How to Write a Letter of Intent in Buying a Car

by Kathryn Hatter

    A letter of intent to buy that car can put you in the driver's seat.

    Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    Once you’ve seen the car and taken it for a test drive, it’s time to crunch the numbers and determine whether you want to make it yours. Although not a legally binding contract, a letter of intent communicates your intention to proceed with a specific action. Write a letter of intent in buying a car to inform the seller of your desires and plans. The more specific your letter, the more effective it will be to encourage the seller to hold the car for you.

    Step 1

    Place the current date at the top of the letter. Position your full name and address immediately below the date. Position the seller’s name and address below your inside return address. Place a subject line with the subject “Letter of Intent to Purchase Car.”

    Step 2

    Open the letter with a salutation that addresses the seller by name to personalize the letter. For example, you might write, “Dear Sheila.”

    Step 3

    State the purpose of your letter in the first sentence. For example, you might write, “Please consider this letter a direct notification of my intent to purchase your 2008 Chevrolet Impala for $15,000.”

    Step 4

    Add specific details of the purchase after the opening sentence. For example, you might write, “I will secure the entire $15,000 to purchase the car by 5:00 pm on June 15. I would like to meet you that evening to exchange the purchase price for the vehicle and the title.”

    Step 5

    List any items that you want included with the purchase. For example, you might write, “According to our previous conversation, I would like the floor mats and the trunk organizer left in the vehicle as a part of the sale.”

    Step 6

    Close the letter asking for written confirmation and acceptance of your offer to purchase the car. For example, you might write, “Please reply to this letter by June 5 to confirm your acceptance. Please also suggest a convenient time and place to meet. Thank you.”

    Step 7

    Place a standard closing such as “Kind Regards” or “Sincerely Yours.” Skip four lines and type your entire name. Place your telephone number and email address below your name.

    Step 8

    Sign the letter and make a copy for your records. Send the letter certified mail with a return receipt requested.


    • If you don’t receive a response from the seller by the date stipulated in your letter, consider calling to inquire about the seller’s position.

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