Selling your car? Here’s how to maximize dollars and minimize time.

Selling a used car is something the majority of Canadians will go through at least once in their lives. When you put the demographics together—the lifespan of the average Canadian is 82 years. The average Canadian gets their driver's license at 16. The average lifespan of a car is 12 years. This means that the average person will need to change cars at least 5.5 times in their lifetime. 

Surprisingly, the average person actually changes cars 9.4 times in a lifetime.

For those selling a car, there are a number of options available each with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we’ll look at the most popular options and how they each influence resale value. 

Option 1: The Old-Fashioned Way

Have you ever gone through all the work of listing your car through online classifieds with no responses?  

Using online classifieds or your local newspaper to sell your car is grueling. You’ll work just as hard determining the value of your car, but reach a fraction of qualified buyers, and completely forfeit some of the protections online platforms might offer in terms of fraud.

You’ll be able to sell your used car without paying any seller’s fees, but you’ll be responsible for ensuring the transaction goes smoothly in terms of:

  • Coordinating multiple test drives with buyers

  • Negotiation and haggling price

  • Paperwork and taxes that come with selling a car

Option 2: Automotive Classifieds

The online used car marketplace is vast and organizations like AutoTrader, Auto123, Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace have stepped in to help facilitate private car sales through classified sections on their websites. You’ll reach larger audiences than the traditional methods, however you’re typically dealing directly with one dealer that will offer you one price, an example being the “Instant Cash Offer”. 

When using these platforms, as the sell, you are responsible for: 

  • Determining the value of the car

  • Ensuring there is no damage, or that damage is documented properly

  • Taking and uploading photos

  • Writing the listing

  • Meeting with potential buyers

  • Vetting potential buyers

  • Haggling

  • Handling paperwork, like transfer documents

Which is a lot of time and effort with no real guarantee that your ad will get an interested buyer, let alone a qualified offer. Not only that, you’re also putting your personal information, privacy, and safety at risk by meeting potential buyers at your home or in person. If you are fortunate enough to negotiate an agreement with someone and get paid, there’s still the paperwork and transfer of ownership, not to mention the PST you’ll have to pay on the sale.

Believe it or not, many first time buyers don't file the appropriate paperwork and the vehicle remains in the original seller's name long after the transaction is closed.

While you might be maximizing the value you get for your car, is it really worth all the risk?

 

Option 3: Selling to a Dealer/Trade-In

Selling or trading in your used car is convenient if you’re looking to buy a new car from the dealer you’re selling to. Trading your car into a dealership means they deal with the paperwork, taxes and credits (if applicable in your province or region); they also research the value and they’ll probably throw in some incentives for your new vehicle. 

But that doesn’t come without a cost. Car dealerships have overhead and the cost of that overhead is factored into the final price they offer for your car. They need to consider their margins, otherwise they would be operating at a loss. Factor in additional costs like sales commission, inspection and repairs and you could be looking at a substantial cut on your car’s value.

While selling your car directly to a dealer or trading it in can be quick and easy, you are at the mercy of the dealer, since there is no competition and a high barrier to you to find other offers.  You would effectively have to spend the day driving around to other dealerships to find out what they would be willing to offer.  What they would be willing to offer would depend on if you were to purchase a vehicle with them.  The combinations are mind-numbingly endless which is why most people that go to the dealer end up taking the first offer given.  



Is there a better way?

It’s no surprise that in a consumer survey, nearly nine in ten people thought that there should be an easier or better way of shopping for or selling their car. Some prevailing trends from the survey included:

  • Feeling ill-equipped or too intimidated to negotiate with a dealer or sales representatives

  • Three in four women said that they worried for their personal safety when selling a car privately (e.g. Craigslist)

  • Lack of trust around the industry and the used car marketplace

At Autozen, our mission is to create a fast, easy and fair way for you to sell your car. We take away the hassle and haggling required when selling directly to dealerships or private buyers. We have developed a network of pre-qualified buyers that are always purchasing in-demand makes and models. Our buyers pay and compete to purchase vehicles, which leads to more competitive offers for sellers, like yourselves, and the entire offer amount goes to you. Not to mention at no charge to you. We want the experience to feel seamless and enjoyable for you to sell your car. That's the Autozen way.