the vehicle, then the Australian Consumer Law requires these warranties to be presented in a certain way, and to include certain information. There are penalties for failure to do this. If in doubt, seek legal advice.
Vehicle Sale Agreements in Australia are subject to general principles of contract law.
If a vehicle is being sold by a business, to an individual consumer, then the Australian Consumer Law which is set out in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Commonwealth), may also be relevant.
Sale of Goods legislation or Vehicle Sale legislation in the relevant state or territory may also apply.
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