The steps for how to sell a car in BC will depend on whether you’re selling privately or through an in-person or online dealer. Learn more about the process for selling your car with each type of buyer, and get tips for how to get the best offer. You can also use our ready-made checklist for a quick and easy way to navigate the ins and outs of selling a car in BC.
Summary of documents you’ll need to sell a car in BC
Whether you’re selling your car privately or to a dealership, here are the documents you’ll need to provide.
Legally required documents
- Original vehicle registration (APV250). Carefully tear off the vehicle registration part of the form at the bottom and give it to the buyer. Make sure it has your signature on it as the owner.
- Transfer/Tax form (APV9T). This is currently available on the ICBC site. Original signatures are required. If you’re selling to a dealer, they may download this for you.
Other documents you need for a faster, easier sale
- Government-issued ID. Buyers will want to see that you are who you say you are, so make sure you have a valid piece of ID on you.
- CARFAX report. To make your car more attractive, you can supply a copy of your vehicle’s CARFAX report to prove that it hasn’t been involved in any accidents or thefts. The report costs between $44 and $61.
- Inspection report. Get your car inspected at an inspection facility near you to show buyers your car meets BC’s safety standards. The cost is around $200.
- Maintenance records. It can help to provide routine maintenance receipts for oil changes, air filters and other repairs to show you’ve taken care of your car.
How to sell a car privately in BC
Follow these steps for how to sell a car privately in BC:
1. Figure out a price.
Search your car on sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Consumer Reports or AutoTrader. 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.
2. Take high-quality pictures.
Clean your car inside and out and then organize a photo shoot. Make sure you take pictures from several angles, with close-ups of any special features. Aim to take photos in a nice location, preferably on a sunny day.
3. Write a compelling ad.
Upload your glamour shots and write a compelling ad to sell your car. Include details such as the make, model, number of kilometres, how long you’ve had the vehicle and any issues to be aware of.
4. Post your listing.
List your car with an online marketplace such as AutoTrader, Craigslist, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace or Used.ca. It often helps to crosspost across several sites to make sure you’re reaching the largest number of people. You can also list your car with an online bidding site such as Autozen to choose from more offers.
5. Communicate with buyers.
Do your best to respond quickly to buyers and set up timely appointments to show your car. You may want to use a site like Facebook Marketplace to have more control over who contacts you if you have privacy concerns.
6. Arrange a viewing and test drive.
Invite interested buyers to see your vehicle at your home or in a public place. You should go with them to test drive the vehicle so you can explain the main features and to prevent them from driving off with your car. If you don’t want to ride with them, make sure you take a photo of their licence and get them to leave collateral.
7. Prepare your documents.
If the buyer goes ahead with the sale, you’ll have to give them the original copy of your signed registration as well as a completed copy of a Transfer/Tax form (you can print this from ICBC or pick it up from an Autoplan broker).
8. Request payment.
Before you hand over any documents or keys, make sure to secure payment for your car. You can usually accept cash, a bank draft or an e-Transfer. Just make sure your payment processes before you seal the deal. Do not accept personal cheques.
9. Remove licence plates and insurance.
Remove your licence plates and contact your insurance company to end your policy. Keep the seller’s copy of the registration in your records just in case any issues with the sale come up.
10. Accompany the buyer for registration.
Go with the buyer to an Autoplan broker to hand in your signed registration and Transfer/Tax form. Your buyer can also bring these documents in alone, but it can be easier if you go along to help with any issues.
How to sell a car to a dealership in BC
You can easily sell your car to a dealership in BC by following these steps:
1. Figure out a price.
Decide how much (or little) you’re willing to accept and be prepared to shop around if your dealer tries to lowball you. Search for your car on sites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to figure out its market value. You can also get free quotes from online dealers such as Clutch and Canada Drives or online bidding sites such as Autozen and MintList.
2. Research dealers.
Search for local dealers on Google to see which ones have a solid reputation. Get multiple quotes so you can pick out the best offer. In-person dealers will usually require you to drive your car to their location to complete an inspection, while online dealers and bidding sites can send a representative to your home.
3. Get an inspection done.
A dealer representative will inspect the interior and exterior of your car. Their offer may change if they find mechanical issues that weren’t disclosed before. However, watch out for dealers that want to lowball you by using mechanical issues as an excuse.
4. Prepare your documents.
If you want to proceed with the sale, you’ll have to give the dealer the original copy of your signed registration. You’ll also need to complete and sign the Transfer/Tax form. The dealer will likely have this form ready for you.
5. Request payment.
Before you hand over any of your documents or your keys, make sure to secure payment. Most dealers will pay in cash, certified cheque or EFT.
6. Remove licence plates and insurance.
Remove your licence plates and call your insurance company to end your policy. You’ll also want to keep your copy of the registration in your records just in case any issues with the sale come up.
Tips to get the best offer for your car
Follow these tips for how to sell a car in BC and get the best price:
- Write a solid advertisement. Write a friendly and approachable ad and post high-quality pictures to show off your car.
- List your car in several places. Post your car on multiple platforms or visit multiple dealers. This will help you reach a larger audience and get more offers for your car. Learn about the best sites to sell a used car.
- Price your car high and negotiate down. Set a higher price than you think you might get and be willing to haggle. Just don’t set the price so high that nobody contacts you.
- Avoid taking the first offer. Just because you get an offer doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Take your time and work to get the best deal you can.
- Pay for a sponsored ad. Spend a bit extra to promote your ad so that your car is featured on the first page of an online marketplace.
Checklist: How to sell a car in BC
- The process for how to sell a car in BC is fairly simple as long as you follow the appropriate steps.
- You’ll have to follow different steps for how to sell a car privately in BC vs how to sell a car with a dealership.
- The only documents you need to sell your car in BC are a signed copy of your registration and a completed Transfer/Tax form.
Frequently asked questions
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