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Aug 12, 2023

5 min. read

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is guaranteed and easy access to everything we’ve ever wanted isn’t as simple as it once was.

What does that have to do with cars, you may ask. Great question. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shortage of new cars released into the market. This has meant higher prices, fewer rebates and longer wait times.

But what’s bad news for the new car industry is good news if you’re looking to sell a previously used vehicle. It’s not only a sustainable choice, but a great way to turn your older vehicle into some extra cash. Or maybe you’re a car enthusiast with a roster of beautiful cars you’ve lovingly refurbished for lucky new owners? This could be a great opportunity to sell your used cars.

But, unlike selling a sofa or a chair online, selling used cars isn’t as simple as throwing up a listing and waiting for the offers to roll in.

Here we’ll go over how to sell a used car in Ontario legally and securely, so both you and the new owners drive away with peace of mind.

What are the requirements for selling a used vehicle in Ontario?

If you want to sell your car privately, you’ll have to provide a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP). The UVIP is mandated by Ontario law and costs just $20. You can easily get one at a Service Ontario office, or online.

A UVIP package must contain:

  • Vehicle registration history in Ontario

  • Vehicle details, including year/make/model/colour

  • Vehicle lien information (i.e. whether there were any outstanding debts on the vehicle in Ontario up until two business days before the seller bought the UVIP)

  • Average wholesale value on which the minimum tax owed is based

  • Retail sales tax and forms for an affidavit

  • Bill of sale


Unless you’re selling your used vehicle in as-is condition, you’ll also need to include a Safety Standard Certificate. You can get a licensed mechanic to perform a safety check and provide the certificate. CAA has many Approved Auto Repair Service (AARS) shops if you’re looking for a recommendation. Find the closest AARS near you. And finally, you’ll need to provide the Original Vehicle Registration Permit to the new owner. Make sure the vehicle identification number (VIN) on your vehicle matches that on the vehicle registration permit.

How to price your used car for sale.

When you’re getting ready to sell your used vehicle, you’ll want to figure out an asking price that is fair to both you and prospective buyers. It helps to know what your vehicle is worth so you avoid selling it at a loss. You can contact CAA Auto Advice for a Red Book retail value.

You can also check in with local used vehicle dealers and check out comparable used cars online to check how competitive your pricing is. And if you’re selling a car that’s been restored, is in mint condition or is a collector’s item, a professional appraisal is always a good bet.

And keep in mind that with used car sales, there often comes a bit of negotiating. Be flexible but fair with your pricing and be prepared to lower your asking price if you don’t see any interest.

How to sell your used car.

First, you’ll want to get the word out that you’re selling a vehicle. Start off by setting up an online ad. Make sure to include the vehicle year, make, model, trim, colour, mileage, and any added features or general mechanical conditions. Always include your asking price to attract serious buyers, as well as your contact information.

Once you’ve attracted a prospective buyer, you can set up a showing. Make sure to tell them everything you can about the used car for sale, including any history of collisions or repairs, defects or any outstanding financing. You want to be as upfront as possible.

You can accompany the buyer on a test drive with a family member or friend and showcase any features. You can also meet them at a mechanic for a vehicle inspection — just don’t release the vehicle into their possession until you’ve actually sold them the car.

How to close the sale of your used car.

Once you’ve agreed on a price, it’s a good idea to get a down payment in cash, by e-transfer or certified cheque if the buyer isn’t paying in full right away.

Once you’ve received full payment, you’ll fill out the Bill of Sale form enclosed in your UVIP. There are a few other documents to sign and submit to Service Ontario in order to complete the sale. You’ll also have to sign the Vehicle Registration in the Seller’s signature spot, so that the buyer can change the registration to their name.

And that’s it! Don’t forget to remove your licence plates and cancel insurance, but you’ve done it. You’ve sold a used car.

Consider becoming a dealer.

If you think selling used cars could become a nice side hustle or something you’d like to turn into a business, consider becoming a licensed car dealer. You can get certified through OMVIC, which includes a background check and an education component.

This is a great way to give your fledgling business credibility and to give you and your buyers some protection in case of any issues.

The CAA Auto Advice™ team is always here to help if you have any questions related to buying or selling a used vehicle in Ontario. Contact us at autoadvice@caasco.ca or 1-866-464-6448.

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