Parallax Background Image

How to Complete a Used Car Sale by Owner in Canada

Ready to sell a used car? You’ve weighed out the pros and cons of selling privately versus trading in to a dealer, and decided you want to try a used car sale by owner. So, now what? Many people decide to trade in their vehicles to save the hassle, but if you decide to do it on your own, here is how to sell a used car smoothly and easily.

Get your used car ready for sale

If there are any broken tail lights, little dents, scratches or windshield chips, consider fixing them before you list the car for sale. Spending a little money now can help you justify your asking price and end up being a good investment in the long-run. Leaving these flaws for potential buyers to see can make them question how well you cared for the vehicle while you owned it. It’s also a good idea to check for unfixed recalls and, if possible, get them fixed ahead of time. Here’s how.

Before you sell a used car – find out what it’s worth

One of the best tips to help explain how to sell a used car is setting the right asking price. Many factors influence used car value, but the two most important are history and how much similar vehicles have sold for in your area. It’s important to know what has happened in the vehicle’s past to determine how much it’s worth – things like odometer readings, damage history and where it’s been registered can make an impact – so make sure you use a tool that considers these factors when calculating the value of your used car. You can get a free value range based on how much similar vehicles have sold for nearby, and when you’re ready to get a specific value that considers the vehicle’s history, upgrade to the CARFAX Canada True Value™.

Post it online

Once the car is looking its best and you’re confident you know what it’s worth, get it posted on one of the major listing sites that advertise used car sales by owners, like autoTRADER or Kijiji . Most Canadian used car shoppers start their search on a listing site, so be where your customers are, but make sure you’re there in a meaningful way. We asked customers what their priorities are when shopping for a used car, and they want to know its history. 81% want to know about accident history, 80% want to know about maintenance and service history, and 88% want the vehicle’s mileage. Make your listings stand out by including all the information they want – you can do this by posting a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report with your listings. Not only does this provide potential buyers with more information about the vehicle, but it shows them you’re a seller with nothing to hide.

Be prepared

Hang on to your service records over the course of your car ownership. These will help you provide the buyer peace of mind that the vehicle has been well cared for. There are certain questions that usually come up when a used car shopper meets with the seller. Be organized and prepared by knowing the answers to these questions in advance. You can find a list of questions to expect, as well as lots of other information to help you sell your used car in this free guide.

Finalize the sale

If you want to know how to sell a used car you need to know the rules and regulations. The legal requirements to finalize a private used car sale are different in every province. Some, like Ontario, require a Used Vehicle Information Package, while others do not. Check out this handy guide for the rules around a used car sale by owner in your province, and negotiate with the buyer around who will pay for what. For example, while many sellers will purchase the safety inspection and history reports as part of their marketing strategy, you may be able to work out a deal where the buyer takes on these costs – a lot will depend on the supply and demand of the specific vehicle you’re trying to sell.