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How to Get a Car Appraisal in Canada for Buyers and Sellers

There are two main reasons people want a vehicle appraisal – either you’re selling a vehicle and want help setting the asking price, or you’re thinking of buying a vehicle and want third-party validation that it’s priced fairly.

Most auto appraisals are based on book values, which can be a great place to start researching used car value. However, it’s important to keep in mind that book values are typically based how much similar vehicles are advertised for on major listing sites, rather than how much the vehicles actually sold for in your market. But there are additional factors to consider. First, the amount a vehicle is listed for and what it actually sells for are rarely the same number. Second, this method of auto appraisal does not consider things that have happened in a vehicle’s past which could include registration history, odometer readings and reported damage. Appraising a vehicle without this information misses key factors that influence value. Get more details on factors that influence used car value.

The CARFAX Canada Value Range tool can help you get started with an idea of what your used car’s value could be by searching similar vehicles in your area.

Whether you’re buying or selling, here’s why you need an accurate car appraisal you can stand behind:

Car appraisals for vehicle sellers

To get the most for your car you need to set an accurate, competitive listing price – pricing too high means buyers may scroll right by. Pricing too low means less money in your pocket. Only about 1/4 of vehicles have reported damage – if yours is in the other 3/4, be sure to highlight this as a selling feature to bolster your vehicle’s value. And if you do find damage, that’s ok – this auto appraisal tool can help price your vehicle accordingly and show potential buyers you’re a seller they can trust.

Car appraisals for vehicle buyers

It’s important to know you’re getting a good car at a good price. CARFAX Canada's Value Range tool paired with our vehicle history report can help you dive away confident with the knowledge of what’s happened in the car’s history and how that impacted its value.

Car appraisals for vehicle trade-ins

When you trade in your car, you need to know you’re getting a fair deal, and an appraisal based on how much comparable vehicles have sold for, plus other factors (like odometer reading, damage history and location) that could make your trade offer higher or lower than average. Keep in mind that dealer offers account for the cost of getting your vehicle ready to resell, so your trade-in value may be on the higher or lower end of the CARFAX Canada Value Range. But remember, trading in saves you the time and effort to prep and sell the car yourself, plus it can save you a lot of tax depending on where you live.

Regardless of why you need the car appraisal, here’s how we recommend getting the best one:

  1. Get a free Value Range from CARFAX Canada – it will give you an idea of what your vehicle could be worth based on what similar year/make/models have sold for nearby
  2. If you want to know what the story of the car is, and get a unique value that reflects that story, get a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report. This comes with a free History-Based Value report which factors in history that is specific to your vehicle and provides a value based on the information from the history report.
  3. Visit a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection to ensure that any damage has been properly repaired – an important step – here’s why

Get started with your car appraisal