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I plan to purchase in a used car dealership without financing. In order to be prepared to buy on the spot what money transfer options are common place? If all possible I prefer a method which leaves a paper trail, like instant wire.

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    In America, we'd do that archaic thing called "write a check"; it leaves a wonderful paper trail... – RonJohn Jul 10 at 6:48
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    Even more antiquated, but still used in the US is cash. I just bought a car, at a dealership, and handed the guy a stack of 100's. – Pete B. Jul 10 at 11:05
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    @PeteB. very gangsta! Was it a pimped out Escalade? – RonJohn Jul 10 at 15:43
  • 04 x3, I don't spend money on cars. Bicycles on the other hand... – Pete B. Jul 10 at 15:58
  • @Pete B.: I don't buy cars from dealers if I can avoid it, but that's what I did for two of the last three I bought. The 3rd was a cashier's check for what I hoped to bargain the seller down to, plus a few $100s to make it up to the actual price. – jamesqf Jul 10 at 17:10
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In Europe you write sale and purchase agreement. Which is paper trail to everything: amount paid, method of payment, seller confirmation of payment received, state of the car, specification, TUV's and so on.

Payment methods available are:

  • cash (sometimes small fraction of whole price used as a deposit)
  • bank transfer (as we have available instant transfers you can pay on the spot and dealer will have confirmation from their bank immediately)
  • very rare (from my observations) card payments. Due to processing payment by third parties dealership avoid this type of payment as it would take a lot of time to process and could be easily blocked or reversed. Also the car price is usually larger than limits on people cards.

If you have account in german bank you can ask dealer to go to the bank with you to be present when you make the transfer order.

You will also get a copy of previous agreement as a proof of dealership ability so sell you that car.

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I recently read about sicherbezahlen.de. They claim to be a kind of escrow for exactly this type of transaction.

I have no experience with them, however, so I cannot tell how good they really are.

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