Getting rid of a car seems like quite a simple process: all you need to do is find a buyer, right? Well, not quite. Whether you’re selling your car to buy a new one, to make more room in your monthly budget, or simply because you don’t need one anymore, there are a number of things that you have to consider first.
Know your provincial law
The first thing you need to do is check the laws governing your province, as each has different regulations for the private sale of vehicles. An example is Ontario, where you need to provide a vehicle information pack for prospective buyers that includes (amongst other things) a full description of the vehicle, registration history, outstanding debts, and the car’s wholesale value. It’s best to speak to your local Ministry of Transportation to find out what rules they have: you don’t want to end up breaking the law simply because you missed out on a simple piece of paperwork.
Considering the price to sell your car at is perhaps the most important step. The price you set will determine the amount of vehicle tax that your buyer pays, so you will need to make sure that you’re being reasonable. You can check the Canadian Red Book for your car’s approximate retail value. This helps with setting a realistic price and not scaring prospective buyers off.
Make sure it’s in the best possible condition
If your house was for sale you wouldn’t let people in to view it if it was a mess: you’d tidy and patch up any damages first. The same goes for your car. Check there are no problems: for example any windscreen chips that require auto glass repair or scratches to the paintwork. These should be fixed before showing the car to prospective buyers.
For extra selling power, give your car a sprucing up: wax it so that the paintwork gleams, vacuum the inside (even if there are no visible crumbs) and remove personal items like sunglasses and CD cases that make the car their home. You want your buyer to visualise the car as theirs, so make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Research advertising locations
The next thing you have to consider is where to advertise: and how much it will cost. Websites like AutoTrader and Driving are a good place to showcase your car online, but you may also want to place adverts in local newspapers. The Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Sun, and Ottawa Citizen are a few examples that have used car sections. Don’t forget to use community notice boards, either.
Remember that once the sale is complete, you will need to fill out yet more paperwork: the Certificate of Registration and the Transfer of Titles. Depending on your province, you may also have to fill in additional paperwork: again it’s worth checking with the Registry of Motor Vehicles beforehand.