Compare Quotes
HomeDriver's ResourcesSelling Car Privately vs Dealer What You Need to Know

Selling a car in Canada is not all that difficult to do. In Ontario, there are several different ways that one can go about this. But it does raise some questions about which is the best way to go about it. The two main options for selling a car is either doing so privately or through a dealer. Anyone that has sold a vehicle using either of these methods has their own opinions. They will consider their pros and cons of them.

Can I Sell a Used Car to a Dealer?

There is an opportunity to sell a used car to a dealer. Many dealerships have an interest in buying used cars. It is because they have a used car section within their business. It is to their benefit to have as many vehicles available for potential clients. Quite often these dealerships will buy a used car. Even if the seller is not going to be buying a replacement car from them.

Not all dealers will respond in the same manner. The seller should understand the strengths and weaknesses of the vehicle. The year of the car is going to be a big factor. But the condition that it is in will hold some importance as well. If the car is not in good condition the dealership may not want to buy the vehicle. They may decide that it would be too costly to restore the car to a good condition for reselling.

It is also important to choose the right type of dealership. Some like to stay with the brands that are pertinent to the model that they are selling. It isn’t a mandatory approach. Many dealerships will buy different makes and models.

Should You Trade or Sell Your Car Privately?

To decide whether you should trade or sell your car privately there are a lot of things that you have to consider.

Selling Privately

– How Fast Do You Want To Sell The Vehicle?

The reason why someone wants to sell a vehicle is a big factor. Most often an individual that wants to sell their car has it in mind to buy a new one. They may want the cash from the sale of the old car to put down on the new one. If one can wait and there is no urgency then selling a vehicle privately may be a good option. In a lot of cases, this way of selling a vehicle takes a lot longer. Compare this to being able to take the vehicle to a dealership and sell it on the spot.

– The Selling Ethics

It has become more difficult to sell cars privately because of poor selling ethics. There are sellers called curb insiders. These are individuals who are selling vehicles without being truthful. They are not being honest about the vehicle they are selling. Quite often the information about the vehicle is false. The seller may not provide factual identification.

Selling Through A Dealer

– Getting A Fair Price

One of the concerns about selling to a dealer is the price. Dealerships are only going to offer the least price that they feel is helpful to them. The seller may have an idea of what they want in mind. But it will be the dealership that decides what they are willing to pay. When one is selling privately, they can set a firm price and stick to their guns. The upside is that the sale can be much quicker. Also, it reduces the risk of dealing with unscrupulous buyers.

Car Dealer vs. Private Sales

Both of these options have some advantages to them. But there are also ways to go about utilizing them to one’s best advantage.

Selling Private The Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantage -Easy to Get Required Information

In Ontario, the sellers must provide the buyer with some information. It is called a used vehicle information package. Selling private means that the seller will have to get this. Which they can do through the ministry of Ontario.

Disadvantage – Safety and Emission Responsibility

The private seller of the vehicle has the responsibility of ensuring that the vehicle is safe. Plus make sure it has passed the emission testing.

Advantage – Price Setting

Determining a fair price is the next challenge. One that comes with selling the vehicle privately. To assist with this one can turn to the Canadian Red Book which will give a value range of the vehicle.

Disadvantage – Time and Advertising

Getting it known that the vehicle is for sale is another responsibility. An extra one that comes with private selling. There are many different venues available for advertising vehicles for sale.

Selling To Dealership The Advantages and Disadvantages

Disadvantage – Selling Price

In most cases, the dealership is not likely to give the same price that one may be able to get selling privately. It is because they will factor in what’s required. It will include what has to take place to get the vehicle presentable for resale. Keep in mind that they also want to be able to make a profit on the resale.

Advantage – Fewer Hassles

The dealer will usually look after getting the used vehicle information package. They also will not care about emission testing. It is something that they will factor in with what is going to cost them to get the car ready for resale.

Are Consignment Deals An Option?

There is another option that may be present for selling a vehicle in Ontario. It is selling it on consignment. In this case, the vehicle owner can have the car listed as a consignment dealer. If the car sells, the consignment dealer will get a percentage of the sale.


Another form of selling a vehicle to a dealership is through trading in the vehicle for a new one. It will work similarly with selling the vehicle outright without buying a new one. The difference will be in the money for the trade-in. It will go towards the down payment for the new vehicle.

Any individual that is selling a vehicle should look at all their options as carefully as possible. Time will most likely be the biggest factor in helping one decide which is the best way to sell a vehicle.  For those that want the best dollar. Also for those who don’t mind the work. Selling privately is a good option.

Leave A Comment

Continue Reading