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What’s my car worth? Estimate the value of your car

Before trading in or selling your vehicle in Canada, here's how you can find out how much your car is worth.

What's my car worth?

Finding out how much your car is worth is an important first step when selling it, trading it in or using it as collateral for a loan. While free online services can give you a pretty good idea of your car’s value in Canada, you might need to pay for a professional appraisal for legal reasons like securing a loan with your car.

4 steps to estimate your car’s value in Canada

Finding out your car’s value from a reputable Canadian website is a great way to make sure you’re getting a fair deal before you sell or trade in your car. Follow these four steps to find out how much your car is worth in Canada.

Step 1: Gather your vehicle’s information

First, you’ll need to gather the following details of your vehicle:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Year
  • Model
  • Make
  • Mileage
  • Colour
  • Your postal code
  • Vehicle condition (e.g. any dents, scratches or other repairs)
  • Any additional add-on features

Who is most likely to be researching car resale values?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
65+6.74%3.11%
55-6410.54%5.53%
45-5410.19%6.39%
35-4411.57%7.08%
25-3416.23%8.29%
18-248.29%6.04%
Source: Finder sample of 579 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

Step 2: Visit car-value estimator sites and car-selling sites to find out how much your car is worth

Each site has different standards based on your car’s condition and might give you slightly different quotes. Some of the best and most trusted sites to estimate the value of your car in Canada include:

WebsiteWhat is itHow it works
Clutch

Clutch

Car-selling site
  • Clutch is an online dealer that buys cars 2000 or newer.
  • Provide your car’s VIN to get an offer and find out how much your car is worth. You’re under no obligation to proceed.
  • It’s available in Ontario and Nova Scotia only.
  • Cost: Free quote to sell your car

Go to site

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Canadian Black Book

Car value estimator
  • Canadian Black Book estimates your car’s value using national data from car sales, auctions, brand equity and the cost of similar vehicles.
  • It offers estimates for your car’s trade-in value, average asking price and future value.
  • It’s a reputable site that has existed for over 60 years
  • Cost: Free valuation
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Carfax

Car value estimator
  • Carfax estimates a car’s value based on sales of similar vehicles near you.
  • Carfax offers Vehicle History Reports for any used vehicle based on its VIN, which can give you a more accurate value estimation and prevent you from buying a lemon.
  • Cost: Free basic valuation. Pay $50 for a detailed Vehicle History Report ($70 with a lien check).
AutoTrader Canada

AutoTrader Canada

Car-selling site
  • AutoTrader is helpful for estimating your car’s worth because it’s one of Canada’s biggest vehicle marketplaces.
  • Estimate your car’s value based on whether you want to trade in, sell or buy.
  • Compare car prices based on similar cars in your area or provide your VIN and trim to get a dealer offer.
  • Cost: Free valuation
Kijiji

Kijiji Autos

Car-selling site
  • Kijiji Autos is a marketplace for buying and selling cars.
  • Find out how much your car is worth by comparing prices of similar vehicles in your area.
  • Narrow down your search using filters for the body type (e.g. hatchback, minivan, SUV etc.), make, model, price, year, colour, whether it’s being sold by a dealer or privately, its condition and many more features.
  • Cost: Free trade-in estimate

Step 3: Get quotes for multiple types of car values

How much your car is worth varies depending on how you plan to sell it. Look up the following values before you decide what to do with your car:

  • Trade-in value. Also known as the wholesale price, this is how much you’d get from a dealership if you traded in your car for another vehicle. It’s usually lower than other types of car values.
  • Private-party value. The amount you might earn from selling to a private individual. This is generally higher than the trade-in value.
  • Dealer retail value. How much a dealership would receive for selling your used car. This is often higher than the trade-in and private-party value.

Typically, you need to fill out a form with information gathered about your car and where you live. Prices can vary by location. The more information you provide, the more accurate the estimate will be.

What’s the certified preowned value?

Some dealerships sell certified preowned (CPO) vehicles that have passed a detailed inspection by the manufacturer. These come with an extensive warranty covering everything except damages from regular use. Typically, these have a higher value than most used cars, thanks to the warranty, but still cost less than a new car.

Step 4: Compare the price to similar vehicles in your market

Once you’ve received a few estimates from car-pricing sites, look at the current market to see how cars like yours are selling.

Take note of the number of similar cars on the market and the asking price. If there’s a high volume of cars like yours, you might not be able to negotiate a high price—it could be worth waiting until there are fewer similar vehicles on the market.

Check out some similar vehicles in the table below to see how a car’s value can compare for different model years.

Toyota Corolla
Picture not described
Honda Civic
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback
Hyundai Elantra
2024 Hyundai Elantra
2024 model$26,385$36,096$24,499
2022 model$22,250$25, 370$20,249
2019 model$14,475$17,629$15,008
2017 model$12,975$13,628$8,566
2015 model$11,175$10,215$6,248

The vehicle values shown in this table are estimates only.

Getting an official appraisal

Getting your car appraised might be necessary if you want to use your vehicle as collateral for a loan, it’s part of a divorce settlement or you’re in another situation where you need a legal certificate stating its value.

Appraisals can set you back anywhere from just under $100 to several hundred dollars per vehicle. But you’ll get the most accurate quote.

Typically, you need to bring in your car for an inspection, which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on where you go.

Do I need to get my car appraised?

Yes, if you need an official certificate of value for legal reasons. You also might want to get your car appraised if you’ve made a lot of changes to the vehicle or it’s difficult to describe its condition. Rare or old cars might also benefit from an appraisal, especially if you can’t find prices online.

Where to get an appraisal

Many dealerships will appraise your car when you try to sell it, although you might be able to get a more unbiased opinion elsewhere. You can also get your car appraised by a professional appraiser. Typically, you can find these online through Kijiji or Carfax, by contacting a law firm or by reaching out to a real estate office.

Auction houses also sometimes appraise vehicles and can be particularly helpful if you have an antique or exotic car.

4 tips for getting your car appraised

Here are a few pointers to ensure you get the most accurate appraisal:

  • Go to an independent source. You can usually get a more accurate quote from an appraiser who doesn’t have any ulterior motives, rather than a dealership looking to profit from a trade-in.
  • Ask if it uses USPAP. One way to tell if an appraiser is legit is by asking if they rely on Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). USPAP provides specific guidelines and best practices for arriving at the most accurate valuation.
  • Clean up your car. Wash your car, vacuum the seats and make any necessary small adjustments to present your vehicle at its best.

I know what my car’s worth. What’s next?

Have an idea of what your car is worth? You have a few options:

  • Trade it in. Bring your car to a dealership and trade it in for a different vehicle. You’ll have to cover the difference between the trade-in value of your car and the retail price of the new vehicle.
  • Sell it. Post ads on sites like Kijiji Autos, Auto Trader Canada and eBay Motors to get a higher price for your vehicle. Explore popular sites for selling used cars here.
  • Invest in improvements. If your car is too damaged to get a good price, it could be worth investing in some improvements before making a sale.

Thinking of trading in? Consider depreciation

You may have heard that a new car loses 20% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. But that’s not always the case, as vehicles lose value at varying rates. Pay attention to your car’s depreciation rate to get the most bang for your buck when it comes time to trade in your car.

Bottom line

Getting several quotes from different online sources can help you get a more accurate picture of car’s value in Canada when you want to sell it or refinance your car loan. When you need a certified estimate, however, you might have to pay for a professional appraisal. Learn more about car loans.

FAQs about your car’s value in Canada

Stacie Hurst's headshot
To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Stacie Hurst as part of our fact-checking process.
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Written by

Editor

Anna Serio was a lead editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business financing. A trusted lending expert and former certified commercial loan officer, Anna's written and edited more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. Her expertise and analysis on personal, student, business and car loans has been featured in publications like Business Insider, CNBC and Nasdaq, and has appeared on NBC and KADN. Anna holds an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and a BA in Creative Writing from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY. See full bio

Anna's expertise
Anna has written 63 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal, business, student and car loans
  • Building credit
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Co-written by

Associate Publisher, Investments

Jaclyn Hurst was an associate publisher at Finder. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Redeemer University and a University Certificate in Management Foundations from Athabasca University. She’s as passionate about business and finance as she is about the great Canadian outdoors, organic Sumatra coffee and music. See full bio

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