Buy or sell a used vehicle in Ontario

woman driving a carKnow the steps you need to take to buy or sell a used vehicle in Ontario.

Sell a used vehicle

Before you sell a used vehicle, you need to:

  • buy a Used Vehicle Information Package
  • make sure that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on your vehicle matches the number on your permit (your green ownership document)
  • check to ensure the vehicle is has no money owing on it

How do I find out if money is owed?

Purchase a Used Vehicle Information Package

When you sell

When you sell your vehicle, you need to give the buyer:

  • the Used Vehicle Information Package
  • a signed Bill of Sale with your name, the buyer’s name, the date and purchase price
  • a completed and signed Application for Transfer — this is found on the back of an ownership permit, under the vehicle portion
  • a certificate that verifies the vehicle meets safety standards (if required)
    • you will need to get this from a licensed mechanic
    • look for a green and white sign with “Ontario Motor Vehicle Inspection Station” on it

You keep:

  • your licence plates (because plates travel with a driver, not a vehicle)
  • the “plate portion” of your permit (ownership)
    • you will need this if you want to register your plates on another vehicle
    • you can also request a refund for any full months left on your plate stickers

Get a licence plate sticker refund

Buy a used vehicle

Before buying a used vehicle you should:

  • check the vehicle history – including maintenance records
  • make sure the seller is the legally registered owner
  • make sure the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the vehicle matches the one on the owner’s permit
  • request or buy a Used Vehicle Information Package and check the lien/debt information
  • look for obvious signs of damage and have your mechanic inspect the vehicle for you
  • test drive the vehicle

When you buy

When you buy a vehicle, ensure the seller gives you:

  • the vehicle portion of the owner’s permit with the completed portion on the back
  • the Used Vehicle Information Package, including the Bill of Sale with the name of the seller and purchase price.
    • the Bill of Sale must be signed and dated by both the buyer and seller

Register a used vehicle

You must register your name as the new owner of the vehicle within 6 days of the purchase. 

To register the vehicle, you need to visit a ServiceOntario centre and bring the following:

  • proof of insurance
  • your Ontario Driver’s Licence
  • used vehicle information package (UVIP)
  • bill of Sale (you can use the bottom of the used vehicle information package, as there is a section specifically for this)
  • Safety Standards Certificate (SSC), if applicable
  • emissions test (if applicable)
  • owner’s permit with the completed Application for Transfer portion on the back
  • odometer reading information

Find a ServiceOntario centre

What’s a Safety Standards Certificate?

How do I know if I need an emissions test?

Fees

You need to pay fees to register your vehicle. Fees vary based on location, vehicle class and renewal term.

Tax on used vehicles

Who pays: the buyer pays the sales tax when you register as the new legal owner of the vehicle. You do not pay sales tax to the seller.

How much: In most cases, buyers pay 13% RST in Ontario. The amount is based on the purchase price or the vehicle’s wholesale value, whichever is greater.

Tax exemptions: You do not need to pay sales tax if you are:

  • transferring the vehicle to a close family member as a gift
  • a qualifying diplomat or Status Indian

How do I know the wholesale price of my car?

What If I paid less than the Canadian Red Book value?

Updated: July 10, 2014