Selling Your Car: Step by Step
Everything you need to know to get the most value from your vehicle.
Are you thinking about selling your vehicle yourself and aren’t sure where to start? We’ve broken it down into four simple steps from preparing your car or truck for sale, what paperwork you require to sell, marketing your vehicle and finally- closing the sale.
1. Gather the necessary documents.
Paperwork is an unfortunate reality when it comes to selling your vehicle. You will need all the necessary documents to transfer ownership, like your insurance and original vehicle registration, and can pick up a free transfer form from any Autoplan broker to transfer a vehicle. Check out the sample here.
Going the extra mile and providing interested buyers with your ICBC vehicle claims history or a CarProof Verified BC report builds credibility and trust, often you’ll sell your vehicle faster and closer to your asking price. The ICBC claims history can be ordered by calling 1-800-464-5050. CarProof is an independent used vehicle reporting service and their reports include any out-of-province history as well as Canada-wide lien information.
Finally, gather all receipts for any after-market purchases, vehicle maintenance and repairs.
2. Prepare your vehicle for selling
There’s a lot you can do to ensure your vehicle is purchase-ready. Once you have your paperwork in order, research the market to learn the value of the make, model, year and condition of your vehicle relative to your community.
An easy step is simply going online and comparing your car to other vehicles for sale on auto websites and in newspapers. You can also ask your mechanic what they recommend is a fair price.
Then it is time to make your vehicle look as new as possible. Proper detailing will knock many years off the appearance of your vehicle, so get it detailed inside and out before you take your ad photos. If you have any curbed rim damage, it is a simple fix that is extremely valuable, so look into having that done as well. If your bumpers are scraped or dented, they are surprisingly inexpensive to fix, and can save you tons of time when it comes to finding a buyer. First impressions are critical, and having a clean, shiny vehicle inside and out increases the perceived value and impression buyers get of how well the vehicle has been maintained.
Consider getting your vehicle inspected at a designated inspection facility. To find one near you, see the list of inspection facilities posted on the B.C. government’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement website.
3. Advertising and promotion
There are many free ways to market your vehicle.
- Online advertising on free sites like Craigslist, UsedVic or Kijiji.
- Display a For Sale sign, with contact information in your vehicle.
- Spread the word among your network using Facebook and other social media or by telling your friends, family and neighbours.
- Posting notices at your local community centre, library or university.
Remember to protect yourself from scams, and have someone with you if you’re inviting potential buyers to your home. Always accept either cash, or a certified cheque.
4. Complete the sale.
Congratulations! Now you can remove your licence plates and complete the Transfer/Tax Form.
To complete the transfer of ownership, go with the buyer to an Autoplan broker. The broker will assist with any paperwork questions, and ensure that your name and any insurance and licence products are removed from the registration record and that the buyer is now the registered legal owner and liable for the vehicle.