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How to figure out your car’s value in Canada

Wondering how much your car is worth? Learn how to find out your car's value before trading in or selling your vehicle in Canada.

The first step to selling your vehicle is finding out how much your car is worth. But it’s also an important step when using your car as collateral for a loan — or even making sure your car loan isn’t upside down. 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 if you’re using it to secure a loan or for other legal reasons.

The 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 4 steps to get an estimate of your car’s value in Canada.

Step 1: Gather your vehicle’s information

Have the following details about your vehicle on hand before getting started with a car-value estimator:

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

Step 2: Visit car-value estimator sites

Get quotes from multiple Canadian car-value estimator sites to get a range of values for your vehicle. 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 Canadian car-value estimating sites include:

Online car-value estimatorHow it works
Canadian Black Book logo

Canadian Black Book

  • Estimates your car’s value using Canada-wide data from car sales, auctions, brand equity, and what similar vehicles are selling for
  • Requires your vehicle’s make, model, kilometres, year, trim and colour
  • Offers estimates for your car’s trade-in value, average asking price and future value
  • It is a reputable site that has been in business for over 50 years
Carfax logo

Carfax

  • Estimates a car’s value based on sales of similar vehicles near you
  • Requires your vehicle’s VIN or its make, model, year and trim
  • Carfax also offers Vehicle History Reports for any used vehicle based on its VIN, which can potentially give you a more accurate value estimation and prevent you from buying a lemon

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Auto Trader Canada

  • Estimates a car’s value based on whether you want to trade in, sell or buy
  • Requires your vehicle’s make, model, kilometres, year, trim and condition (choose between excellent, good or fair condition)
  • One of Canada’s biggest platforms for private vehicle sales, while also hosting listings from dealerships across the country
Kijiji

Kijiji

  • Allows you to see the price of similar vehicles in your are for any kilometre radius you set
  • 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

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 you plan on doing with your car:

  • Trade-in value. How much you’d get from a dealership if you traded in your car for another vehicle. Also known as the wholesale price, this is usually lower than other types of car values.
  • Private-party value. The amount you might be able to earn from selling it 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 you 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 used cars that have been inspected by the manufacturer — called certified preowned (CPO) vehicles. These come with an extensive warranty that covers everything except damages that come from regular car 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 gotten a few estimates from car-pricing sites, take a look at the current market to see how cars similar to yours are selling.

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

2021 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

Honda Civic 2020

Honda Civic Sedan

2021 hyundai elantra

Hyundai Elantra

2021 MSRP$19,350$23,400$17,899
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 from the CARFAX Canada Value Range estimator using the basic trim package.

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 certificate stating its value. Appraisals can sometimes set you back around $100 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?

An appraisal might be more accurate, but it’s usually not necessary if you’re just interested in selling or trading in your car. Generally, you only need to get your car appraised in situations where you need a certificate stating its value. For example, if you intend to use your car as collateral for a loan, you might be required to get it appraised. Otherwise, it might not be worth the money.

However, you 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

You have a few options when it comes to getting your car appraised. Many dealerships will appraise your car when you try to sell it — though you might be able to get a more unbiased opinion elsewhere. You can also get your car appraised through a professional appraiser — typically you can find these online like on Kijiji or through Carfax, through an attorney or even by contacting 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 that doesn’t have any potential ulterior motives, rather than a dealership looking to make a higher 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 to help give the most accurate valuation.
  • Clean up your car. Give your car a wash, vacuum the seats and make any small adjustments so you can 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.
  • Invest in improvements. If your car is too banged up to get a good deal, 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 different cars lose value at different rates. Paying attention to your car’s rate of depreciation can help you time when to trade in your car to get the most bang for your buck.

Compare car loans to finance your next ride

Name Product Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Min. Credit Score Requirements Table description
CarsFast Car Loans
$500 - $75,000
4.90% - 29.90%
12 - 96 months
300
Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Get a new or used vehicle delivered to your door.
Browse thousands of vehicles from dealers across Canada and get matched with financing that meets your needs.
Loans Canada Car Loans
$500 - $35,000
0% - 29.99%
3 - 96 months
300
Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Compare rates from multiple lenders.
Complete a single application to get quotes from different lenders. Bad credit, CERB and EI borrowers considered.
AutoLoanProviders
$7,500 - $85,000
3.99% - 29.99%
12 - 96 months
300
Min. income of $1,800 /month, 1+ months employed
Available in Ontario only.
Apply online and get your new vehicle delivered to your door anywhere in Ontario free of charge. All credit scores considered.
Coast Capital Car Loan
$10,000 - No Max.
Varies
18 - 84 months
650
Able to service debt payment of $300/month
Competitive rates and flexible terms.
Finance new and used vehicles from one of Canada's largest credit unions. No credit union membership required. Available across Canada except SK, QC, NT, NU, YT.
Splash Auto Finance
$10,000 - $50,000
9.90% - 29.90%
24 - 84 months
300
Min. income of $2,200 /month, 3+ months employed
Apply with any credit score.
Get financing for a new or used car. Auto loans for borrowers with fair credit, bad credit, no credit or bankruptcy.
goPeer Car Loan
$1,000 - $25,000
8.00% - 31.00%
36 - 60 months
600
Min. income of $40,000 /year
P2P platform with competitive rates.
Canada's first regulated consumer peer-to-peer lending platform that connects creditworthy Canadians looking for a loan with Canadians looking to invest.
Carloans411 Car Loans
$500 - $50,000
1.90% - 19.99%
Up to 72 months
300
Min. income of $1,600 /month, 3+ months employed
High application approval rate.
Get connected with suitable lenders to finance your next car, van or truck. Check eligibility for this loan through LoanConnect.
Canada Auto Finance
$500 - $45,000
4.90% - 29.95%
3 - 96 months
300
Min. income of $1,500 /month, 3+ months employed
Get financing from partnered local lenders.
Financing for a new or used car is available for borrowers with bad credit, no credit, CERB, EI or bankruptcy.
LoanConnect Car Loans
$500 - $50,000
9.90% - 46.96%
3 - 120 months
550
No min. income requirement
Pre-approval in as little as 60 seconds.
Get access to 25+ lenders through this brokerage. Get your funds in as little as 24 hours.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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. In cases where you need a certified estimate, however, you might have to pay for a professional appraisal. You can learn more about auto financing with our guide to car loans.

Frequently asked questions about your car’s value in Canada

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