Whether you're selling a car and taking a deposit or buying a car and leaving a deposit, protect yourself and make sure to either give or receive a receipt. As a seller, you don't want to hault a car sale because of an unsure buyer. Asking for a nonrefundable deposit is a good indication if the buyer is serious. As a buyer, you don't want to leave a deposit with a stranger who can potentially take your money. Either the buyer or the seller can create the receipt.
Type or hand write a receipt for any money accepted or given. Date the receipt and state the name of the person giving money, the amount and the name of the person who is receiving it. Use an ink pen (nonerasable) to create the receipt or print the document from your computer ---- never use a pencil.
State what form of deposit is being left, such as cash, check or bank check. Include that the deposit is being left for a specific vehicle --- include its year, make and model and the vehicle identification number (VIN).
Include how long the deposit is good for, the remaining amount due and whether or not it is refundable. For example, you can state that the remaining payment is due in full within five days, otherwise the deposit is not refundable.
Sign the receipt along with the other party. Each person keeps a copy.
Include any additional information relevant to the sale and deposit. For example, if the seller is agreeing to fix a part on the vehicle before the remaining payment is due, the receipt should state this.