Selling a car - is a cheque ok?

I wouldn’t accept a cheque for a car sale in the UK. But is it OK in France? I mean isn’t it an offence to “bounce” a cheque here?

Cash isn’t very convenient since I have an internet bank with no branches, and bank transfer has its own security issues.

Waiting for the cheque to clear is problematic if the buyer has travelled far and has to return.

What have you all done?

Whenever I’ve bought a car in France I’ve always been asked to provide a banker’s draft. I suppose it depends on the amount and how much you are prepared to trust that a personal cheque won’t bounce. If you do decide to accept a personal cheque then ask for other ID to back up the address on the cheque and the signature.

I’d only release the car once the cheque has cleared, they bounce!, or insist on a chéque de banque. Cash is illegal over 1000€. For info, I no longer accept payment by cheque in my shop :wink:

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When I bought a car privately, the seller insisted on a chéque de banque.
But maybe I just have a dishonest face…

My inadequate French stopped me from telling him “If I was going to not pay, I would not pay for a better car than yours!”


The concept of a cheque “clearing” doesn’t exist in France. The money appears as credited to your account as soon as the cheque is presented. If it later transpires that the funds weren’t there, the credit will be reversed. This could be several weeks later, AFAIK there is no fixed time limit after which you are sure the funds are there to stay. But, the money showing in your account does not mean that the cheque has “cleared” in the UK sense.
Yes it is technically a criminal offence but have you noticed how many fuel stations no longer accept cheques because so many bounce?
No way would I accept this if I was selling, and if I was a buyer I wouldn’t expect the buyer to accept it either.
EDIT - sorry didn’t mean to reply to you Andrew! I meant to reply to the OP, but I can’t figure out how to change it…

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Cash or a cheque de banque. If its cash of a large amount i pass it through my neighbours machine to see its not forgerys !

Bank transfer every time.


What are the security issues with a bank transfer??

In the UK, for example, mandate fraud (there are other terms for it) - you know, when the ungodly persuades a little old lady to transfer money into your account; you get the money, but if it stays in your account the bank can always take it back.

I pay many of my bills by bank transfer without any security issues. I authorise money to be sent from one of my accounts to a receiving account using the specific codes. I cannot pay, say TransferWise then later withdraw that payment, TransferWise then make a payment by bank transfer to one of my bank accounts and they cannot later withdraw that payment either. Why do you think that there might be security issues when paying for a car this way?

Hiw di I know if a bankers draft is genuine? Never seen one.

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Anyway, its sold now €1000 cash and €2000 via paypal