How To Write a Bill of Sale for a Trailer?

Updated June 23, 2023
8 min read
How To Write a Bill of Sale for a Trailer?

Introduction

Ever since the concept of homesteading and mobile living has become mainstream, the demand for trailers has also increased to a great extent. It nearly broke barriers in December 2022. Eventually, as more people start dealing with trailer sales and purchases, documenting these sales becomes a pivotal part of the deals to avoid conflicts and legal consequences. 

Even with the pace slowing down in 2023 Q2, market leaders like Hyundai and Wabash are positive about the surge in trailer sales. This is where a trailer bill of sale becomes a critical document that lets you go through the sales deal without any hassle. 

Knowing how to write a bill of sale for trailer purchases or sales can save time and smoothen the process between the parties. 

This post will take you through the essentials of writing a bill of sale for a trailer. But first, let's understand the term 'trailer.' In legal terms, a trailer refers to a large vehicle used for transportation with a truck or hauler. Haulers and other large-sized vehicles usually draw it, often used for residential and commercial purposes. 

So, you can park your trailer and use it as a mobile office or home. Since it's a large vehicle and usually pretty expensive, a trailer bill of sale becomes an accessible document during the sales deals. Due to legal backup, you can ensure the security of your vehicle and finances during the sales deal and carry out the transaction peacefully. It provides legal protection to both parties. 

Why Use a Trailer Bill of Sale?

Knowing how to write a bill of sale for a trailer has several advantages. Whether you buy or sell a trailer, the bill of sale is legal proof of the transaction, mentioning all the necessary details related to the two parties and the trailer itself. In a way, it protects you from fraud and any potential legal issues after the sales deal.

Moreover, since trailer sales between private buyers and sellers are so common these days, it can be challenging to provide proof of transaction, especially if the trailer was purchased using cash. So, when you write a bill of sale for the trailer, you can secure the cash transactions that will help you during other financial matters such as taxation, etc. 

If you're a seller, a trailer bill of sale helps you to avoid any financial liabilities if the trailer meets any accident after the deal. That's because the bill of sale accurately mentions the total money the buyer intended to pay for the trailer. More importantly, the buyer accepts the liability for the trailer, so you are legally free from any such liabilities.  

And if you're a customer, a bill of sale is legal proof that you own the vehicle. It shows that you legally purchased the trailer from its original owner and are the new legitimate vehicle owner. A trailer bill of sale is crucial for transferring ownership. 

How Do I Sell a Trailer?

Selling a trailer is a difficult job because there are several technical steps. Especially if you're a first-timer, trailer sales can appear daunting. However, following these simple guidelines allows you to smoothly conduct trailer sales without relying on any agents. Moreover, this process will help you set a fair price for your vehicle and handle related matters. 

Find out your trailer type

The type of trailer directly affects the price. Trailers typically range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars because of their type. Moreover, various trailers also dictate several characteristics, directly affecting the features and facilities available inside. 

Also, there are purpose-built and generic trailers, so you should know the exact type of trailer when you write a bill of sale for the trailer. Generally, your trailer will fall under one of the following categories.

  • Dry-van trailers (also known as closed trailers);

  • Refrigerate trailers;

  • Flatbed trailers;

  • Vehicle carrier.

Once you know the type of your trailer, it's also essential to note some significant features. These features include:

  1. Maximum trailer weight in lbs;

  2. Number of axles;

  3. Trailer length;

  4. Model (year of manufacturing);

  5. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

You must add any important details that should help a potential buyer understand your trailer, increasing the chances of sales.

Set a price value

As mentioned earlier, the price of a trailer greatly depends on its type. So, unlike other vehicles, the trailer price doesn't heavily rely on the brand name. It depends on the type and purpose more than anything else. 

Therefore, as a buyer, it is important to figure out the value of your trailer. This can happen by collecting the necessary information, specifications, and unique selling points of your vehicle. 

As you gather more info, you will realize an optimal price range for your trailer. Moreover, it's recommended to check out the local listings and compare your trailer prices. Since there are so many trailer sellers in the country, you should find some examples that compare with your trailer, helping you set a reasonable price.

Put it up for sale

After setting a price, you are ready to launch your trailer sale publicly. It depends on your budget whether you want to share online ads, newspaper ads, or propagate the sales message via word of mouth. 

In any case, it's critical to observe the current condition of your trailer. Does it need any cleaning or touch-ups? Is it functioning properly? Do you need more time to fix the trailer before a new buyer purchases it from you?

Answering these simple questions can make your life easier. Otherwise, you may have to conduct rigorous question-answer sessions with the buyers about the trailer's condition. You might often have to settle for a lower price too.

However, if your product is well-presented and features everything you have advertised for, you should feel more confident during the negotiation phase and sell it at your terms. 

Meet prospective buyers

While there are several online channels, physically meeting the prospective buyer is critical to a successful sale. So, connect with your potential buyers and ensure they are qualified to own and operate a trailer. 

Moreover, before starting any negotiations, asking if they have enough cash to afford the trailer is a good idea. Otherwise, you could end up in a long cycle of loans and potentially become a victim of fraud.

Write your bill of sale

Once the buyer is confirmed, it's time to write a bill of sale for trailer. When you write a bill of sale for a trailer, it's critical to know the essential details that should always be a part of the form. From the document's name to its purpose, here is a quick look at what you can expect in a bill of sales for a trailer.

  • Purchase price in USD;

  • Buyer's full name, address, and email ID;

  • Seller's full name, address, and email ID;

  • Date of sale;

  • Trailer details, i.e., the model, make, VIN, etc.;

  • Witnesses' names and date;

  • Signatures from the two parties and witnesses;

  • Notarized confirmation.

Filling out a trailer bill of sales form can take up to 10 minutes. It has a simplified structure, making it more intuitive and user-friendly. First-timers can conveniently fill out the form without needing any expert help.  

Register your deal

This step involves the buyer. If you bought the trailer, you must register for ownership transfer. After that, you can register your vehicle as a newly acquired trailer. Typically, this must be done within a month of the purchase. 

At the time of registration, you must present the following documents:

  • Bill of sale;

  • Registration statement;

  • Sales tax evidence.

Once the registration is complete, the two parties no longer have any obligations to each other. 

How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Trailer?

The bill of sale for a trailer includes the necessary information regarding the sales deal. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Enter the details that must include the name, street, city, state, postal code, phone number, and email address of both parties;

  2. Enter the trailer details, which should include the manufacturer name, trailer model, color, year, and VIN;

  3. Next, mention the mode of payment. Also, enter the agreed sum of money. In this step, you must also mention the payment modes, such as:

      • One-time payment — The buyer pays the total sum in one transaction, and the trailer is shipped to their address;

      • Gift — The seller gives the trailer as a gift without receiving any payment;

      • Installments — Mention the down payment and agreed installment amount. Also, mention the decided date for full payment;

  4. Now, you must decide the payment mode whether you will receive the payment in cash, Cashier's cheque, Check, or money order;

  5. Next, mention whether the price includes all the applicable taxes or if it's exclusive;

  6. At this point, you are ready to go through the provision and agreed terms and condition. Make sure there are no errors and that both parties agree to each clause; 

  7. It's time to get the document signed and close the deal;

  8. As a final step, it is always advisable to notarize your deal to avoid any legal consequences.

Conclusion

A trailer bill of sale can be a lifesaver in many cases. So, if you know how to write a bill of sale for a trailer, it can save you from unwanted hassles later. Moreover, to ensure that the terms and conditions mentioned in the bill of sale adhere to the law, it's a good idea to seek ready-to-use templates from trusted providers. By securing your trailer bill of sale, you can conduct your sales smoothly without any trouble. 

Article by
Inna Chumachenko
Lawrina

Inna Chumachenko is the Content Lead at Lawrina. She is responsible for managing all the content found on the blog, guides, and other website pages. Inna has a degree in philology and a vast interest in law. In her role at Lawrina, Inna oversees the content team, establishes collaborations with writers, and curates content from various contributors.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the content for Lawrina, please feel free to contact Inna directly via email at i.chumachenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a trailer bill of sale necessary for private sales?

When it comes to private sales of trailers, it's often wise to have a trusty companion by your side in the form of a bill of sale. While the specific requirements may vary from state to state, having this legal document in your arsenal is generally recommended. Think of it as a shield that helps establish indisputable proof of ownership transfer, transaction particulars, and the mutually agreed-upon terms between the buyer and seller. With this document in hand, both parties can rest easier knowing they have an extra layer of protection and a means to resolve any potential disputes that may rear their heads in the future.

What does a trailer bill of sale protect against?

A trailer bill of sale is crucial because it provides evidence that the deal has taken place and identifies who the trailer belongs to. It helps prevent fraudulent activities and clarifies each party's responsibilities. In case of any disputes, this document serves as proof to assist in resolving issues.

For example, if a buyer claims that they have not received the trailer despite paying the full amount, the trailer bill of sale can be used to prove that the buyer is the rightful owner and that the seller has received payment in full.

Can I set my own price when selling a trailer?

If you're selling a trailer, you get to choose how much to charge. But, you have to make sure that the price is fair and makes sense based on the type, condition, age, features, and market value of the trailer. Setting an excessively high or artificially low price may raise questions or concerns. So, it's a good idea to see what other people are charging for similar trailers before you set your own price.