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Thinking of selling privately? Think again.

Historically, selling your vehicle privately was a way to make a little extra at the expense of your efforts - cash vs. convenience. But with today's market values for used vehicles, you can have your cake and eat it too.

There are significant (and immediate) tax benefits to trading in your vehicle. Try out our trade-in savings calculator below, and even compare to the value of private selling - you'll likely be pleasantly surprised.

Car Value Tax Savings Calculator

Dealership Trade Value
Private Trade Value

Here's your Tax Savings Scenario

Trade Value
Tax Savings on Trade
Value of Trade
Private Sale Value
By trading into the dealership, you save:

Privately Selling Your Car

Barring any financial benefits, the truth is that selling your car privately can be an arduous task, and private selling will take more time and effort. You’ll need to manage appointments with potential buyers, and haggle over the price. You could potentially waste hours speaking with “tire kickers” – people who don’t actually have an interest in buying your car, and you may even be giving away sensitive personal information to an untrusted source.

A further responsibility that sits with you is the contractual and legal processes (which a dealership takes care of when you sell to them). In Ontario, you’ll need to get a used vehicle information package, and you might also be asked to get a safety certificate by a buyer.

All told, there are significant benefits to working with your preferred dealership when transitioning from your current vehicle to your next - after all, it's what we are here to do.

Costs to Consider When Privately Selling Your Car

If the tax benefits weren’t incentive enough, consider the following costs you can avoid by trading in or selling your car to a dealership.

  • Used Vehicle Information Package
  • Reconditioning Costs (repairs, maintenance)
  • Cleaning and Detailing Your Car
  • Safety Standards Certificate
  • Advertising Costs on Listing Websites

Still Thinking of Selling Privately?

Selling a car privately in Ontario requires careful preparation and attention to detail to ensure a smooth transaction. Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Clean and maintain your vehicle: This will help increase its appeal to potential buyers.
  • Accurately list all the details about the car including make, model, year, mileage, and any upgrades or modifications.
  • Set a fair price by researching the value of similar vehicles in your area. Websites like Canadian Black Book ( and the Canadian Red Book ( can provide valuable information.
  • Advertise your vehicle through online platforms such as Kijiji ( or AutoTrader (
  • Be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers, but do not undervalue your vehicle.
  • Have all the necessary paperwork, such as the ownership and safety certificate, readily available for the buyer to review.
  • Be cautious of potential scams, such as a buyer who requests to send you more money than the agreed upon price.

What Paperwork is Required to Sell a Car Privately?

In Ontario, the documents required to sell a car privately are the ownership certificate (also known as a "pink slip"), a valid safety certificate, and a bill of sale. The ownership certificate proves that you are the legal owner of the vehicle and have the right to sell it. The safety certificate verifies that the car meets Ontario's safety standards. The bill of sale is a legally binding document that records the details of the transaction, including the date, the names and addresses of the buyer and seller, the sale price, and the make, model, and year of the vehicle. It is recommended to keep a copy of the bill of sale for your own records.

In addition to the ownership certificate, safety certificate, and bill of sale, the "Used Vehicle Information Package" (UVIP) is also a required document when selling a car privately in Ontario.

The UVIP is a comprehensive package that includes important information about the vehicle, such as its vehicle history, the condition of the car, and its safety features. The UVIP also includes information about the vehicle's emissions and fuel efficiency, as well as any liens or encumbrances against the car. It is important to provide a copy of the UVIP to the buyer, as it will give them a clearer understanding of the vehicle's history and condition. The UVIP can be obtained from ServiceOntario for a nominal fee.

Safety Precautions

When privately selling a car in Ontario, it is important to protect yourself by taking certain precautions.

First, thoroughly research the buyer before meeting with them to ensure their credibility and reduce the risk of fraud. Additionally, be sure to have the car evaluated by a trusted mechanic to know its true value and avoid any disputes over its condition. During the sale, make sure to have the proper documentation ready, including the car's title and registration, and make sure to transfer ownership legally by signing over the title and completing the required paperwork with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Finally, only accept secure methods of payment, such as a bank draft or electronic transfer, to avoid any issues with bounced checks or fraud.

Want to avoid the hassle?