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How to sell a car in Alberta

Learn how to sell a car in Alberta, including required documents and tips to get the best deal.

The process for how to sell a car in Alberta will vary based on whether you’re selling privately or through a dealer. Find out more about the steps you’ll need to take to sell a car in Alberta with each type of buyer. Learn what documents you’ll need to make the sale and how to get the best deal.

Summary of documents you’ll need to sell a car in Alberta

Whether you’re selling your car privately or to a dealership, here are the documents you’ll need to provide.

Legally required documents

DocumentWhat it isWhere to get itHow much it costs
Bill of saleA document that lists buyer and seller information, car details and conditions of saleDownload a copy from the government site$0
Original vehicle registrationA document you keep in your car that shows you own the vehicle.Usually stored in your glovebox. Rip off section 2 and give it to the buyer$0
issued ID
A document such as your driver’s licence or passportFrom a licensing agency or passport officeFree if you already have ID, otherwise varies

Other documents you need for a faster, easier sale

DocumentWhat it isWhere to get itHow much it costs
CARFAX reportA report that shows whether your car has been involved in any accidents or theftsCARFAX websiteBetween $44 and $61
Inspection reportA report from a licensed mechanic that testifies that your car is in good working order and meets Alberta’s safety standards.With a local mechanicAround $200
Maintenance recordsRoutine maintenance receipts for oil changes, air filters and other repairs to show you’ve taken care of your car.Local mechanic or maintenance shopVaries by service, keep receipts for any maintenance

Best sites to sell a car online in Canada

Before you sell a car in Alberta

Follow these tips to prepare to sell a car in Alberta:

  1. Clean your car. Clean your car inside and out, including the tires, engine and upholstery, to make sure it’s ready for a quick sale.
  2. Compile relevant information. Have information such as odometer readings, VIN, make/model, year and vehicle specifications ready to input.
  3. Take high-quality photos. Take high-resolution photos of your car in good lighting and in a nice setting.
  4. Prepare your documents. Gather documents you may need to complete the sale such as registration, bill of sale, CARFAX report and maintenance records.
  5. Figure out your car’s value. Search your car on sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Consumer Reports or AutoTrader to learn more about how much your car is worth.
  6. Research the platforms you want to use. Decide which platforms you want to use to list your vehicle, and post ads or request quotes as needed.
  7. Remove licence plates and insurance. Remove your licence plates and end your insurance policy when you’re ready to stop driving the car.

How to sell a car privately in Alberta

You can sell a car privately in Alberta through sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, or AutoTrader. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Write a compelling ad. Upload photos and write a compelling ad to sell your car.
  2. Post your listing. List your car with an online marketplace or crosspost across several sites to make sure you’re reaching the largest audience.
  3. Arrange a viewing and test drive. Most people will want to look at and test drive the car to make sure it works properly. Be sure to take a photo of their licence and get them to leave collateral if they test drive the car alone.
  4. Collect payment. If the buyer is interested in your car, ask for payment in cash or through an e-Transfer, bank draft or certified cheque (avoid personal cheques). Make sure the payment clears before you hand over your keys and documents.
  5. Provide transfer documents. Provide the buyer with a signed copy of section 2 of your registration and the bill of sale so that they can transfer the registration over. Make sure to keep copies for your own records.
  6. Accompany the buyer for registration. The buyer can go alone or you can choose to accompany them to a registry office to make sure the transfer process goes smoothly. Remember to remove your licence plates before they drive away.

How to sell a car to a dealership in Alberta

You can easily sell a car to a dealership in Alberta by following these steps:

  1. Bring your car in (local dealer). Bring your car into a local dealership or visit several to get your car appraised in person. The dealer can then make you an offer for your car, which you can compare against what you believe your car is worth.
  2. Request a quote (online dealer). Visit online dealer websites such as Canada Drives to request a quote. You’ll usually have to get an inspection before the sale is finalized (online dealers will come to your home to do this).
  3. Provide proof of ownership. Provide the dealer with a signed copy of section 2 of your registration and the bill of sale so that they can transfer the registration over. Make sure to keep copies for your own records.
  4. Organize pick up or delivery. Drop your car off in person with a local dealer and finalize your contract and payment at their location. Most online car dealers will organize to pick up your car at home and you’ll organize contract details online.
  5. Collect payment. In-person dealers usually pay in cash or with an e-Transfer when you drop your car off. Online dealers tend to pay with e-Transfers around the same time they come to pick up the car.

Detailed step-by-step guide to selling your car online

Checklist: How to sell a car in Alberta

How to sell a car privately in AlbertaHow to sell a car to an Alberta dealership
  1. Set a fair price
  2. Clean your car
  3. Take high-quality photos
  4. Post your advertisement
  5. Schedule viewings/test drives
  6. Reach an agreement on price
  7. Sign sales document with buyer
  8. Request and receive payment
  9. Remove licence plates
  10. Visit a local registry office with your buyer to transfer your registration
  1. Decide what offer you’ll accept
  2. Find local or online dealers to sell to
  3. Request an appraisal from each dealer
  4. Agree on a price
  5. Schedule an inspection
  6. Sign sales documents with dealer
  7. Request and receive payment
  8. Bring your car in or arrange a pick-up from an online dealer
  9. Remove licence plates

Bottom line

  • The process for how to sell a car in Alberta is fairly simple and should only take a few days from start to finish.
  • You’ll have to follow different steps for how to sell a car privately in Alberta vs how to sell a car with a dealership.
  • The only documents you need to sell a car in Alberta are a signed copy of section 2 of your registration and a completed bill of sale.

Frequently asked questions

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Written by

Associate editor

Claire Horwood was a writer at Finder, specializing in credit cards, loans and other financial products. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, and an Associate’s Degree in Science from Camosun College. Much of Claire’s coursework has focused on writing and statistics, with a healthy dose of social and cultural analysis mixed in for good measure. In her spare time, Claire enjoys rock climbing, travelling and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee. See full bio

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