Apr 20, 2023
How to Sell a Car in British Columbia: Everything You Need to Know
Selling a car in British Columbia can be a complicated process, but with careful planning and preparation, you can maximize the value of your vehicle and ensure a smooth transaction. In this guide, we will take you through each step of the process, from determining a fair market price to completing the legal documentation.
1. Determine a fair market price
The first step in selling your car is to determine a fair market price. You can use a variety of online resources, such as Canadian Black Book or Kelley Blue Book, to input your car's make, model, and year to find a range of estimated values.
You can also research similar cars for sale in your area to see how they are priced. It's important to price your car realistically to attract potential buyers while still getting a fair value for your vehicle.
You should also double-check that you don’t have any remaining payments on your car loan. If you do, you’ll need to confirm with your lender the total cost to pay off your remaining loan amounts and assume full ownership before you can sell the vehicle.
Canada Drives uses Canadian Black Book values to provide an accurate estimate of your car's worth. However, unlike Canadian Black Book, Canada Drives will offer to buy your car too. If you want to know how much you could get for your car, get an instant offer today. We'll even pay off your existing loan.
2. Prepare your vehicle for sale
Before listing your car for sale, you should take the time to prepare it for potential buyers. This includes getting it cleaned and detailed inside and out, ensuring that it runs smoothly and that all necessary repairs have been completed.
A well-maintained car will be more attractive to potential buyers and may fetch a higher price. Here are some tips for preparing your car for sale:
- Get your car professionally detailed to make it look its best.
- Check all fluids and top up as needed.
- Ensure all necessary repairs are completed and the vehicle is in good working order. Aesthetic improvements (faded paint job, scratches, dents) may help you find a buyer faster, but extensive body work can be costly.
- Make sure all interior and exterior lights are in good working condition.
- Check the tire pressure and ensure that tires have enough tread.
- Remove any personal items from the car.
- Consider obtaining a vehicle history report to share with potential buyers.
3. List your vehicle for sale
Once your car is ready for sale, it's time to list it online. There are many popular online platforms in British Columbia where you can list your car for sale, including AutoTrader.ca, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Kijiji. In addition to putting your listing in front of huge audiences, these sites are great because they’re also completely free.
Make sure you take high-quality photos of your car and write a detailed description that highlights its best features. Be sure to include important details such as the car's make, model, year, and mileage.
Tips for taking high-quality photos of your car:
You don't need to be a professional photographer to get great images of your car. With a decent smartphone and some best practices you should be able to get the job done:
Capture multiple angles: Take photos of your car from various angles, including the front, rear, and sides. This will help potential buyers get a better idea of the car's overall appearance and condition.
Highlight the important features: Take close-up photos of the car's important features, such as the engine, wheels, and interior. This will help potential buyers see the details and quality of the car. Take at least one clear photo of the odometer to prove how many kilometres are on the car.
Show any flaws or damage: It's important to be honest about any flaws or damage your car may have. Take photos of any dents, scratches, or other imperfections so that potential buyers know exactly what they are getting.
Use natural lighting: Natural lighting is the best way to showcase your car's colour and condition. Take photos during the day, outside, and in a well-lit area. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause harsh shadows on your vehicle, so a bright, but overcast day works best.
Clean your car: Just like in personal car photos, make sure your car is clean and polished. A clean car gives the impression that it has been well taken care of.
Keep the background simple: When taking photos of your car for selling purposes, avoid busy or distracting backgrounds. Keep the focus on the car itself, and choose a simple, neutral background that won't detract from the car's appearance.
4. Complete the legal documentation
Selling a car in British Columbia requires specific legal documentation to be completed. Here is a breakdown of the necessary documents:
a) Vehicle registration
This document proves that you are the registered owner of the vehicle. As the seller you need to sign the registration at the bottom and carefully tear it off to give to the buyer.
b) Transfer/tax Form
This form is used to transfer ownership and is available at any Autoplan broker's office. Both seller and buyer need to complete and sign this document.
c) Bill of sale
This document serves as a receipt for the buyer and includes important information such as the VIN, make, model, year, and sale price of the vehicle.
The buyer is responsible for purchasing insurance for the vehicle once it has been sold. Remember to remove your license plates from the vehicle and contact your insurance provider to update your policy.
It is recommended that both you (the seller) and the buyer go to an Autoplan broker together to give them your signed registration and transfer/tax from to complete the sale.
The easiest way to sell your car:
If you don’t have time to go through all the hassle and headaches associated with selling a car, why not sell your vehicle to Canada Drives instead? Get an instant online offer for your car today. Your offer will be valid for seven days, so you can think it over. If you like your offer all you need to do is drop off your car at the nearest Canada Drives location and receive your safe and secure payment.
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