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How to sell a car in BC
Learn what steps you can take to sell your car in BC, and get tips to lock in the best offer.
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.
Other documents you need for a faster, easier sale
- Government-issued ID. Most buyers 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. You may be asked to 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.
Sell your car in BC
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 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 Carity or 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 may want to go with them to test drive the vehicle, so you can explain the main features and make sure there are no issues. Make sure you take a photo of their licence and get them to leave collateral if they go alone.
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.
2. Research dealers.
Search for local dealers on Google to see which ones have a solid reputation. Plan to get multiple quotes in-person or online through sites such as Canada Drives or Clutch to make sure you get the best price for your car.
3. Bring your car in.
Bring your car into the dealership you choose or provide details online to get an appraisal with an online dealer. You’ll usually have to get an inspection before the sale is finalized (online dealers will usually come to your home to do this).
4. Prepare your documents.
If the dealer decides to buy your car, 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 your dealer might provide you with one).
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 or with an e-Transfer.
6. Organize pick up or delivery.
You’ll usually drop your car off in person with a local dealer and finalize your contract and payment at their location. Most online dealers will organize to pick up your car at home and you’ll organize contract details online.
7. 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.
- 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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