How to Sell a Car in Canada

by William Adkins

More often than not, getting rid of your old car is simple: just trade it in on a new model. But that isn’t always possible and you may find yourself needing to sell a vehicle yourself. If you want to sell a car in Canada, there are certain rules you have to follow to comply with the law in the province in which the sale takes place. And of course, you need to have a plan to prepare and advertise a vehicle to get potential buyers interested.

Check with your province’s Ministry of Transportation or Registry of motor Vehicles for rules governing the private sale of automobiles. Like states in the United States, each province in Canada has its own regulations. You do need to check the Canadian Red Book for the value of the car, since the sales tax is based on this figure. The buyer is responsible for paying this, but will want to know the Red Book figure. In addition, this will help you set a realistic price.

Take the time to prepare your car to be shown to prospective buyers. A clean car is more attractive to buyers and will sell faster and probably for more money. It is a good idea to remove personal items and any bumper stickers or other decorations. In some provinces you have to provide information on the vehicle’s mechanical condition, so you may want to have it checked by a mechanic or official inspection station.

Conduct an advertising campaign to attract buyers. This is easier today than it used to be, because you can use websites to sell a car in Canada. Don’t neglect more traditional methods like putting up notices on community bulletin boards and placing ads in local newspapers.

Fill out the required paperwork in order to complete the sale. When you have struck an agreement with a purchaser, you have to complete two sections of the Certificate of Registration. The first is the Transfer of Title (Certificate of Sale). Sign this part and give it to the buyer. Also complete the Notice of Sale and return it promptly to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (this agency may have a different name in some provinces). Finally, fill out and sign any additional forms required by the province where the car is sold.

Remove the car tags before you deliver the car to the purchaser. As in the United States, car tags do not go with the car—the buyer must get their own. You can either return the tags to the RMV or register them to another car you own.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.

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