Selling a pre-owned car

It struck me to write this post while I was updating the sale listing for my current car. I decided to share my experiences in this post that I gathered from selling cars for my other family members. The steps and process listed in this post are in conjunction with Canadian laws.

For some, selling a pre-owned car is a scary process. It could be if you are not prepared and upfront about your car. Remember it is not about getting the higher price for your car but it is also about maintaining a positive relationship with a buyer. To make it simple do your research, clean your car, fix your car, price it right, follow the law and prepare your best sales pitch. You are all set to sell.

Below are the steps that I take when I am selling a pre-owned car and that I will recommend to other sellers:

  1. Familiarize yourself with you car features that are popular in the market. This includes any special factory upgrades or add ons. This knowledge comes in handy when you are pricing your car for sale. It also gives you an opportunity to describe your car to a potential buyer and to support your price.
  2. Before putting your car up for sale, invest in getting a detail cleaning done. If you have time and resources, make sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize your car both from inside and outside.
  3. Make sure that the exterior of the car is well maintained and there are no visible scratches, dent or other minor/ major body work.
  4. If the car requires some body work you can either get it done your self by buying and following a maintenance kit or you can get it done at an auto body workshop. Make sure to negotiate on the price and explain to them that the car is up for sale. You want a good job done but not too expensive and get unnecessary add ons.
  5. Make sure to tell the mechanic that car is up for sale. Some times advertisement through word of mouth also helps in the sale of a car.
  6. In Canada, by law the seller has to provide buyer with a Buyer’s Registration guide. Make sure to have that handy before you put the car up for sale as the guide lists history of a vehicle and also provides with a price range.
  7. Having a safety inspection report for the car helps tremendously in getting a higher price for the car. Make sure to get the inspection done from a reputable auto workshop as they make sure to check everything. The major requirement to pass the safety inspection is to have good set of tires all same, brake system is up to date and fully functional.
  8. Don’t cheat on your car mileage by getting it reversed as it is a crime and most cars these days have a built in way to detect this fraud. Be honest and upfront about your car mileage and prices it accordingly.
  9. Do your research in the market by checking the Auto Trader tool to price your car. Make sure to also check independent dealerships for a similar car and the price they are listed for. This research will allow you to come up with a competitive, fair market price of your car that will attract buyers.
  10. Make sure to address every offer you get on your car. Some offers will be very low but instead of directly saying NO, try to work it out with a buyer. A serious buyer will work with you to come close to your listed price.
  11. Make sure not to include your full address on the listing as it will expose you to potential safety concerns. List your phone number and postal code only that will allow buyers to have an idea about your area. Make sure you indicate if you accept text messages or not.
  12. Screen out buyers before test drive. This means make sure you get full name of the person, city they are coming from. Make sure to give appointments for test drive only in the day time and when you have friends or family members around to keep your safety and security in check first.
  13. Be prepared that the buyer will check the engine of the car. Familiarize yourself of type of oil change car requires , last time oil got checked and the life cycle of the belt.
  14. Make sure to set an area for test drive. Don’t take the buyer too far away, stay within a safe distance.

Websites to be considered to list your car for sale:

  4. Market Place on


I hope some of these steps are helpful in your next car selling process. Please leave a comment if you have any questions for me to answer.


Happy Selling

Personal experience shared by Noor Reflection






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