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Top tips for selling your car safely in Ontario

Top tips for selling your car safely in Ontario

The vast majority of car sales go perfectly well but enough don’t go so well to make people nervous when it comes time to sell. You can avoid all that by selling your car to a dealership, but if you want to sell privately, what do you do?

We’re all about choice, so if you would prefer to sell your car privately instead of selling to us, that’s fine. Just follow these tips to avoid the risks.

Prepare the car for sale

Having everything on hand and ready to go avoids delay and removes the opportunity for someone to see more of your house or yard. It’s also a way to streamline the sale.

The car is clean and ready for inspection, which helps the sale. You have the paperwork all prepared and ready, which also helps the sale.

No need for the buyer to come into your home. No need for them to see your locks and security up close.

Be aware of the risk potential

Not all private sales go badly. Some, perhaps even the vast majority go perfectly fine. But you have to be prepared for them to not go so well. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

  • Get the buyer’s details when they come and take a picture of their driver’s licence. While a pain, most legit buyers won’t mind.
  • Have someone with you when people view the car. Never allow a viewing on your own.
  • Follow the buyer around the car to make sure they don’t tamper with anything. Give them the time and space they need, but always keep an eye.
  • Make sure the buyer is insured to take a test drive or you drive.
  • Have someone come on a test drive with you or follow in their own car. It’s prime time for criminals to steal a car, so make sure you’re protected.
  • If you drive and swap seats, have the buyer get out the car and go around, not you. That’s also prime time for crime. They slide across and drive away while you’re walking around.
  • Keep hold of the keys and paperwork until you’re paid. Make sure you always have at least one of the keys, or the only key on you at all times unless you’re running the engine.

Getting paid for your car

Payment anxiety is a big thing in private sales. There are so many payment scams out there that knowing what’s safe and what isn’t is tough.

  • Do not accept IOUs, cheques, escrow or payment plans.
  • Do not accept banker’s cheques or cashier’s cheques unless you’re in the bank with the buyer watching it being cut.
  • Do not accept any payment method you’re not sure of.
  • Do accept cash as long as you deposit it into your bank before handing over the keys. The bank will check it’s legit and you’re not walking around with thousands of dollars in your pocket.
  • Do accept a direct transfer from their bank to yours but only release the keys once funds have cleared.

Remember, the huge majority of private car sales go perfectly well without any crime, scamming or nefarious activity. But as we said earlier, plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Or sell your car to a dealership. It’s fast, safe and we pay direct into your bank!

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