How Safe Is Bank Cheque? Selling Car

Hi Guys,

I am selling my car and interstate buyer is interested in purchasing it. He has already transferred me couple Ks to my bank account as a deposit and rest he said he will bring Bank Cheque.

My problem is he is coming over on Sunday and Monday is Public holiday. I won't be able to get to bank till Tuesday to settle it.

How safe are bank cheques?

What if buyer calls the bank and cancels Bank Cheque before I could cash it? What if buyer claims he lost the cheque and bank would cancel it? Where do I stand now?

It might all be okay, I am just nervous since the amount is over 35K.

I don't expect him to bring me 35K cash so Bank Cheques are the best options usually but what can I do to protect myself against any potential frauds?

UPDATE: Guy did come yesterday evening to pick up the car, he was very nice and provided me NAB bank cheque and a receipt of the cheque as well. I gave him a handwritten receipt of the sale mentioning sale was subject to bank cheque number ***** clearance.
I havent given him rego papers signed, I will post it to him when funds are clear. I think it's all fine.
Thank you so much for all the comments, really helped.

UPDATE 2: Cheque cleared all went well, PHEW! Thanks so much guys


    • Bank cheques can be stopped under a limited set of circumstances.

    • +1

      @Hithere Thats some next level paranoia right there..

  • +5

    You will be fine. Go with your instinct and common sense. You have been armed with a lot of options above. Use the ones you feel necessary.

  • +7

    OP to answer your specific hypotheticals:

    Once the cheque is handed over to you they can only put a stop if it is stolen or lost. The bank would investigate and given your evidence (sale contract etc) it would be very clear this has not occurred.

    People here have presented a lot of 'what ifs' and alternatives but at the end of the day bank cheques are commonly used in financial transactions, are a recommended method of engaging in car private sales, and there is plenty of information online from banks that explain the details of what they represent, and the circumstances surrounding them.

    • -6

      put a stop if it is stolen or lost.

      So after getting the car, whomever paid for the Bank Cheque could, Monday morning, reported as stolen.
      And there goes your money and your car.

      Bank cheques are NOT cash people!!!!!!!!!

      • +5

        That's not how that works. The bank doesn't just say "Oh, you're saying it's stolen? Okay we'll cancel it." They do their own checks to make sure that that's the case, because it's not a cheque issued by the buyer, it's issued by the bank. A bank can't disappear or run away, if it's a valid cheque, even a bank can't just cancel it.

        • +1

          Please elaborate on how to report a lost or stolen cheque.

          Bank cheques can be cancelled and made worthless.

        • @LFO: That's as pointless as saying cash could be counterfeit. No, I don't want to argue with you because you don't seem to even know enough to put up a meaningful argument.

        • You are completely incorrect. Having worked for a bank, I can promise you that if someone contacted us and said a bank cheque was lost or stolen it was instantly cancelled no questions asked. Stop sprouting incorrect information, it helps no one.

        • @Jules85: Which bank? So I can give you the exact line on the exact page of that bank's policies that proves you wrong. (In case you're confused, I'm saying you're full of BS).

        • +3



          PS. Policies don't mean shit (welcome to the real world baby). Bank staff can and will cancel a bank cheque if you report it as being lost or stolen. Absolutely no investigation will take place. The whole process takes 30 seconds.

        • @Jules85:
          Guess i wont be accepting cheques from CBA.

          What if the cheque is in the same name as the bank cheque. Will they then have to contact CBA to get it re-issued or lawyer up.

        • @Jules85: thanks for the feedback.

          This is worrying though, why do bank staff do this? Just lazy?

          What would you do if someone tried to deposit a bank cheque that had been cancelled in this way (without investigation)?

        • +1

          @Jules85: But the money is not returned immediately to the person that cancelled the bank cheque. How long is the money held by the bank before it is returned?

        • +1


          And the money returned to the purchaser of the bank cheque?

        • @kingmw: And even if the cash is already returned, if you're holding a Bank Cheque, you have a claim against the Bank itself. They still have to honour the cheque, because they're the one who issued it, not the person who cancelled the cheque. All the risk lies on the Bank, which is why it's safe.

    • What if the cheque was reported stolen the day that it was issued, say a week before, and there is a police report to back up the theft.
      Do you think the bank would refuse to cancel the cheque in the scenario?

      When the cheque is deposited a week later would you expect the bank to honour it?

  • +17

    A lot of bad information here. I deal with bank cheques fairly regularly - they're as good as cash.

    Here's how a bank cheque works and why it's that safe:

    The person who draws the cheque has the funds deducted from their account the moment they draw the cheque. The Bank Cheque is effectively a cheque from the Bank, not from the drawer.

    They can be cancelled or stopped, but only after extensive checks by the issuing Bank, and they certainly would not return the cash to the drawer of the bank cheque until and unless they've established that the cancellation is legitimate. Again - because a Bank Cheque is really from the Bank and not the drawer, if it bounces it's the bank, not the buyer, who's on the hook.

    They are incredibly hard to fake. That depends on if you know what a real one looks like, but so long as it's from one of the major banks, I'd be confident that no amateur will be able to fake it. And if someone is faking Bank Cheques, they're going to be exchanging them for cash, or other liquid asset, not an illiquid, fast depreciating and trackable asset like a car.

    • +4

      A lot of bad information here. I deal with bank cheques fairly regularly - they're as good as cash.

      From the NAB website…

      "The term 'bank cheque' describes a cheque that is issued by a bank. Bank cheques are generally treated by the law in the same manner as ordinary cheques. Although some people regard bank cheques as equivalent to cash, there are certain circumstances where a bank cheque may not be paid."

      • +2

        Not as good as cash.

        there are certain circumstances where a bank cheque may not be paid

      • +1

        Sigh. The point is that it's a cheque issued by the bank. So it certainly won't bounce, and it can't be cancelled by the drawer (only by the bank).

        Did you think to keep reading down the page?

        If NAB is told that a bank cheque is stolen or lost and is satisfied that this is the case, NAB will not pay the cheque if it is presented for payment by a person who has no right to it.


        NAB may refuse to pay the bank cheque only if the person presenting the bank cheque for payment: has not given value for it

        In any case, for transactions in the tens of thousands of dollars or more, bank cheques are the only realistic and practical way to go about it. No one is going to transfer that much money BEFORE receiving the item. No one is going to have that much in cash, or feel safe carrying it around, or want to count it all.

        • -1

          Consider I am part of a gang of thieves operating in Australia with intention to defraud unwary consumers.

          I am only going to be in Australia another month before I go to support ISIS & have been here for two years as a foreign student.

          I deposit $35k into the bank on 1st May.
          On the 8th May I have a bank cheque issued for $35k.
          On the 9th May I report to the police station that walking home that evening I was accosted in the street & my bank cheque & $100 cash were stolen. I get a police report.
          Later on the 9th I report the theft to the bank & request the cheque to be cancelled.
          The bank does its due diligence, accepts a copy of my police report AND CANCELS THE CHEQUE.
          The money is returned to my account on the 23rd May and I withdraw it in total and close the account on the 24th.
          I then spend the next 3 weeks lining up a mark with an approximately $35k car to take the fall for my scam.
          I also spend my time lining up another buyer for the vehicle for $25k cash and arrange a day for him to collect. I let him know I need to collect it from my cousins house beforehand and he cannot be there himself as he is overseas & I am selling as a favour for him, and the price is cheap because he isn't coming back to Australia for years & really needs the cash.

          I arrange to take possession of the car on a public holiday knowing this will increase the likelihood my plan will proceed.

          On the 10th June I take possession of the vehicle & hand over the (already cancelled) cheque. On the 11th I hand the vehicle & paperwork over to the new buyer I arranged & pocket the cash ($25k).
          On the 12th of June I leave the country. I have my original $35k plus the $25k I received from the buyer of the car I arranged.

          Sometime around the 11~12th of June the bank gets back to the original seller that the cheque has bounced.
          The original seller contacts the buyer who explains there must be some kind of mixup, he will contact the bank & complete a bank transfer if the bank confirms the cheque was cancelled (he says that he just has to make sure HE is not being scammed first)…
          ..this buys another couple of days to make sure he is long gone…

          My experienced bank manager please explain to me how the bank would have stopped & prevented this scam, and how the original seller of the vehicle could have prevented being ripped off except by waiting until the cheque cleared before handing over the vehicle or arranging a different means/circumstance of payment.

        • @lghulm: And if you think this kind of scam is not ran often you obviously do not spend much time in court rooms.

          Scams like this are quite common, Australia has a ready supply of people coming & going permanently and there are a lot of naive people. Many times, the person used for the scam, not just the person being scammed is unaware of what is transpiring.

          E.g. the "gang" which is not leaving Australia line up a student who is, they get the student to agree to deposit the cash in the bank in their name, pick up the vehicle etc ..the person used in this way does not know they are involved in a scam, and make very little out of it, maybe a grand, instead they think they are 'helping' their 'friend'. In this way an organised gang can make hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in a year as their name is in no way tied into the deal from any of the buyers/sellers/bank or police.

          It is only if the patsy used is tracked down, in another country… many weeks/years later, that the conversation to get their name can even take place.. and of course they never gave the patsy their real name anyway so now you just have a description! And they have moved to another city within that year to continue the scam anyway!

          Australia has an organised crime division for a reason. I have a feeling their advice to the seller would be different from those on the boards saying "bank cheques are as safe as cash".

        • +4

          @lghulm: The bank cheque requires the name of the payee before it can be issued. This scam won't work unless you happen to find a person with the same name selling something for 35K exactly. Also the reason why the bank does not return the money back to your account for 14 days in case of this.

          I wouldn't accept a bank cheque that was in excess or under the amount that was negotiated or addressed to a different person.

        • @lghulm:
          Let's take a cursory look at your hypothetical:

          On the 8th May I have a bank cheque issued for $35k.


          I then spend the next 3 weeks lining up a mark with an approximately $35k car to take the fall for my scam.


          On the 10th June I take possession of the vehicle & hand over the (already cancelled) cheque.

          It's funny that on the 8th of May when you draw the Bank Cheque, you already know the name of the seller of the car that you later find, and for the exact amount. I mean, if you had a time machine or could tell the future, there are easier ways to make money.

          Also no one is going to accept a months-old bank cheque.

        • +1


          Bank cheques have the persons name on it who is to be paid by the bank.

      • +1

        And cash is issued by the government, but theft and counterfeiting exists, so there are circumstances where cash may not be 'paid'. If you can't trust a bank cheque after doing appropriate checks (ID, basic background, etc) then you may want to invest some of your saved cash into some counselling sessions - or maybe just a catering roll of aluminium foil.

    • -1

      Nope nope and nope. As someone who has worked for a bank you are completely incorrect.

  • Tell him to scan you a copy ahead of time and see if you van verify it with the bank.

    • +6

      Stop scaring OP omg. There's nothing dodgy about this at all. People buy cars from interstate all the time. Hell, we have a few threads asking about prices interstate from Vic, because apparently some cars are just expensive in Vic compared to other states. I've bought cars interstate.

      Wanting to do it on a long weekend? Yes, again - if they're travelling interstate, who wants to take a day off work?

      And the buyer is going to be showing up in person - OP can check their Photo ID, take a photo of that, and again it's a bank cheque and bank cheques are safe as cash for all intents and purposes. Bank transfers are more dodgy.

  • Last one, and to satisfy all banking lawyers in our land, high and dry …

    Every time I posted "bank cheque can be cancelled" I meant to write, and please read: "bank cheques can be cancelled by the bank or the financial institution involved"

    Which, by the way, means a bank cheque can be cancelled after all.

    Hope this helps and sorry for my previous recurrent brevity.

    Good luck OP!

    • +2

      Great! Now go research that it's a crime to invalidly cancel a bank cheque. And read the policies of banks in cancelling bank cheques (i.e. only if it's proven it's been lost or stolen, and hasn't been used to buy something, etc). Because, again, if you've validly received a bank cheque and the bank cancels it, it's the bank that becomes liable.

      • +2

        We don't live in a world where 'crime' means people won't do it.

        OP doesn't want to have to chase a bank for liability if it turns out the buyer is a scammer (possible they are) People have lives they need to attend to. Due diligence would be for the OP to request the balance paid out in a bank transfer rather than wait for a cheque to clear.

        • +2

          People might still commit crimes. The BANK wouldn't. Again - it would be the bank cancelling the cheque in this case. They'd be liable… potentially criminally. No - the bank won't do that. I'm not saying banks are saints either, but the bank would have no reason to want to help scam OP, and the bank has every reason to not be liable.

        • +2


          Again, we don't live in a perfect world and if you want to suggest to people that they can through all of that if/when things go tits up, when you could have just requested an electronic funds transfer, then that's incredibly foolish.

          Some people prefer due diligence, other's prefer to put their faith into the system. Suggesting someone puts their faith infront of due diligence when they asked if it was prudent, and their own $35k is on the line, is IMO giving foolish advice.

        • @HighAndDry: The bank is not committing a crime by cancelling a cheque that has been reported stolen & for which they have a police report for.

          In such a case, the criminal buyer has fraudulently reported the cheque stolen & obtained a police report in order to complete their scam.
          The bank has followed 100% correct procedure in cancelling a cheque in such a scenario & cannot be forced to honour it when a week (or if you won't accept a week substitute a month) later a person attempts to cash the cheque.

          In such a case the matter will be a civil case between the seller & buyer & a criminal fraud case between the police and buyer. The bank can be a witness in either case, but does not need to defend itself for its cancellation of the cheque as that was wholly appropriate.

          People that commit fraud are aware that it brings them into trouble with police but proceed anyway. And they do so for incredibly small amounts, even $1~$2k. $35k is quite a bit larger, & so an even greater incentive to commit fraud to receive it. So motive is there, reward is there, ability is there, in such a combo you will always find many willing criminal takers & unfortunately many naive people that enable them.

    • You forgot 'under certain limited circumstances'.

  • +1

    Cant remember the specifics but someone I knew had their car stolen and the bank cheque was cancelled. I would evaluate other options.

    • +6

      Many people don't know the difference between a bank cheque and a personal cheque. Just read the previous comments for examples.

      Let's say John Smith the thief wants to steal your car. He gets a $35k bank cheque. $35k is withdrawn from his bank account. He cancels the cheque before giving it to you, claiming to his bank the cheque was eaten by his dog. You take said cheque to the bank to deposit it but the bank says 'sorry, not valid'.

      What do people think would happen from here?

      The bank just shrugs its shoulders and says 'sucks to be you, lol' and lets John Smith keep the $35k in his account, or they immediately freeze the funds pending an investigation? You did see John Smith's driver's license before letting him test drive your car, right? You did sign the registration transfer paperwork in his presence and send it off to your state rego office, thus proving ownership was transferred to him?

      Even if John Smith the thief withdraws that refunded $35k from the bank before you try to cash in the bank cheque, the bank is going to pursue him for the money. This is of course assuming a bank is going to immediately refund the money from a 'lost' cheque. In practice this does not happen.

      It's well worth being vigilant when selling anything expensive, but the way people get caught out is accepting personal cheques (very dumb), or accepting emailed fake receipts or being shown a statement on a mobile phone.

      • +4

        Not only that - the bank wouldn't return the $35k into John Smith's account immediately on cancelling the cheque. There's a waiting period involved, because banks aren't stupid (when it comes to protecting their money).

        • But you do not know when the cheque was issued in this case. It could have been a month ago, the money returned and withdrawn since & account closed.

        • @lghulm: Bank cheques are dated.

    • +5

      I paid the deposit and once the transaction cleared into the sellers account, I took ownership.

      That's terrible. What if the seller refuses to hand over the car when the money's cleared?

      • -3

        Do you worry about the same thing when you go shopping? That after you pay for your groceries or clothes, that security will come and take all the items off you and keep your money?

        It was a 2nd hand car, not a new car with financing. Paying for something in full before taking possession of it is the norm if there's no financing involved on a 2nd hand item. There was a long paper trail involved, including receipts for the deposit and balance.

        No one in this thread has provided any reasoning as to why the buyer can't just deposit the money into the sellers account. Clearly if they have the money, they could do this. Yet the way the downvotes are being brigaded against people who suggest not to accept a bank cheque, without giving a reason as to why a buyer can't do what is the norm and have the funds cleared before taking possession of a 2nd hand car, is a bit worrying - with you being the most vocal in the corner that everyone should accept a bank cheque without question.

  • +7

    Well, after reading some of the horror stories on here, this is how I sold my $25K car in Victoria. Got the buyer to come in and inspect the car first. Once he was ok with the condition/purchase etc, I asked him to give me $1K deposit either cash or bank transfer. He was happy with the cash deposit payment. I took a photo of his driver's licence when he test drove my car(front and back). We also signed on a piece of paper (I think I got it from NRMA website). One signed copy for him, one for me. He also wanted something else from my side to make sure that I was the rightful owner. So, I gave him the copy of my licence and the copy of the Rego renewal. He also wanted to make sure that the car didn't have any loan on it. So, I told him to do PPSR check (which I am assuming he would have done). We agreed in writing on the piece of paper that the car will be handed over Only when the amount is paid via either the Bank Cheque (cheque must be issued in front of the buyer + seller in the branch) or EFT (upon the balance amount clearing in the bank account). So, a week after (when roadworthy was done) he informed that he would pay by a bank cheque. We agreed to meet at the bank (for payment + hand over of the vehicle), teller issued the bank cheque, we both took the photo of the cheque for our records. He hands me the cheque, I hand him the car keys, books etc. Shake hands. He takes the car, I take the bank cheque and go straight to my bank(which was conveniently in the same shopping centre) to deposit. Money shows up in the account straight away. He was very cooperative which was a bonus and also wanted to be extra careful in buying the car. TL:DR, apologies for a long comment. But for the OP, safe bet would be to go to the bank together with the buyer and see the bank cheque being issued in person at the counter, then head straight to his own bank to do the deposit. It would also help to keep a copy/photo of the receipt that the bank provides when they issue the bank cheque. Good luck!

    • +1

      Sounds good. Thanks for sharing. Some long comments are well worth it!

  • +3

    I have had to cancel a bank cheque cause the seller of a car gave me the wrong name.

    They would not let me do it over the phone and I had to go to the branch with the bank cheque before they would cancel it. They gave me cash on the spot after I cancelled it though even though I hate dealing with large amounts of cash it was easier than dicking around with bank cheque.

    • -1

      Thanks for that.

      There's a lot of people in this thread (like 'HighAndDry') who are certain beyond any possible doubt, that what what you said can not be a possibility.

      I wonder if they are all bankers making $$$ commission from making the bank cheques and want people to think that bank cheques are as good as handing over cash.

      • +5

        poor HighAndDry, even when Bammers post reinforces what he says is right, you have mis-interpreted Bammers post.

        HighAndDry says the bank will not simply cancel a bank check - Bammers says they would not let him simply cancel over phone.
        HighAndDry says the bank will want to see the bank check to cancel - Bammers says they made him go to the branch with the bank check to cancel.

        Why do you think the bank is making him go into the branch bank check in hand, if they would happily cancel checks any time someone just says they lost it over the phone.

        • +1

          Bammers cancelled the check after it was made.

          Have a look at the comments made by HighAndDry; such as there is "no risk in accepting a bank cheque" as "it certainly won't bounce".

          There is risk, a bank cheque is not as good as cash and an electronic funds transfer still remains the way to go if OP is having second thoughts about if the buyer is a scammer or not. What would you tell your mother if it was her? That she shoudn't request the balance paid via electornic funds transfer because your faith in the system is very high? Surely you would give her better advice, such as asking her to request to the buyer that the balance is paid via funds transfer and not bank cheque?

          Scammers are some of the most charismatic/conniving people on Earth, they won't have a problem sweet talking the bank into cancelling a cheque and then the problem is on OP.

        • +1

          @c0balt: I suspect Philip Lowe could log on here and support H&D's comments, and you would still be arguing the point.

        • +1


          Mate, I've provided links from NAB directly saying they cancel bank cheques and people have commented that they have cancelled bank cheques. The link says that bank cheques are treated by law the same as normal cheques.

          Either bank cheques are as good as cash/direct funds transfer, or they are not.

          They are not. They add risk.

        • +1

          @c0balt: I don't know what else to say here. Fourofjacks is right - you took a comment that basically showed how impossible it is to scam someone with a bank cheque (hint: The bank doesn't let you keep the bank cheque after you've brought it in to cancel it), and you somehow think you're still right.

          A bank transfer is not safer than a bank cheque. Bank transfers can be reversed far more easily than a bank cheque - e.g. If it is a scammer, and they fraudulently transfer funds from someone else's account. That's not really the biggest issue though. A transaction has to be safe for both parties. A bank transfer is the equivalent of telling someone to send you a suitcase of cash, and then you'll send them the goods. No buyer (rational, prudent, buyer) will agree to that. A method of transaction that one side will never agree to is not a workable one.

        • @c0balt:

          Mate, I've provided links from NAB directly…

          Blah blah. I've already replied to that. Here it is again, since you seem to have missed it.

          If NAB is told that a bank cheque is stolen or lost and is satisfied that this is the case, NAB will not pay the cheque if it is presented for payment by a person who has no right to it.

          How could OP be scammed by a cancelled bank cheque given this?

          Or, even if NAB themselves are out money,

          Where NAB has not received payment for issuing a bank cheque to a customer (e.g. your cheque to NAB in payment for the bank cheque is dishonoured), NAB may refuse to pay the bank cheque only if the person presenting the bank cheque for payment: has not given value for it

          How could OP be scammed given this policy?

          Hell, it's literally here in black and white - even if there are any issues, Bank Cheques are so reliable that the Bank itself would rather wear the cost, than to pass the risk to the holder of the cheque.

        • @HighAndDry:

          Prior to this your comments really do ascertain that a bank cheque is much safer than an electronic transfer for the OP. Strange that you are now changing your tune when it's become very obvious that there is additional risks. People are free to have a look at the previous page to see the comments you made about bank cheques being risk free.

          A bank cheque is not without risk, infact I would argue it's it's much easier to forge a bank cheque or actually do one then report it stolen or lost (as was the section I was referencing and quoted it, compared to a fraudulent electronic transfer.

          If you are worrying about being scammed, accepting a bank cheque before the funds have cleared is something that sets off more warning bells to me than an electronic funds transfer.

          How could OP be scammed? They hand over the car once they get the cheque and on your advice because it has no risk, before the cheque has cleared, it gets reported as fraudulently made or stolen - BAM bank is now on buyers side and he has OPs car. OP's only recourse is civil action paying through the nose for lawyers without a car.

          There is added risk in blindly accepting a bank cheque over a cleared electronic funds transfer. Until a bank cheque has cleared, it's worth as much as a personal cheque to the one receiving the money.

        • +2

          @c0balt: No one is saying you can't cancel a bank check. They are just saying it is not as easy to cancel a bank check as it is to cancel a personal check. It is easier to reverse an electronic bank transfer that has the amount shown in an account - this is how people are regularly scammed see

          Try and search for cases where people are scammed by bank check (note bank check, not personal check), and compare the hits vs people scammed by electronic bank transfer which you are suggesting. It's quite funny you are recommending the 'safe' method as the one that people keep getting scammed using.

          Add NAB is correct in saying that bank checks and personal checks are treated the same under law. But that doesn't mean they are treated the same in money transfers. Under law you are considered equal to the CEO of NAB. But I bet if you tried to access his office, you would not be treated the same as him, even though you are equal under the law.

          Lastly, as a side note, many places handling large sums of money would not accept cash, but only bank checks as it is safer and more secure for all involved. Have a think, why would they do this? Do you think you are more knowledgeable with money than of of them since they stupid enough to accept bank checks?

        • -3


          Try and search? Please provide me these cases that for some reason you haven't referenced in your 20 posts saying bank cheques are not risk free, before changing everything you have asserted prior to my comments.

          Funny that I recommend he requests an electronic funds transfer and waits until it clears? Are you really going to continue with asserting that has more of a risk than an uncleared bank cheque even when you and myself provide links saying the law treats bank cheques the same the same as personal cheques?

          I find it funny you link to electronic funds transfers that didn't clear, were left pending, when I've only ever commented about cleared electronic funds transfers having much less of a risk than bank cheques. You are more than welcome to read your own, and then my posts to confirm.

        • @c0balt: I think you have a reading comprehension problem, no offence. FourofJacks said "try and search" as in go find examples of people being scammed by bank cheques, and you'll have far fewer examples than people being scammed via bank transfers.

          In other words - you're saying that bank cheques are riskier in real life. Go find us some examples to prove it.

        • @c0balt:

          Prior to this your comments really do ascertain that a bank cheque is much safer than an electronic transfer for the OP. Strange that you are now changing your tune

          I'm not. Bank cheques are far safer than bank transfers. I even repeated that in the comment you replied to here:

          "A bank transfer is not safer than a bank cheque. Bank transfers can be reversed far more easily than a bank cheque"

          So… no.

          before the cheque has cleared, it gets reported as fraudulently made or stolen - BAM bank is now on buyers side and he has OPs car.

          Sigh - again, you're just showing that you've never dealt with bank cheques before. Banks are not Paypal. If a bank cheque is reported as fraudulent, the bank will investigate. OP shows them the signed car rego transfer, and the bank sends the buyer a "Please explain." They don't trivially cancel bank cheques.

        • @HighAndDry:

          Bank cheques that have not cleared as riskier than cleared electronic funds transfers, seeing as one is cleared money in your pocket and the other is faith that you will have it without issue.

          You wrote above see: "A bank transfer is not safer than a bank cheque." when I was referencing a cleared electronic transfer.

          Seems like there's a lot of comprehension issues going on here if you have read otherwise, when that's what I wrote.

        • +1


          …. Even IF this logic here is right (and it's not) you're still wrong. A bank cheque is money with the bank (effectively the bank is holding it in escrow). Guess what? Money in your account is still money with the bank. I'm done here. You lack both reading comprehension and reasoning skills, this is just a waste of my time.

          You wrote that above see "A bank transfer is not safer than a bank cheque." when I was referencing a cleared electronic trasnfer.

          Yes. And I stand by that. A bank transfer is NOT safer than a bank cheque. Which means a bank cheque is safer.

        • -1


          And I stand by a cleared electronic transfer is much safer than a bank cheque that has not cleared.

          One being money in the pocket, the other being faith.

        • +2

          @c0balt: Then you'd be wrong. As you have been in the entirety of this comment thread. Again, I'm done here, enjoy your night.

          Edit: Just for others' information, yes - as counter-intuitive as it sounds, I'm saying this:

          "An uncleared bank cheque is still safer than a (just) cleared bank transfer."

          Again, this is why:

          A Bank Cheque is a cheque drawn on the funds OF THE BANK ITSELF. It literally has the full credit of the bank standing behind it. That's why, again, NAB says:

          Where NAB has not received payment for issuing a bank cheque to a customer (e.g. your cheque to NAB in payment for the bank cheque is dishonoured), NAB may refuse to pay the bank cheque only if the person presenting the bank cheque for payment: has not given value for it

          Again, in other words - even if NAB themselves are out money, because the funds paying for the bank cheque are somehow invalid or illegitimate, they will still honour the bank cheque.

          Compare that to a bank transfer from the personal account of an individual. A bank transfer being "cleared" does not mean it's 100% confirmed, not immediately. A bank will have a standard timeframe to clear funds, generally 1-3 working days. If they find out that the funds were fraudulent in the first place though, they will still reverse the transaction, even AFTER it has cleared. Even if it leaves your account in deficit.

          Ok. Now I'm done. Good night.

        • -1


          I'm wrong for thinking a cleared, not pending, electronic transfer is safer than a bank cheque?

          A cleared electronic transfer is as good as the printed cash in your wallet, literally you could go buy something with it. A bank cheque is good faith that it will clear. I'm glad you finally put it in stone without backpedaling.

          Enjoy your night, don't go accepting bank cheques from dodgy people now.

        • +5

          yes you are wrong, even cleared, not pending electronic transfers are not as safe as bank cheques.
          when people are scamming using electronic transfer, they can use illegally obtained funds to send to you. Even when cleared, the bank will not hesitate and do not need consent to recover the cleared funds from the recipient - and if they do not the bank will lose this money (as they have to return it to rightful owner or they have given money that was never there). They do not care if you have transferred the item, as that is your problem, not theirs - their concern is to get their money back.

          This is the similar as if someone accidentally transfer funds to you, it clears but the money is not yours. The bank can recover it at any time, even years after the fact and you have no say. Except if they funds are gone / you have withdrawn and used, they can chase you to pay it back.

          The whole reason for a bank cheque is that it is "hard" to reverse / cancel and that it will clear without issue - that is why it is considered good as cash throughout industries. The banks back up this guarantee - otherwise there is no point to them and no one would use them. If it was as easy as you think it is to reverse and cancel a bank cheque, do you think a new car dealership would let people drive out the door with a shiny new car soon as you hand over the bank cheque?

          If you are still not convinced, go call up your bank, tell them you are concerned someone may be trying to scam you illegally, and ask them which they think is the safer option for you, getting a bank cheque or waiting for electronic transfer that has cleared.

  • +6

    Take deposit in advance, swap bank cheque and id copy for car. Wait for cheque to clear, lodge disposal of car form.

    If cheque doesn't clear, don't lodge disposal of car form with the motor registry, report car as stolen to Police instead.

    That's enough protection for most transactions.

  • +2

    Please tell us that you phoned the bank instead of posting the question and then acting on anyone's guesses and opinions here.
    Two phone calls actually, one to your bank and one to their bank.

    Why on earth would you risk $35k on some random persons advice here when you could have just asked the bank??

  • I was in the exact same situation last year. Sold my car for 27k and the guy use a bank cheque,but I was with him at his bank witnessing him writing the cheque. Only then I gave him the car key. I recommend the OP to do the same cause of the amount involved and its a peace of mind thing.

    • +5

      'I was with him at his bank witnessing him writing the cheque.'

      People dont write bank cheques. You go to the bank ask them for one and they take your funds and the bank produce/ print a cheque.
      There is no need for the person requesting the bank cheque to sign or do anything to the bank cheque once its produced by the bank.

      If you are talking about someone filling in a cheque from a cheque book and signing it, this is not a bank cheque.

      I suspect this is where the confusion is coming from.

      This thread makes my head hurt….

      • +1

        This thread makes my head hurt….

        Tell me about it.

      • You are "language policing" not proving any point. E.g. wolfodwallstreet can be interpreted as saying he went to the bank and witnessed the money being taken from the buyers account and written as a bank cheque by the bank in front of him.

        • Fair point. On rereading the comment, I will accept wolfodwallstreet could mean that.

          My comment was not intended to be directed at wolfodwallstreet and I apologise if they took offence or felt targetted in any way.

          I suppose this post can be interpreted as 'apologies to wolfodwallstreet and, everyone else, please continue with the miss information, miss comprehension and 'Im right. No your wrong, Im right' stuff.

  • Just read the positive vote comments. You'll be fine.

  • +2

    I will put this here:


    Found someone to buy your car but aren’t sure what to do next?

    Once you’ve found someone willing to buy your car, put the agreed deal in writing. The agreement will need to include details such as the name and address of the buyer and the seller, contact phone and email details, the price, a brief description of the vehicle and its registration number, deposit amount (if any), payment method, date of agreement and date of transaction, list of inclusions of the vehicle

    Take payment
    You can take payment a number of ways:
    Electronic transfer via internet banking
    In-branch transfer with the buyer

    You could take a bank cheque; however these are not entirely secure and can be cancelled. Personal cheques can be cancelled too, but in addition there is no way to know if it will be honoured when deposited in your account.

    • +3

      and this is why many so many people get scammed, even people who try to do the safe thing after research like c0balt get it wrong when they read and misinterpret information, or just reading bad info like from RACQ. I think everyone is in agreement here that you should definitely never use electronic transfer unless you at least wait for it to clear, which is not mentioned by RACQ. Waiting for it to clear or just waiting in general gives better chance it won't reverse - the banks here have code of conduct agreement which allow funds sent accidentally to be reversed easily up to 7 days if it clears as long as funds are still in recipient account (or something like that).

      note also what RACQ is saying, both types of checks can be cancelled (side note with different difficulty) but you know bank cheques will be honored, where as with personal checks there is no way to know if it will be honoured.

      now if you want to get info from a website how about from the government run moneysmart website advising how to pay for cars:

      Pay with a bank cheque - Never pay with cash, and ask for a receipt from the seller

      They advise bank cheque over cash even.

      • Yup. The advantage of a bank cheque over cash is that as the bank cheque has the person's name on it, it's much harder to be defrauded (by way of someone pretending to be the owner and selling you a car that isn't theirs), because to someone who isn't the owner, a bank cheque drawn to the owner is useless unlike cash.

  • I thought a bank cheque could only be cancelled if both people agree, which makes it pretty safe

    • +1

      They can be reported stolen and then cancelled.

  • +1

    My brother in law was screwed over on a bank cheque and lost a few thousand dollars. Personally I wouldn’t accept a bank cheque on what is largely an anonymous sale without some serious controls in place.

    • +1

      More information required about what happened.

  • Oi the paranoia. Being safe with money is one thing, but almost every avenue has a risk. This is why people just trade in cars if you're going to fear everything.

    If the bank cheque fails. Just report your car is stolen.

  • PayID transfer on the spot.

    • it's not instant in some cases

  • Contact the bank and see if you can obtain a "Special Answer" for the Bank cheque to obtain immediate clearance. This will cost you though, but see if the purchaser will pay this cost for you.

    • its not immediate, they still can take up to 2 business days, usually only 1 though…

  • +4

    i feel like i've just finished reading 'war and peace' after going through all the comments on this thread

    • +1

      War and Peace is still a lighter read than this.

  • +5

    Light the cheque on fire after you receive it. If it burns then it's real and if it doesn't then he's a witch.

    It's the only way to be sure.

  • +1

    My 2cents having bought an sold a few cars, is that I only ever deal with cash (if possible), or you're welcome to bank transfer me and get the money to me in anyway you can.
    In ANY instance, I won't let you have my car unless I see the funds in my account.

    With cash (for me conveniently) there is a large shopping centre nearby, where I meet the buyer and it goes straight into the bank deposit ATM to count the money for me.

  • It's funny because in the past as a potential interstate buyer, I kind of came up with multiple scenarios where a seller could screw you over or cause massive delays and waste time. Especially as interstate you might not know anyone and are in 100% unfamiliar territory.. Although the time wasting is usually caused by the buyers and tyre kickers.

    Truth is there is some risk on both sides. So it is a matter of trying to keep an eye out on major red flags. A true buyer will also want a smooth transaction and in most cases would also want to view, and test the car before laying down a cent. There have been scenarios where buys have done as the OP described without issue each scenario demands it's own right.

  • +2

    Make him give you cash or wait till the cheque cleared.. Don't fall for it.. That person could say you sold it cheap. But if your a gambler and you think the odds are on your side.. Then go ahead.

  • +2

    I think your mistake is letting this handover occur on a weekend when you can't walk into a bank with the buyer and make the deposit.

    I sold my car recently under the same circumstances (buyer interstate, flying in and driving home). It's been a while since I'd bought/sold a car with anything but a bank transfer (CBA to CBA, so instant), so I rang my bank (CBA) and asked what the safest way to confirm the bank cheque (ANZ) was valid before releasing the car.

    Their suggestion was to come to a CBA branch with the buyer and deposit the cheque on the spot. They would confirm the bank cheque was genuine and start it processing. It wouldn't clear instantly (that takes up to three days), but the money was essentially in my account and the transaction complete (ie. the bank cheque could no longer be cancelled since it was already deposited).

    I also prepared a signed receipt for each of us detailing the vehicle, the transaction details and dates of handover should there be any issues, but it all went smoothly.

  • -1

    Wouldn't you accept it, bank it and wait until it clears into your bank account 100% by thursdays/friday? That's what i'll do

    • Not really an option when the buyer has flown in. You really think they’re going to wait around for 2-4 days?

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