Ontario is a great place to buy or sell a used car.

When selling a pre-owned car, make sure you do the following first: Purchase a Used Car Buyer's Guide Verify that the VIN on your vehicle and the VIN on your permit (your green ownership document) are the same. Make sure there are no outstanding payments on the car. You Should Get a Used Car

When selling a pre-owned car, make sure you do the following first:

  • Purchase a Used Car Buyer's Guide
  • Verify that the VIN on your vehicle and the VIN on your permit (your green ownership document) are the same.
  • Make sure there are no outstanding payments on the car.

You Should Get a Used Car Buyer's Guide

The Time You Put Your Product on the Market

Give the buyer these items when you sell your car:

  • data package for pre-owned automobiles
  • a written and signed Bill of Sale that includes the following information: your name and address; the buyer's name and address; the date and the total price
  • application for transfer, which can be found on the back of the registration card, in the "vehicle" section, and needs to be filled out and signed by both parties.
  • a document stating that the car is safe to drive (if needed).
    • To get this, you must visit a certified mechanic.
    • The Ontario MVI is marked by a green and white sign that reads "Ontario Motor Vehicle Inspection Station."

You keep:

  • a copy of your license plates (because plates go with the driver, not the car).
  • part of your license that deals with plates
    • If you want to transfer your license plates to a new vehicle, you'll need this.
    • You are entitled to a refund for the unused portion of your license plate stickers' subscription period.

Pay back the cost of your license plate decal

Determining whether or not a car has a financial debt

With the help of a Used Vehicle Information Package, you can find out if your car has any outstanding loans or payments.

The Personal Property Security Branch of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services can tell you more about any liens (a type of security placed on a vehicle to ensure its owner pays any debt that is outstanding) on the vehicle:

Around Toronto: 416-325-8847
Free phone number: (800) 267-8847
TTY: 416-326-8866 "(for the deaf and hard of hearing)

Get a secondhand car.

Consider these points before purchasing a pre-owned vehicle:

  • Investigate the car's background, including any service records.
  • find out how the car has performed in previous emissions tests by visiting the appropriate website.  
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) required for free search.
  • only large diesel commercial vehicles are required to pass an emissions test.
  • All vehicles on the road must adhere to emission standards, even though only light passenger and non-diesel vehicles are legally exempt from emissions testing.
  • Before purchasing a used car, you can verify that it runs smoothly and meets local emissions standards by having the seller take it in for an emissions test at a garage.
  • Verify the seller's status as the official owner.
  • Verify that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the vehicle matches the VIN on the owner's license.
  • Ask for, or purchase, a Used Vehicle Information Package and review it thoroughly for any liens or outstanding debts.
  • Have your mechanic look it over for you and keep an eye out for telltale signs of damage.
  • Get behind the wheel and give it a try!

In the event that you decide to purchase

Make sure the seller provides you with the following when you buy a car:

  • a completed back side of the owner's permit's vehicle section
  • the Bill of Sale detailing the seller's information and the purchase price for the used vehicle
    • Both the buyer and the seller need to sign and date the Bill of Sale.

Getting a used car registered

After purchasing a car, you have only six days to get it officially transferred into your name.

Please bring the following items with you to a ServiceOntario center to complete the vehicle registration process:

  • evidence of coverage
  • you're valid Driver's License issued by the Province of Ontario
  • used car history report (also known as an "UVIP")
  • bill of Sale (there should be a space for this at the very back of the used car paperwork)
  • Certificate of Compliance with Safety Standards (SSC), if Required
  • permission to operate, with the Application for Transfer section filled out
  • Knowledge of the current mileage on the vehicle's odometer

Locate a ServiceOntario office near you

To begin, let's define a Safety Standards Certificate.

Can you tell me if I need an emissions inspection?

Sales Receipt

When buying a car, whether used or new, you must fill out a bill of sale with the following details:

  • Identification number for motor vehicles (VIN)
  • Identify the automobile's manufacturer and model year, as well as the fuel type and propulsion system (electric, diesel, or gasoline) it uses.
  • Type, shade, and make (if obtainable) of body
  • price paid (including any applicable taxes and HST/GST identification number)
    • There may be some exceptions. The Sworn Statement for a Family Gift of a Used Motor vehicle in the Province of Ontario, for instance, must be used when transferring a vehicle to a family member as a gift. You can submit this form online at ServiceOntario.ca, or pick one up at your local ServiceOntario centre.
  • Include the seller's name, address, and signature if they are the current owner, dealer, or leasing company.
  • Seller's Name and Address
  • date of purchase or sale

It is acceptable for the bill of sale to be handwritten as long as it is an original document. An already printed sales invoice bearing a handwritten HST or GST number will also be accepted.

  • In the following cases, a fax or photocopy of the bill of sale will suffice:
    • Those interested can go to a local ServiceOntario location to inspect and make copies of the original.
    • ServiceOntario employees compare the original document with its photocopy.
    • The seller faxes the document directly to the ServiceOntario location.
  • Any other form of copy or facsimile of the bill of sale is invalid.
  • A bill of sale completed by a company or dealer should be printed on the letterhead of the respective entity.


If you want to get your car registered, you'll have to shell out some cash. Costs differ by region, type of vehicle, and length of renewal.

Duties on pre-owned automobiles

When transferring ownership of a vehicle, the new owner is responsible for paying any applicable sales tax. The vendor does not collect sales tax from you.

To put a number on it, Ontario's sales tax (GST) for consumers is currently set at 13%. The sum is calculated as the greater of the retail price and the wholesale value of the car.

An appraisal is needed if the car is 20 years old or older. Read the Ministry of Finance's Specified Vehicles publication for more details.

The following groups are exempt from paying sales tax:

  • gifting the car to a member of one's immediate family
  • official foreign service personnel or recognized Status Indians

Locating the dealer cost of the vehicle you're interested in

The Canadian Red Book lists the wholesale and retail prices of used cars, which is where we get our wholesale value. It is the norm used by the auto trade, insurance firms, and state and local governments.

The prices are based on market data collected from similar vehicles sold at auction. They ignore the following factors:

  • optional accessories
  • car's current state
  • mileage

When you pick up the Used Vehicle Information Package and when you transfer ownership, there is a window of time during which these figures can change.

When the purchase price is below the Canadian Red Book

You can get an appraisal before transferring ownership if you paid less than the vehicle's Canadian Red Book value.

You will be subject to taxes based on whichever amount is greater: the purchase price or the appraised value, if the latter is lower than the Canadian Red Book value.

To examine for emissions

Large, diesel-powered, commercial automobiles

When selling a used heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle older than the current model year, a valid emissions test pass is required.

Trucks, SUVs, vans, buses, tow trucks, dump trucks, and cement trucks with a gross registered weight of more than 4,500 kilograms and powered by diesel fuel are included.

Non-diesel heavy vehicles and light passenger vehicles

As of April 1, 2019, no emissions testing is needed for light passenger vehicles (including most cars, vans, SUVs, and light trucks) or heavy non-diesel vehicles.

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