How to sell a car privately in Alberta, Canada

If you live in Alberta and are thinking of selling your vehicle, you should consider selling it privately! Not only can you net 15-30% more money for your vehicle by selling it privately rather than trading it in to the dealer, but the process is also incredibly simple!

Ok, let’s get started!

1) Consider whether you are going to sell your car as-is or certified

It really comes down to how much money and time you want to put into the vehicle before you sell it. If you are looking to just get rid of the car, then selling it as-is might be the best route for you. However, if you are looking to maximize your sale price then you should really consider selling your vehicle certified with an inspection from a certified shop.

2) Detail the car, take pictures

Pretty self explanatory, also optional, but a clean car is much easier to sell. It is also estimated that simply detailing a vehicle nets 5-10% more for the vehicle. Of course if you are selling as-is then maybe a detail is not something you will end up doing. Take good pictures of the vehicle after the detail that show the vehicle condition.

3) Do the maintenance

Also optional, but any good buyer will at the very least check the oil dip stick to see what condition the oil is in. Doing an oil change and toping up fluids will give buyers the piece of mind that the vehicle has been well cared for.

4) List the car

The nice things these days is that as a private seller you have many different channels to list your vehicle through. You can easily list your car for sale on Kijiji, Autotrader, and Most of these are free to list but might have additional features you can pay for such as a “featured” listing option.

5) Setup a meeting with a buyer

Ideally use a public place but can also be your house. Your local police service parking lot might not be a bad idea as most will have a spot setup for “online sales”. If someone wants to test drive the vehicle, you can ask for a copy of their driver’s license (use your phone to take a picture) and even have them sign a waiver. Make sure to show them the UVIP. If the buyer wants the vehicle taken for an inspection, go with them to the mechanic. They should pay for any inspection fees.

6) Complete a Bill of Sale, get paid

If you don’t have your own Bill of Sale, you can get one from the Alberta government located here ( ). Once you have a buyer, fill out the bill of sale with them and make sure that each party gets a copy. At this time, collect the money too!

7) Cancel or Transfer the plate

When you go to hand over the keys to the car, you have two options. You can either cancel the plates on the vehicle or you can transfer them to the new owner. If you are transferring the plates, you can do so at any AMA or Registry Agent location. You’ll need to go with the new buyer and bring ID, proof of ownership, and insurance documents. If you are cancelling the plates, go in alone but still bring ID, the ownership document, and the plates.

8) Sign off the Application for Vehicle Transfer portion of the Ownership

This portion can be found on the backside of the vehicle ownership or permit. Detach this portion and give it to the buyer after you fill it out and sign it. The buyer will also need to provide their information. Photocopy the completed Application for Vehicle Transfer portion of the ownership along with the Bill of Sale so you both have copies. You keep your plate portion of the ownership and you retain your plates from the vehicle. These can be returned later to the MTO for a refund.

9) Let insurance know

Report to your insurance company that you sold the vehicle so they remove it from your insurance policy.