3 Proven Ways to Sell Your Car for Top Dollar

If you’re selling your car, you probably want to sell quickly and for as much as you can.

Here at Sell Your Car Ontario, we’ve bought and sold a LOT of cars. Thousands and thousands over the last 30 years.

Here are a few insider tips to help you get the most for your vehicle. Some of these may take some time and money, but the investment should be worthwhile when you attract buyers and increase your odds of selling for top money. Do the things outlined below and you will have a much better chance.

PRO-TIP:  get an offer from a dealer first. Maybe even try a few. With this exercise you will have a baseline number that has a cheque attached to it.  You will know the worst case scenario. Most dealers will honor their offers for up to 7 days

1-Know the Market

If you’ve ever bought or sold anything, you’re probably familiar with people asking way too much money for something. Sure, you can list your ‘98 Mitsubishi Eclipse for $45,000, but you’ll probably hear crickets instead of offers.

Any vehicle, regardless of age or condition, has a value range. It’s easy to make sure you’re in the right neighborhood before you list your vehicle. 

Just search for similar vehicles on sites like 

  • Kijiji

  • Facebook Marketplace

  • Auto Trader

Be sure the search parameters match yours: year, make, model, km, etc.

You can also purchase a Used Vehicle package from the MTO. This will show you the range the province taxes the transaction.

PRO-TIP: Be realistic. Your goal should be the top end of a range

2-Information Overload

You’ve heard the 3 rules of Real Estate--Location, Location, Location.

When selling a vehicle it’s Information, Information, Information

Fear of the Unknown is very real. The more upfront information you can provide, the better people will feel about your car….and you

Here are a few pieces of information that you should provide to help assuage these natural fears

Vehicle History Report

Think Carfax. This report will give a ton of important data and is definitely worth the money. It will tell your buyers the number of owners, accidents, and lots of other info. (Bonus tip: if the vehicle has had any accidents, a repair order from the body shop would be huge)

Pre-Safety or Mechanical Inspection

Take the vehicle in and get a list of what would be required in order to safety it. It’s best to get a trusted third party to do this so no one is accused of bias.

Here in Ontario, everyone respects Canadian Tire Corporation. There’s probably one close to you. They’re affordable and won’t do anything to affect their reputation.

If the work needed is minor, you can sell with the safety included instead of as-is. Of course, a vehicle that doesn’t need any work will sell for more.

Build Sheets / Window Stickers

These are the documents you get when you purchase from a dealer. They list standard and optional features and the trim levels that could drastically improve the vehicle’s value. 

If you don't have these documents, you can call your local dealer's service department and ask if they could search their system and print a copy for you. They aren't required to do this, so be extra nice when you ask.

Of course, we could help you with this  at SYCO.  Click here to request the service “no charge”.

Other Documents

Service records are incredibly important, so hopefully, you have them. If you don’t, make a note to do this on with your next vehicle

If you still have a loan on your vehicle, make sure you have a current payout letter from your lender. Preferably with instructions how to payoff. The buyer will want to understand this clearly. You’ll also want to insist on a letter of release from the lender once paid

3- Recon, Recon, Recon

Dealers spend a ton of money reconditioning their cars so they can offer them “like new.” In order to get the most money out of yours, you’ll need to do the same.

Ideally, you want to take the car to a professional detail shop for a front line reconditioning including an engine bay detail. It may cost a bit, but it will definitely increase the value a buyer sees. And of course, keep it clean once you get it detailed.

If it’s not possible to go the professional route and you’re more DIY, you’ll want to check out our Reconditioning Handbook.

Part of selling your car “like new” is having all of the options included. That means all of the spare keys, manuals, spare tire and jack, wheel nut locks, headphones for the DVD player, and anything else that was supposed to be included. If you don’t have an item, search for an example replacement on eBay or Kijiji to at least show your buyer they aren’t hard to find.

What you want to do is take away any possible objection or knock that the buyer may find to drive down the price. If you do this proactively, you will have much better luck selling your car for top dollar

Now you know some of the best ways to prepare your car to sell. But selling directly to another consumer can be time-consuming, frustrating, and even risky. If you want to sell your car the easy way, simply Click Here to fill in some information and we’ll contact you!