How much deposit to take for a private sale?

Feb 19, 2015
1,700
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Hi. We have a potential buyer coming from.afar today to view our van. He requests to put a deposit on the van and pick it up at the weekend. How much should we request?
Advice much appreciated as ever.
 

Mikey RV

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Mar 7, 2010
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5K that way you know he is a serious buyer. Balance in your bank account before you hand over the keys. Don’t sign the logbook until all is ok.
 

PP Bear

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Apr 5, 2013
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My friend recently sold his £24K BMW.

Took £500. That way it's low enough for them to walk away and high enough for you to be paid if they waste your time.

They came back from NI for the car with cash.
 
Feb 2, 2015
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What you both feel comfortable with to be honest. If someone is prepared to travel to leave a deposit, then a commitment has been made surely ? The vehicle stops with you until funds clear your account.
Kev
 
OP
Jac Sprat
Feb 19, 2015
1,700
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Thanks. Should he show us he has insurance before we let him test drive it. (Obviously with us in van too)
Also i dont want.my ebay time to be wasted by a week waiting as there are other interested people and I'm .keen to get off skiing!

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Northernraider

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I've taken anything from £100 to £1000 as a deposit.
I wouldn't ask for too much because any buyer will always have a "what if" at the back of their mind.
Enough of a deposit to cover your costs of advertising etc as bare minimum and of course it depends on when they plan to collect.
If it's only a day or too then you can accept a lower deposit ( unless you have others wishing to view within that time scale ) but if it's like a week or 2 then I'd be asking for a larger deposit.
 

Northernraider

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Thanks. Should he show us he has insurance before we let him test drive it. (Obviously with us in van too)
Also i dont want.my ebay time to be wasted by a week waiting as there are other interested people and I'm .keen to get off skiing!
Personally unless a buyer has taken there own insurance cover out on my vehicle and can prove it then I don't let anyone test drive my vehicles ...i will drive it with them in it.

Your insurance doesn't cover them
 

Mr Chrysalis

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Thanks. Should he show us he has insurance before we let him test drive it. (Obviously with us in van too)
Also i dont want.my ebay time to be wasted by a week waiting as there are other interested people and I'm .keen to get off skiing!
He may be covered on his own insurance to drive “ any vehicle not belonging to him and not hired to him” but that will only be third party. Ie it will only cover damage he does to other vehicles or property, not your motorhome. I would suggest that it would be safest to ring your insurance company and ask them to add him on temporarily for a test drive. Otherwise, take him for a ride in it but don’t let him drive on public highways.

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Northernraider

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I also write out a receipt for any deposit taken stating the vehicle details the full amount of the deposit, the balance to be paid the date the balance is expected and that the deposit is only to hold the vehicle until that date.
I write on it that the sale is agreed on the buyer having viewed and satisfied themselves of vehicle condition and that the deposit is non refundable. I also state that if balance is not paid on date specified I reserve the right to re advertise or accept another offer
 

Mr B

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Feb 1, 2015
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I have to agree with other replies.
£500-£1000 deposit..... cash
You drive the van, and if they buy it, bank transfer. Only letting it go when funds in your bank. I also move the funds to another account of ours ASAP:)
Genuine buyers fully understand

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haganap

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Dec 5, 2007
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judge it on the day. You will know if he is serious. If he has told you all about your van layout etc prior to arriving he's done his research. Don't be like us selling ours when people would turn up and look and say "oh we didn't want a French bed but can we test drive it?" err, no....

A deposit is a deposit. But a deposit has two meanings. It can be a holding deposit based upon some further information that is always refundable. Example, I paid travel world a 1k deposit for a van subject to my wife coming to see and agree the van. When we got there she hated it so the sale never went through and we therefore walked away with a deposit refunded.

Or
A deposit is a normal part payment of the vehicle whilst awaiting the full balance to be paid and is "non refundable".

So you could ask him for a holding deposit paid prior to arrival if you have other interest. Remember at this time he is nothing more than "interested" just like your other potential buyers. I would go with first come first serve unless he pays a holding deposit but being fair to him and say you will contact prior to him leaving to let him know it's still available. Too many people are no shows and leave you sitting around waiting only to tell you they found another close to home when you contact them.

In terms of test drives, never let them out in it. You are not a dealer and unless someone comes up with either a fully comp policy for your van (highly unlikely) or a payment of the full amount in to your bank account then its a no no. However what I have done is always offered to take them for a drive in the van so you can demonstrate everything works and they get a feel for it...

Good luck with it and let us know how you get on
 

androidGB

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Dec 28, 2009
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Irrespective of the amount I think the most important thing to get over is that it's non-refundable.

I have seen a number of posts where people change their mind and consider the dealer/seller is "scamming" them because they refuse to return the deposit.

I'm afraid we are becoming members of what I call the "Amazon Generation" whereby if you merely change your mind you just send it back.

This was made abundantly clear to me when trying to sell my mother's house, people would make an offer and then contact the agent a couple of days later simoply saying they had changed their mind.

Andrew
 

Bailey58

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Lot of very sensible and useful responses to the OP. I shall bookmark this for me to refer to sometime in the not too distant future.

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OP
Jac Sprat
Feb 19, 2015
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THANKS guys much appreciated. It wasnt for him in the end - not sure why, but we have learned a lot.
 
Aug 19, 2014
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Dont forget that if you take a non-refundable deposit, you have to go through with the sale...even if AN Other offers more or if you change your mind in resepct of selling.. You have entered into a contract.
 
Aug 28, 2017
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I also write out a receipt for any deposit taken stating the vehicle details the full amount of the deposit, the balance to be paid the date the balance is expected and that the deposit is only to hold the vehicle until that date.
I write on it that the sale is agreed on the buyer having viewed and satisfied themselves of vehicle condition and that the deposit is non refundable. I also state that if balance is not paid on date specified I reserve the right to re advertise or accept another offer
And both sign it ?

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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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I have to agree with other replies.
£500-£1000 deposit..... cash
You drive the van, and if they buy it, bank transfer. Only letting it go when funds in your bank. I also move the funds to another account of ours ASAP:)
Genuine buyers fully understand
Since the Faster Payments system came in a few years ago they can't recall the payment, once its in your account its yours.
 
Nov 23, 2011
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Ref the buyer take a test drive. They would have to have a motorhome specific policy to cover driving any motorhomes. Most stand alone motorhome policies do not cover driving other motorhomes including only third party cover. Recently I wanted to borrow my mates transit van and thought I would be covered on my car or motorhome insurance. Motorhome insured said I was only covered for driving my motorhome and car insurer said only cars. Better for you to take the test drive.
 
Feb 5, 2014
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Test drives can be a problem, apart from the insurance aspect with which you have to be happy.

When I bought my first (and only) van, I didn't know how I would feel about positioning myself in the road, going round corners, moving away from a stand-still, especially at something like traffic lights where there would be a degree of pressure. I had done that successfully in hired vans, upto 7.5T, but never in something which felt as wide, and as precious, as a MH. I was considering spending more money than all the rest of my vehicles put together: I NEEDED to be behind the wheel and doing those things.

What would have happened if I'd done some damage? Fortunately, that didn't happen and it was the owner who more or less insisted that I drove on a couple of wide but busy roads, as he wanted me to make the right decision. Needless to say, everything went well and I bought the MH. (y)

What would I do if I was selling? :unsure:

Gordon

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Mar 23, 2012
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What deposit would you be willing to pay to a stranger . I would take £100 enough to re-advertise but not so much as to make them think it was dodgy remember all they will be taking away when they pay the deposit is your word and a bit of paper (receipt). On the receipt write what was agreed re cost payment etc to avoid confusion/falling out later. Re some of the other posts if a stranger asked me to cough up 5k when they could be a scammer I think I would walk. For that sort of money I would want it held by a solicitor or similar until I had the keys and proof of ownership/no oustanding HP. Actually that made me think if you do have any outstanding finance on the m/h make that clear to any potential buyers as it will show on an HPI check.
 

Simon-Alan Kerr

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Mar 18, 2016
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I would take £1000 minimum. If someone put £100 or even £500 and they find a better deal from say a dealer for the vehicle thats the same or similar then they may think its only £500 and cancel yours. Imagine for instance they give you a couple of hundred but find a vehicle for £500 less then they are £300 better off by not dealing with you! That then leaves you having to re-list, wait for tyre kickers etc.
£1000 is enough money that people will think I don't want to lose that.

Simon
 

soreeyes

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Feb 21, 2012
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Test drives are a problem and insurance if there was an accident . Personally I would not take the risk of letting someone else drive and they can sit in while I drove .

Try and get thousands of pounds out of someone because the insurance has refused your claim can be long drawn out affair . Repairs to motorhomes can run into thousands easily for repairs .

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Jul 29, 2017
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Test drives a problem. If I was selling I wouldn't want it driven by someone not fully insured and that wouldn't be easy to arrange. If buying would I want to part with 10 s of thousands without driving it. Not easy. If no insurance you drive. Take precautions, follow a route of your choosing and try and make it obscure. Do not let go of the keys especially if you get out. If you stop anywhere be alert. Try and take a friend with you and let someone know what you are doing and where you are going. Hope I'm not being too pessimistic but it can be a minefield.
 
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