How to sell a car in Toronto
How to sell a car in Toronto is a question most car owners (who don't have a close family member to give a tax-free transfer) will have to face at some point or another. Whether in pristine condition or ready for the junkyard, motivated sellers can almost always find someone who will will offer to pay for their car. Selling a car, however, is not as simple as shaking hands and tossing over a set of keys. You need to find the right place to advertise, the right medium from which to sell, and follow the proper procedures for making the exchange happen.
Here's what to do.
- Order a Used Vehicle Information Package from any licensing issuing office or online. It costs about $20 and is your way of verifying that the car is indeed yours, and it also contains forms detailing the car's condition and description, includes lien information, registration history, forms for bills of sale, and other necessary documents.
- Find a buyer. Easier said than done, right? You'll need to come up with a fair price for your car by looking at ads for similar vehicles online or by using a value calculator such as the Canadian Black Book tool (see below).
- Fill out the "Bill of Sale" form that comes in the Used Vehicle Information Package. This basically just entails writing down your name, the buyer's name, the sale price, date, and signature.
- The registration permit has an "Application for Transfer" at the back of the vehicle portion of the permit. The page must be completed and signed before given to the buyer.
- Hand the Used Vehicle Information Package to the buyer, as well as the vehicle portion of the registration permit as mentioned above.
- Keep your plates (can be used for your next car) and the plate portion of the registration permit. The plates are still yours, and stick with you.
You can sell your car without taking it for a safety inspection or Drive Clean test, but the buyer can't drive it until he/she gets the pass and certification. A better option is to take your car for the tests prior to sale and simply tack on the extra cost of the inspections to your listing price. Most buyers — smart ones, anyway — won't want to buy a car without the assurance that it won't need expensive repairs.
WHERE TO SELL YOUR CAR
General Online Classifieds
These are the obvious options like as Kijiji, Craigslist, and Ebay. Basically, it's up to you to create a description of your vehicle with whatever details you deem necessary. There are some online tools, such as the Canadian Black Book's value calculator, that can help you figure out how much your used car is worth, guiding you to an appropriate listing price.
AutoTrader.ca is probably one of the best-known sites for selling a car online in the GTA, followed by others such as Carpages.ca and MonsterAuto.ca. These pages generally require you to fill in standard information on the car's specs and details, and usually offer their own car value calculator and, in the case of AutoTrader, mobile app.
If you don't want to deal with potential lookie loos or difficult buyers, go can always go the route of places such as SellMyCar.ca and YourCar4Cash.ca. Nevermind the alphanumeric integration, these companies simply require you to fill out an online form with information on your car, and they'll come back with an offer. If you choose to accept, they will generally offer you cash or cheque, and some will even pick up the vehicle.
For those vehicles damaged beyond repair or simply past their prime. There are plenty of options in the GTA — businesses such as Car Removal, Scrap Car Removal Toronto, Junk Car Disposal, and Scrap Cars for Cash — that will pick up your car and tow it away, leaving you with cash. Albeit, not a lot. The real benefit to selling this way is convenience, not money.
Sell on Consignment
Perfect for those with limited time, energy, or experience to spend on selling a car themselves. (Shrinking violets, I'm looking at you). Some dealerships will take your car and sell it on your behalf (for a cut, of course) eliminating some of the hassle. There are typically more options for those looking to sell exotic or luxury cars on consignment, though there are dealerships that will take on more. Bulletproof Auto Sales & Brokerage is just one example in the GTA.
Sell to a Dealership
You can sell your old car to a registered dealership in exchange for some cash off your new car, or else give it up to one of the privately owned used dealerships around Toronto. Auto123.com has a pretty comprehensive list of the businesses around the GTA. While the hassle may be less than with a one-on-one private sale, the dealer will generally offer you no more than the auction price of the vehicle. To maximize money in your pocket, you'll probably want to go with a classified ad and wait for the buyers to come to you.
A big thanks to the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic for sponsoring the blood, sweat, tears and elbow grease that went into writing this post.