Selling a Used Vehicle in Alberta

Posted on: Oct 06, 2017

Passing car keys. Cropped closeup of a car dealer holding out car keys to the camera copyspace car dealership salon manager salesman selling buying giving owner profession purchase vehicle concept.

Get the Vehicle Ready to Sell

Even if you are doing a private sale, you have to remember that you are competing with car dealerships who will make sure that the vehicles on their lots are clean inside and out. The dealerships will also have documentation about recent inspections, repairs, warranties, etc. Depending on the value of your vehicle, you may or may not want to invest in an inspection from a reputable mechanic or dealership. Most people who are going to spend a significant amount of money on a vehicle will do their own inspection anyway. In any case, it is a good idea to gather any receipts you have for services and repairs done to the vehicle since you have owned it.

Proof of Ownership

The seller should ask to see proof of ownership, which would be your original Bill of Sale from when you purchased the vehicle. Many people will go by the Registration Certificate. This indicates that a vehicle was registered to a person, but legally-speaking, it’s not proof of ownership.

Carproof and Vehicle Information Reports

We offer Carproof reports as well as Vehicle Information Reports. You may find it faster to sell your vehicle at close to the asking price if you can offer documentation about the vehicle. It takes time and money to test drive and have a vehicle inspected by a mechanic, so buyers will be more interested if you can show that the vehicle has a clean history with no liens.

Bill of Sale

When buying a used vehicle in Alberta, both the buyer and the seller need to fill out a  Bill of Sale. These are also available free of charge in our office at the forms counter (turn left when you walk in the door and head to the back wall). You can also use the back of your Registration Certificate or just hand-write the details on a piece of paper, but we do recommend the Bill of Sale because it is more complete.

The buyer needs to retain the original Bill of Sale, but it’s a good idea for both parties to retain a copy. Please note that the Bill of Sale can’t be whited out and if any corrections are made, both the seller and the buyer must initial these.

Portions that must be included are: the date of the sale, address and identification information about the buyer and seller, the year, make, model and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number, odometer reading, the total price, how it is being paid for and any promises or statements about the vehicle, such as warranties or claims about the condition.

Cancel or Transfer the Plate

When the seller arrives to pick up the vehicle, he or she should bring his or her own plate. Never allow someone to drive off with your plate! If they aren’t able to arrange a plate beforehand, you can always make arrangements to meet the buyer at Registries Plus. While you are at our office, you can cancel your plate or transfer the plate to your new vehicle.

Registering the New Vehicle

We are open 7 am – 6:30 pm on weekdays and 9:30 am – 5 pm on Saturdays to make it easy for the new owner to register the vehicle. The new owner of the vehicle can drive it for up to 14 days using a plate, registration and insurance from his or her previous vehicle, but of course we recommend getting the insurance and registration transferred over as soon as possible. The new owner will need to show the original bill of sale, proof of insurance (pink slip or digital copy) plus government-issued ID.