Would you like to sell your vehicle without the help of an intermediary? Following these few steps with help you obtain the best possible price and lessen the chances of problems arising during and after the transaction.

Put together an updated record.

Gather all documents: purchase contract, warranty and maintenance manuals, repair bills, proof of recalls that were followed up, etc. With a set of well-organized invoices, you will be able to show that your vehicle’s odometer displays the true distance travelled. If your car has been in an accident, provide any documents that contain pertinent information.

Get an inspection.

Besides helping you better inform your buyer on the true state of the vehicle, an inspection will enable you to set a price based on the opinion of an expert unbiased third party. Ask your mechanic to provide a written report that you can give to the buyer.

To have a used vehicle inspected before selling, make an appointment at one of our Vehicle Inspection Centres.

A clean car is more likely to sell.

Clean your automobile inside and out. Touch up the paint, wash and wax it thoroughly, clean the rims, tires and hubcaps: whatever you do will pay dividends!

Do some research on price.

If you demand too high a price, you won’t sell your car… But ask too little and you’ll sell at a loss! Start by getting an idea of the competition by comparing vehicles similar to yours: visit websites where you can easily find similar vehicles for sale (e.g., Kijiji, AutoTrader, Occasion en or) and ask your mechanic for advice. Then, find out the book value of your car: if you’re a CAA-Quebec member, you have access to this information from our Automotive Advisory Services.

Honesty is the best policy!                                                                       

Answer all questions openly. Allow all potential buyers to test drive the car and have it inspected.

Do you need a contract?

The law does not require you to draw one up, but to avoid misunderstandings, getting it in writing is the best policy. In fact, CAA-Quebec offers its members standard contract formsPDF file – 386 kB

A contract must include basic elements, such as:

  • Names and addresses of the buyer and seller;
  • Description of the vehicle (including serial number, make, year, model, etc.);
  • Warranty remaining (if applicable);
  • Statement that the buyer has examined or test driven the vehicle, or asked for an inspection;
  • Known problems or repairs soon needed;
  • Proof that the car has been fully paid for by the seller;
  • Whether the car was involved in an accident;
  • Procedures for taking possession.


Ask for a non-refundable down payment.

To make sure the buyer doesn’t have a change of heart and leave you in the lurch, ask for a non-refundable down payment. Specify that the sale will be cancelled if payment has not been made in full and the transfer of ownership completed by a certain date.

Ask that payment be in the form of a transfer of funds, a certified cheque or cash.


Are you required to provide a warranty?

The Consumer Protection Act does not apply to private sales. Only merchants are required to warranty vehicles less than five years old and with fewer than 80,000 kilometres. The Civil Code of Quebec, however, states that the buyer must provide a warranty against latent defects. It defines latent defects as those that render the property for sale “unfit for the use for which it was intended or which so diminish its usefulness that the buyer would not have bought it or paid so high a price if he had been aware of them.” This warranty applies to the property sold as well as any accessories. An apparent defect is one that a buyer can perceive without the help of an expert.


What about taxes?

In a private sale, only Quebec sales tax (QST) is charged at the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) outlet. You are not required to collect the tax yourself. In the case of a trade-in sale at a dealership, both the federal goods and services tax (GST) and QST will be charged, but here again, you do not have to collect these amounts yourself.