How to Sell a Used Car in Canada

While the specifics of selling your used car in Canada may vary between provinces, the overall experience isn’t much different, no matter where in the country you’re living. Before deciding which route to follow in selling a used car, let’s look at what’s involved.

Selling PrivatelyRules and Regulations

There may be some variation in the paperwork and steps you need to go through, depending on what province you’re living in, so you definitely need to check in with your own provincial authorities before proceeding.

Basically, however, you can expect that the following things will be required to successfully complete the sale of your used car in Canada:

  • Ownership Papers. You obviously need to be able to prove that you’re legally entitled to sell the car. If you’ve lost the vehicle registration, you can get a new copy for a small fee from your provincial licensing authority.

  • Safety Certificate. Most provinces need a certificate from a licensed mechanic who is an authorized inspector. This ensures that the car is safe to drive. The only exception is if you are selling a car “as is”, in which case the buyer will have to get repairs done and get a safety certificate before they can get plates for it.

  • Ontario requires a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) to be completed for every private vehicle sale. In other provinces, you can order a car history report from companies such as Carfax to share with buyers.

  • If you have any liens on the car, you will need to resolve them before selling.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready to Sell

Before putting your car up for sale, whether it’s privately, through a dealer, or a platform such as Autozen, optimize your profit margin by making sure it’s in the best condition possible. Clean it thoroughly inside and out. Consider paying someone to detail it for you, as they’ll have the tools to make it look as good as it can.

Then, take several high-quality pictures of the car, from all angles outside and inside, including the trunk and under the hood. Make it easy for a potential buyer to see what it’s like before they reach out to you with questions.

Figure out the starting price for your vehicle. Sites like AutoTrader and Autozen have quick valuation tools to help you. Give yourself a healthy margin for negotiation- don’t go so high that you’ll scare off buyers, but make it high enough that a potential purchaser can talk you down without going below fair market price.

Most people looking for a used car to buy privately head straight to the internet. Your best bet to find a willing buyer is Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, or AutoTrader. Post as many pictures as you can, along with a thorough description of the vehicle.

Be prepared to answer questions from interested parties. If you’ve included your phone number, they may phone or text you, or otherwise communicate through the platform. Decide if you want your phone blowing up, or would prefer to work through the online site.

When serious buyers set up an appointment to give the car a look-over and test drive, make arrangements to meet in a secure location, both for your safety and to reassure the buyer.

Once you and your buyer have agreed on a price, it’s time to complete the transaction. The best way to do this is for the two of you to go to the vehicle registry office together. That way, you will know that the vehicle has been successfully transferred from your name to theirs.

Payment can be arranged in a few ways. While a check is one option, you do run the risk of it bouncing. A bank transfer is a safer way to complete the sale, or you can go together to your bank and get the funds transferred in a completely secure manner. E-transfers may be an option, but be careful. Until you see the funds in your account, it is possible for the buyer to cancel the transaction.

Selling to a DealershipFree A Woman Talking to a Car Dealer  Stock Photo

Selling to a dealership can be a lot easier than selling to a private buyer. If you are looking to buy a vehicle, your current one can be traded in as part of the deal, or you simply get a cash payment for your used car.

If you have an outstanding loan on your car, the dealership can deal with that for you, simply paying you the difference between what you owe and the value of your car. That saves you a lot of hassles. As well, you don’t need a vehicle safety report or any paperwork aside from your ownership.

However, you’re probably going to get a lower price than through a private sale, as the dealership will want to make a profit when they resell your vehicle. It’s up to you to decide if the ease of the process is worth the difference to you.

Selling through Autozen

Autozen offers you a new way to sell your used car in Canada that combines the ease of a dealership sale with the maximum profit of a private sale.

How does that work? Once you’ve given it a good cleaning, we take care of the rest of the process. When you’ve determined that your vehicle is eligible to be sold through our platform, you can book an appointment for an Autozen expert to come to your home (or another secure location). They will give the car a thorough inspection and a test drive, and take high-quality photos.

Your car will then be listed on our platform and entered into the next online auction, when dealers from across the country can bid on your car. We send you the highest offer, and all you have to do is decide to accept it or not.

The next time you see anyone is when we pick up your car and pay you. We take care of all the paperwork, including settling any outstanding loans on your behalf, and we don’t charge you anything. Instead, the buyer pays us a small fee.

Selling a used car in Canada doesn’t need to be a complicated and frustrating experience. If you don’t want the effort involved in selling it privately, you can make things easier for yourself by selling directly to a dealership, or even better, using Autozen to take care of all the work for you!