Buy cars from private sellers with confidence

Avoid fraud with a vehicle history report, seller verification, and secure payment when you're ready to buy.

Create your free Vehicle Purchase Guide by entering the vehicle's VIN.

Tell us where you plan to register the vehicle so we can provide state-specific information.

What's a Purchase Guide?

seller identity verification
Ownership Verification

Know your seller is who they say they are and are legally able to sell.

junk cars
Red Flag Alerts

We'll alert you to any red flags found in title records or identity verification.

vehicle ownership verification
Expert Guidance

Get personalized tips based on the car, seller, and your state.

Title fraud can affect you by...

DMV paperwork
Preventing Registration

If you accept a fake title, it is not signed by all legal owners, or there is an undisclosed lien, the DMV will not let you register it. You could be stuck with a car you can't legally drive, and may have to return the car to the legal owner.

unfair price
Paying an Unfair Price

Modern printing technology can allow fraudulent sellers to hide salvage or rebuilt title brands. Without this knowledge, you could pay far more than fair market value.

Unsafe vehicle
Driving an Unsafe Car

Vehicles with salvage titles could be damaged and unsafe to drive. They often have higher future repair costs which is why the market value is so much lower.

KeySavvy guides you through the car buying process

Be prepared with knowledge and guidance.

KeySavvy not only provides you with comprehensive records from the NMVTIS, NICB, and your state's DMV (including data CARFAX doesn't have), we interpret the data for you and offer detailed guidance on your next steps as a buyer.

Frequently Asked Questions

KeySavvy uses third-party identity verification technology to confirm the seller's identity. We then use a combination of public records, seller-provided information, and DMV records to verify that the seller is the legal owner of a vehicle.

We do not share the seller's personal information with the buyer, and we do not share the buyer's personal information with the seller.

KeySavvy provides a NMVTIS vehicle history report, verifies the identity of the buyer and seller, and checks for loans and liens that would prevent the buyer from registering the vehicle.

CARFAX and AutoCheck provide vehicle history reports, but they don't protect against buyer or seller fraud, or allow buyers and sellers to complete their transaction online.

A lien indicates that another party, such as a bank, mechanic, or government entity, is entitled to some or all of the proceeds when a car is sold. Liens are usually recorded when a vehicle is purchased with a loan. In some cases, a mechanic or a court order may add a lien to a vehicle.

In a typical private party sale, the seller has to pay off the entire loan amount and wait for their title or lien release before they can sell their car. It usually takes several weeks before the lien is released. If you buy a car with a lien, you will not be able to register it.

If you buy with KeySavvy, we pay off the lien as part of the purchase process, after we receive your payment. Because we are a licensed dealer, we are able to register the car so you can legally drive it as soon as we approve the purchase. The seller doesn't have to pay off the entire loan before the sale.

Yes, KeySavvy enables you to purchase a vehicle when the seller still has a loan or lien. When buying a vehicle that has a loan or a lien, you must use KeySavvy to pay online (you cannot use cash or a cashier's check).

In a typical private party sale, you would not be able to legally purchase or register a vehicle unless the seller has already paid off the loan. Because KeySavvy is a licensed dealer, we can handle the loan payoff and sale as part of the purchase process, and issue a temporary permit that allows you to legally drive the car.

When an insurance company decides damage to a vehicle is great enough that the vehicle should be replaced, it is considered a "total loss". The vehicle's title is then branded as "salvage" and, if an owner repairs it, the title brand can be changed to "rebuilt". Cars with salvage or rebuilt title brands have significantly lower market value than cars with a "clean" title.

Yes, KeySavvy is the safest way to pay a private seller. When you pay with KeySavvy, you're guaranteed to get a clear title and can pay securely online. Ready to pay a private seller now? Learn More.

KeySavvy will exhaustively search all public records available, but in some cases there will not be many records available. This doesn't necessarily mean there is a problem with the vehicle. If we're unable to find adequate information to produce a useful report, we still guarantee buyers will receive a clear title and sellers will get paid when buyers pay with KeySavvy.

Buy safely. Verify your seller. Create your Purchase Guide.

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Copyright © 2022 KeySavvy, Inc., a public benefit corporation.

KeySavvy is a licensed auto dealer, regulated by Minnesota Driver & Vehicle Services. License #DLR100357.