Transferring ownership of a car to a family member is no different than selling a car to a stranger—with the exception that you may be selling the car at a highly reduced price. If you plan on “selling” the car for $1, for example, your plan of helping out a relative may be somewhat foiled if he gets stuck paying sales tax on the value of the car. Before selling a car to a family member, it is important to understand the laws in your state so that you can enter into an agreement that is legal and fair to both parties.
Determine a fair selling price for the car. If you are essentially giving the car away to a family member for a low price, discuss the transaction with the buyer and come to an agreed-upon price. Otherwise, get an estimate of the car’s value by going to the Kelley Blue Book website to get an estimate based on the make, model, odometer reading and condition of the vehicle. This estimate can help you determine an appropriate selling price based on the car’s value.