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How to sell your car online

Follow this step-by-step guide to selling a car online in Canada, including requirements for each province.

You can sell your car online in Canada through a private marketplace, online dealer, bidding site or online automotive marketplace. Requirements for how to sell a car online will vary by province, and you may need to take different steps depending on which platform you choose.

Steps for how to sell a car online

Follow these steps on how to sell a car online in Canada for an easy process from start to finish:

  1. Prepare your car for the sale.
  2. Determine how much your car is worth.
  3. Choose a platform.
  4. Prepare your required documents.
  5. List your car and get an offer.
  6. Finalize the sale.

1. Prepare your car for the sale

Use this checklist to prepare to sell your car online:

  1. Clean your car. Wash and polish the outside (including engine and tires), vacuum the seats, wipe down surfaces and hang an air freshener. You may even want to consider a professional cleaning to help with your sale.
  2. Visit your mechanic. Get an inspection report for your car to make sure it’s in good shape. This costs a bit extra but could help you net a higher price for your car. Prices for inspections usually range from $150 to $250.
  3. Compile your records. Gather records for oil changes, emergency repairs and accessories such as new tires or wipers to show that you take good care of your car. You can also download a copy of your CARFAX report to have on hand.
  4. Prepare your ad. If you plan to post an ad online, take high-quality photos of your car in a nice location with good lighting. Write a compelling ad that lists out key information and special features, and don’t be afraid to sponsor your ad with a fee to get more attention.

2. Determine how much your car is worth

Search your car on sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Consumer Reports or AutoTrader to figure out how much it’s worth. Look for vehicles that are the same make and model, with a similar condition and number of kilometres. Read our article to learn more about how much your car is worth.

Tips for how to get the best price or offer

  • Private marketplaces. Set a higher price to start so you can negotiate down. Come ready to haggle but be firm about your bottom line.
  • Online dealer. Compare offers from multiple dealers to get the best price when you sell your car online in Canada.
  • Bidding site. Set a minimum price and choose the highest offer from multiple bids. Don’t be afraid to look into other platforms if you aren’t satisfied.
  • Online automotive marketplace. Set a higher price to start so you can negotiate down, and list across platforms to get the most visibility.

3. Choose a platform

Compare the 4 main platform types for how to sell a car online in Canada:

Type of platformExamplesBest forProsCons
Private marketplaceCraigslist, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and Used.caFull control over price
  • Set your own prices
  • No third-party
  • Sell older cars
  • Test drives and appointments
  • Some haggling
  • May get people who are not serious about buying
Online dealerClutch and Canada DrivesQuick sales and newer vehicle sales with at-home pick-up
  • Straightforward offers
  • No need to negotiate in person
  • Convenient
  • May get a lower price than desired
  • Only accepts newer cars (usually no older than 2012)
Bidding siteCarity and AutozenQuick sales and multiple offers with auction-style bidding
  • Potential for multiple offers
  • Choose the price that works for you
  • Convenient
  • Fewer customers
  • Less visibility
  • Only accepts newer cars (usually no older than 2012)
Online automotive marketplaceAutoTrader and Carpages.caMore visibility for advertisement
  • Set your own prices
  • Popular websites with many customers
  • Test drives and appointments
  • Some haggling
  • May get people who are not serious about buying

Check out your offer from an online dealer

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Max. Vehicle Age Mileage Range Free Pickup Vehicle Payment Link
Clutch Sell or Trade Your Car
2012 or newer
0-150,000km
From Halifax & Saskatoon only
eTransfer funds in 1 business day
Go to site
More Info
Sell or trade-in your car without the hassle. Upload basic information and get an instant offer. Get the vehicle picked up from your driveway.
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Compare up to 4 providers

4. Prepare your required documents

You’ll need the following legal documents to sell your car online in Canada by province.

ProvinceLegally required documents to sell your vehicle
Selling a car in Alberta
  • Original bill of sale
  • Section 2 of the previous Alberta vehicle registration certificate
Selling a car in British Columbia
  • Original vehicle registration
  • Transfer/tax form
Selling a car in Manitoba
  • Transfer of ownership card
  • Bill of sale
  • Valid certificate of inspection (or buyer needs to arrange own inspection)
Selling a car in New Brunswick
  • Certificate of registration with your signature on the back
Selling a car in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Vehicle registration
  • Bill of sale and/or a sworn affidavit
  • Completed and signed insurance declaration
  • Notice of sale
  • Motor vehicle safety inspection certificate
Selling a car in Nova Scotia
  • Signed certificate of registration (transfer of ownership)
  • Transfer of title certificate of sale (part 1) – filled out
  • Notice of sale
Selling a car in Ontario
  • Used vehicle information package (private sales only)
  • Signed bill of sale
  • Completed and signed application for transfer – on back of ownership permit
  • Certificate that verifies the vehicle meets safety standards (in some cases)
Selling a car in Prince Edward Island
  • Completed notification of transfer form on the registration permit
  • Vehicle permit with your signature
  • Bill of sale
  • Motor vehicle inspection form
Selling a car in Quebec
  • Both the buyer and seller must go to an SAAQ service outlet to have the vehicle registered in the buyer’s name. This process may differ if you’re selling to a dealer.
Selling a car in Saskatchewan
  • Bill of sale
  • Transfer of ownership form on registration permit

5. List your car and get an offer

You’ll follow a different process to list your car online and get an offer for each platform:

Platform typeProcess to follow
Private marketplaces
  1. Choose where you want to sell your car online in Canada or cross-post across several platforms for greater visibility.
  2. Post pictures of your car and write a description outlining key information in a compelling way.
  3. Include your contact details and pricing information.
  4. Click submit and wait for buyers to contact you directly.
  5. Organize viewings and test drives for your vehicle.
  6. Select the offer you’re comfortable with.
Online dealers
  1. Visit the website of the online dealer you’re interested in.
  2. Click the tab with details on how to sell a car online.
  3. Enter your vehicle details or VIN, along with contact info.
  4. Get your vehicle appraised by the dealer (they will usually do this by inspecting at your home).
  5. Your vehicle won’t be listed online but the dealer will send you an offer.
  6. Choose to trade your car in for a discount on a new car or get the offer in cash.
  7. Once the offer is accepted, your dealer will pick up your vehicle from your house in most cases.
Bidding sites
  1. Visit the website of the bidding site you want to use.
  2. Enter your vehicle details or VIN, along with contact info.
  3. The bidding site will post your car and you’ll get multiple offers (usually from anonymous bidders).
  4. Select the bid you’re interested in and request payment.
  5. Delivery or pick-up options will vary depending on the bidding site you use.
Online automotive marketplaces
  1. Choose the site where you want to post or cross-post across several platforms for greater visibility
  2. Post pictures of your car and write a description outlining key information in a compelling way.
  3. Include your contact details.
  4. Click submit and wait for buyers to contact you directly.
  5. Organize viewings and test drives for your vehicle.
  6. Select the offer you’re comfortable with.

6. Finalize the sale

Once your buyer agrees to a price, you’ll need to complete the following tasks to sell your car online in Canada:

  • Request payment. Wait until the money is in your account before you begin the process of transferring ownership.
  • Transfer ownership. Each province has its own requirements for how to do this (outlined below).
    Organize pick up or delivery. Hand your keys over to the buyer or arrange to deliver the vehicle or have someone pick it up.
  • Cancel your coverage. Cancel your insurance and registration and remove your licence plates either before or immediately after the sale.

How to transfer ownership by province

Expand each province for more detailed information about how to transfer ownership of your vehicle. **This information may change so it’s best to visit the website for your province’s motor vehicle registry for up-to-date details.

ProvinceTransferring ownership by province
Alberta
  • Complete an original bill of sale for both you and the buyer.
  • Rip off section 2 of your Alberta vehicle registration certificate and give it to the buyer.
  • Cancel your licence plates or transfer them over to the new owner at a registry agent.
  • The buyer must go to a registry agent with the bill of sale and proof of valid insurance to register the car in their name.
British Columbia
  • Remove your licence plates and cancel or transfer your insurance.
  • Tear off the bottom part of your vehicle registration and make sure you sign it before giving it to the buyer.
  • Fill out a copy of the transfer/tax form.
  • The buyer must take the registration and transfer/tax form to an Autoplan broker (you can also go along to help with the process).
Manitoba
  • Fill out the transfer of ownership card on the back of your vehicle’s registration.
  • Write up a bill of sale for both you and the buyer, which includes the vehicle’s year, make, model, serial number and the agreed selling price (sample template).
  • Provide the buyer with your valid certificate of inspection (COI) or inform them they will need to have the vehicle inspected themselves.
  • Retain the licence plates and cancel your Autopac coverage.
  • The buyer must take the transfer of ownership, bill of sale and COI into the registry office to transfer the vehicle.
New Brunswick
  • Give the buyer your signed certificate of registration.
  • You may also need to fill out additional documents, such as a seller’s affidavit or an application for registration.
  • Remove the licence plates and cancel your insurance coverage.
  • Your buyer will need to go to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to register the vehicle.
Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Give the buyer your vehicle registration permit and make sure they complete the signed insurance declaration on the back.
  • Fill out a bill of sale including the date of sale, buyer’s name and driver’s licence number, year, make and model of the vehicle, plate number and serial number, purchase price and your full name and signature.
  • Provide the buyer with a motor vehicle safety inspection certificate or inform them they will need to have the vehicle inspected themselves.
  • Fill out a sworn affidavit with the buyer for a private sale
  • Remove the notice of sale portion of your registration, sign and submit it to motor registration within 10 days of the sale of a vehicle.
  • Your buyer will need to go to a registry office with the documents to register the vehicle.
Nova Scotia
  • Sign the reverse of the certificate of registration, fill out the transfer of title certificate of sale (part 1) and give both to the buyer.
  • Remove the notice of sale portion of your registration, sign and submit it to the Registry of Motor Vehicles immediately after the sale.
  • Take off the plates and cancel or transfer insurance.
  • Your buyer will need to go to a registry office to register the vehicle.
Ontario
  • Purchase a used vehicle information package from ServiceOntario to give to your buyer (details your vehicle history and costs $20). This is for private sales only.
  • Provide your buyer with a signed bill of sale with your name, the buyer’s name and address, the date and the purchase price.
  • Fill out and sign the application for transfer on the back of your ownership permit, under the vehicle portion.
  • You may also need to provide a certificate that verifies the vehicle meets safety standards from a mechanic.
  • Retain your licence plates and the plate portion of your registration permit.
  • Your buyer will need to go to a registry office with the documents to register the vehicle.
Prince Edward Island
  • Complete and sign the back of the registration permit.
  • Complete a bill of sale that outlines info such as your name, the buyer’s name and address, the date and purchase price.
  • Fill in the notification of transfer form on the registration permit and mail it to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles within 7 days of the transfer date.
  • Take off the plates and cancel or transfer your insurance.
  • Your buyer will need to go to a registry office with the registration permit and bill of sale to register the vehicle.
Quebec
  • Find a buyer and accompany them to an SAAQ service outlet to transfer the registration. This must be done entirely in person and you will get all the necessary documents to fill out when you arrive.
Saskatchewan
  • Complete a bill of sale with the required information (sample here).
  • Complete the transfer of ownership form on your registration permit and give it to the buyer.
  • Take off the plates and cancel or transfer your insurance.
  • Your buyer will need to go to a registry office with the bill of sale and transfer of ownership permit to register the vehicle.

Bottom line

You have several choices in how to sell your car online in Canada. Online dealers and bidding sites are the most convenient method, but you may not get the highest offer. Selling privately to an individual may get you a better offer, but it takes more time and effort.

Frequently asked questions

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