Is It Unreasonable to Refuse a Bank Cheque?

I've sold my car to someone interstate for ~ $17K. They've deposited $500 into my bank account. They're flying up on Saturday to take the car and want to pay the balance with an ANZ bank cheque. A cursory search of the ANZ site finds this:

You can contact the ANZ Internet Banking team on 13 33 50 (International callers: +61 3 9683 8833) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to request an urgent stop payment on a lost or stolen bank cheque or to cancel a bank cheque you have purchased via ANZ Internet Banking.

This seems to fly in the face of "bank cheques are as good as (or better than) cash", which I've read in lots of places. I can't see any alternative to demanding cash or a bank transfer that's finalised before the weekend. Am I missing something? Is there an alternative?

EDIT: Though there a few who think it is unreasonable, there are quite a few more who think I shouldn't accept a bank cheque. There have been a few alternatives offered, pretty much none of which work easily and/or on the weekend. I've stuck to my guns and the buyers have agreed to bring cash.

Thanks for all the input.


        • +1

          …and is not that easy either. I'm amazed at the lack of awareness in this thread around banker's cheques.

          Yes they can be cancelled, but cash can be seized as well.

          There is always a degree of risk among both parties partaking in a transaction. What's to prevent OP from selling the buyers a lemon with a "not obvious fault". They do their due diligence by getting the car checked out by a mechanic etc. Similarly, they give OP a bank cheque, a lot more secure than a personal cheque or an EFT.

        • is "i've misplaced it" good enough

      • +1

        Bank cheques have to be cancelled at a branch. Either alternative requires a visit to the branch. I agree that the OP is being paranoid. I mean they've paid the deposit (small as it may be) and also arranged flights. Hardly sounds like a scam.

    • +1

      Exactly. As a cheque book is issued from a bank, I've encountered people calling their 'personal cheque' as 'bank cheque'.

      The term I am familiar with is 'banker's cheque' or 'bank draft'.

      • +2

        Those are UK terms. All Australian banks call them bank cheques.

        • Yup. I just found out the hard way from the negative votes to my other post :D

  • +2

    You'll be fine.

    Read your insurance PDS, but if the cheque is cancelled and the car then goes missing, it should be covered under your car insurance as theft.

    Just make sure you take precaution such as taking photos of the driver licence.

    If bank cheques are good enough for a car dealer, it should be good enough for you.

    • +2

      Not sure if it is true but I've heard that if you hand the car keys over willingly, car insurance won't cover it?

      • I believe if you've were not negligent insurance will over you.

        I read a news article telling of an actual case where the fraud was deemed a stolen car and therefore covered it but cant seem to find it right now.

  • Use Payid. It's instant and you will see the money in your account within seconds.

    Just be aware that for the first payment over $500 there will be a three day hold.

    Also they might need to get their daily limit increased for the transaction to go through. I've bought and sold a car before using this method and it works well.

    • +1

      Just be aware that for the first payment over $500 there will be a three day hold.

      This is the type of shit PayID was supposed to solve, instead, it didn't solve anything. I really hate this crap. How about a confirmation through both email and SMS on the spot instead of this 3 day hold…

      • Banks aren't really interested in giving you access to withdraw your money, rather, would prefer to hang onto it exclusively for a while longer.

        • right? pay on the spot, and refund takes 14 business pfft

    • -1

      Just be aware that for the first payment over $500 there will be a three day hold.

      That is rubbish. I have used PayID many times to new payees for well over $2,000 and they have all called me back in less than an hour to say the payment was already in their bank account.

      The first time I ever used PayID was for a $2,600 bike I bought out of Qld and the payment came through while I was on the phone to the guy about making the payment.

      • +1

        Glad to see that you had no problems but what you missed in your myopic response is that not everyone banks with your bank.

        If someone is going to use payid maybe they would like to know of potential issues.

  • +1

    I doubt an insurance company would see it as theft when I gave the "thief" the keys and waved goodbye. But I'm not interested in getting into a situation where I'm trying to recover funds for my car, which I no longer have or making an insurance claim or jumping through any other flaming hoops. I just want to get paid for my car!

  • -3

    If a cheque bounces you're screwed.

    • +11

      Bank cheques can't 'bounce'. A bank cheque is only issued if you have available funds in your account and as soon as they issue the cheque the funds are withdrawn from your account even if the cheque hasn't been deposited yet.

      It is a perfectly acceptable and safe method of paying for a vehicle. I have used them at least 10 times to settle payment or sale of a vehicle over my life.

      • Well what is the process for cancelling a cheque?

  • +2

    There is no problem accepting a bank cheque. I sold my car interstate on the weekend. We had already exchanged all of our details, including providing each other with a copy of each others drivers licences. I lobbed at his place with all of the transfer documents. I threw him the keys, & said "See you in 1/2 an hour, take it for a run". After a quick look over of the car we did the paperwork & he gave me the bank cheque.

    If youre not happy with that. I also bought a car & paid for it by bank transfer. There was a "quick" option which uses OSKO

    • is money order and bank cheque same thing?

      • Not really, but they are similar….

        I'd expect it would be easier to find a post office open on a Saturday though, compared to a bank.

  • +3

    Why is this so hard for people. You either do what you can to minimise the risk or you sell your car to a dealership or some other company and take the the hit in reduced value.

    Whatever route you take when selling high value items there's a risk of getting scammed or stabbed. There's no 100% safe way to trade high value items that appease both the seller and buyer.

    • That's the good thing about car yards. You have consumer law regarding any repercussions. At least some protection.

    • +14

      This is not how bank cheques work wtf is wrong with ozbargain in this thread….

      • +4

        My guess is young people who dunno the difference in cheque types.

    • +3

      Bank cheques are only issued if you have the money in your account and the money is removed from your account when you get said bank cheque. Please learn.

            • +2

              @capslock janitor: It is not that easy. If you stop the payment without original cheque it will take couple of weeks for bank to process and investigate.

            • +2

              @capslock janitor: It's hardly misplaced when the name on the cheque cashes it. Why would the bank believe their customer it was misplaced?

  • Go into ANZ, set up a new acct, cash bank cheque in branch. At least that offers fastest way to clear.

  • If you accept a cheque, do not hand over any property until it has cleared.

    Bank cheques are fine and acceptable but if you want to be overly cautious, go bank it at the bank with him present.

  • Get to a bank that the buyer has an account in (closes to your home), withdraw cash in person together and sign all the documents in the bank?

  • +1

    They don't need to bring cash, but could always meet you at the bank (of their choice) and transfer the funds into your account prior to you handing over the keys. You should be easily able to open a new account in whatever bank.

    There was one instance of a "buyer" who wanted to buy with a cheque, and later agreed to meet me at a bank because I won't take a cheque no matter what. Guess what? Old mate never showed up or contacted me again. My calls were going unanswered. My loss was a couple of hours of my time, but it was much better than losing $22K.

    • cheque or bank cheque?

      • Of course old mate insisted on issuing a personal cheque, which is why I asked to meet at the bank of their choice instead.

  • +1

    Call your bank and ask the same question. Let them tell you how it works. Asking this forum, you will get 10000 different answers which will confuse you even more!

  • +1

    Ask him to pay you in crypto. Instant transactions.

    • Which crypto?

    • Instant transactions, haha, you don't use crypto often, right?

  • +1

    Cash is King

  • +1

    Bank Cheque is the form of payment I would insist on for such a transaction.

    Whilst it may not be unreasonable to refuse a bank cheque, it is unreasonable to ask for $17K in cash.
    I'd be more concerned with potential loss of the money or robbery with the cash for both them in travelling and you carrying it.
    Will probably trigger an investigation for whether you are involved in illegal activity withdrawing / depositing that much.

    They will have to have had a legit bank account to get the Bank Cheque drawn. You could raise it with ANZ if they try cancel it.

    Here's one that worked out just fine discussed previously:

    • Also imagine counting 17k :O

      (most easy if 170x 100s lol)

    • +5

      I wonder what the responses would be if the question was:

      "I am going to purchase a car interstate, I want to use a bank cheque but seller is insisting I bring cash? Is this safe? Am I being scammed?"

      • +2

        lol - probably a bunch of people saying you are going to get robbed!!

  • +1

    My sister went through the exact same situation with a couple coming from Tasmania to buy a car for 30k+. They arrived on a Saturday with a bank cheque. All went through fine.

    Use your better judgement and take precautionary measures such takig copies of their licenses, get their mobile, take copies of the registration and bank cheque etc.

    My sister did not send the registration papers until the bank cheque cleared so you could do that if they agree.

  • +5

    Sold a $18k car recently. Interstate. They paid by bank cheque. No problem
    Of course, spent time getting to know them. Copies of driving license, signed receipt for car etc.
    Don’t know why there’s so much distrust of this method of payment on OzB.
    If you do your due diligence you’ll be ok.
    Lots of you must have been scammed?

    • This and same here.

      Getting to know them would help. I had this couple inspecting the car few times and then their dad came and inspecting the car.
      I prefer cash but they didn't want to carry that large amount of money and they wanted to do Bank transfer. Never happened to me but i heard people can still cancel bank transfers via the app?. Its better to be safe then sorry…
      So we agreed to meet at the bank and transfer there. It helped cause we both were from the same bank so it was quick.
      Copies of license and invoice/receipt was given.

  • Cash only or be prepared to be sorry on the small chance that the buyer is dishonest.

    Better safe than sorry.

    • large wads of cash is hardly a safe way to do business between private parties. I know someone who was followed home and house robbed the afternoon/evening after they took $6000 cash for something as they were seen. Planned to go to bank the next day. Lost the lot

      • I've carried $126,000 interstate and nothing happened.

        It's a better way, it just depends on how smart you are about carrying it.

        If you let people know you have cash lying around, what do you expect?

  • Get them to pay via Paypal Friends & Family. You have to pay a fee but "item not as described" issues cannot be raised for F&F payments so you're safe .

    • +7

      No way in HELL I would be trusting PayPal with this much money. They are NOT a bank. They're a shitty company and will absolutely fk you over, buyer or seller.

      • f…king what? this much money?
        Paypal took $936 billion USD of payments last year after growth on growth on growth year after year from growing number of customers (377 million of them).
        It's literally so little money for them it's absurd.

        However I'm guessing they've screwed a few people such as yourself over with difficult to deal with customer service by the sound of it!?

        • It's not that I don't trust the company not to go bust or whatever, but yes they are notorious for holding people's money and siding with whoever they feel like in the event of a dispute.

    • There's no fee with friends and family payment and while they can't complain about the item, they can file a chargeback with the bank and paypal passes it on to the receiver.

      • F&F is a gift so no chargebacks apply.

        • They can't file a chargeback in PayPal but they might be able to with the bank in which case PayPal will take the receiver's funds

  • +1

    Can't do pay id instant transfer? Sold a caravan for 18.5 last week and the guy hopped on bank app told him to just pay my phone number and you get the money within a few seconds.

  • VLOG the experience for evidence.

  • +2

    I tried to cancel a bank cheque as the other party lost it. My bank wouldn't issue a replacement bank cheque unless I signed a form indemnifying the bank if the first cheque was subsequently found and presented. It therefore makes me come to the conclusion that the bank will honour the cheque unless it was stolen or fraudulent. Speaking of which I have also received a counterfeit cheque ! The bank rejected that one and it was reported to federal police.

    • Ouch. Did the police end up catching the crooks?

  • +4

    ask for 34 thousand jb-hi-fi $500 vouchers instead

    • And a pack of eneloops thrown in

    • +2

      Yes, 17 million dollars in JB gift cards seems fair.

  • +1

    Assuming they are open Saturday morning. Go to ANZ with purchaser. Let purchaser give bank cheque to teller. Teller gives you cash which you buy a new bank cheque with. (assuming you need to take to your own bank to deposit).

    • Sorry, they still need to clear. Have you used a bank cheque before ?

      • yeah but read again what it suggested - its quite genius - the bank cheque will be in the OP's name as they take out the bank cheque to themselves from themselves using the cash. May need to setup as an ANZ customer to do so though. Buyer can't cancel it as its not in their name!

        Setting up as an ANZ customer could be a good choice for an alternative reason - go with them to ANZ and get it deposited straight away as a real time settlement or straight as cash without either party leaving the bank or a bank cheque or whatever - ANZ aren't going to cancel a bank cheque they already received back with depositing instructions from the recipient who is also a customer to bank and is in their possession…. buyer can't argue its lost

  • +9

    Having worked in banking for a few years, I always suggest my customers to go branch and complete an RTGS - real time gross settlement. It costs about $15-$30 but funds become available instantly.

    • +2

      This sounds like the solution.

    • +2

      Never knew about this. Sounds much better than the alternatives

    • Why is this not more widely known?

  • -1

    Ask them to pay cash instead.

  • +2

    There must be good reason to cancel a bank cheque as ANZ states.
    One of them is that if it is not lost or stolen it must be returned to ANZ.
    You cant just call up and cancel a cheque because you felt like it.

    So yes, bank cheques are as good as cash and have been an accepted form of payment for car purchases forever in the past.
    You can always wait for it to clear however the minute you go into a bank and deposit the bank cheque into your account the funds are drawn from ANZ.

    You would be a fool to refuse a bank cheque and as a buyer I would tell you what you can do with your car.

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