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Is it hard to find a car value in Canada? Not really. With a little effort you can find your car’s value online before you sell it, trade it in for a new one, or use it for a car title loan. After all, a car is one of the biggest assets you have.

Luckily, there are many tools you can use to find out the value of your car in Canada. This way, you can evaluate if your trade-in, loan value, or private sale offer is a good one or completely unrealistic.

What Do You Need To Calculate Your Car’s Value?

To accurately determine the value of your car, you’ll need a few pieces of information: 

Will My Car Value Be Higher In Other Provinces?

Your location plays a role in your car’s value. The roadways, topographies, and climates across Canada will affect the vehicle’s condition. 

For instance, rural parts of Alberta have rough terrain and harsh winters, which can be tough on a vehicle’s body and paint. The salt and sand that are typically used throughout the winter months to prevent slipping can also cause corrosion and paint chipping on vehicles. 

Factors like these will impact a car’s condition and therefore its value over time. 

How To Check Your Car Value In Canada

To check the current value of your vehicle, follow these steps:

Get All Vehicle Details 

Collect all the information about your car as listed above. You’ll need these details to get an accurate estimate of what your vehicle is currently worth. 

Find A Car Value Calculator 

There are various websites that provide handy calculators for you to easily and quickly determine your car’s value. All you need to do is plug in all the details you’ve already gathered about your vehicle, and the calculator will do all the hard work for you. 

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Your car’s value depends on how you plan to sell it. There is a difference between the retail value of your car and the trade-in value.

Private sale. If you choose to sell your car on your own, you’ll typically get more for the vehicle than you would if you sold it to a car dealer. This is a type of retail value, also called market value.

Car dealer sale. Selling your car to a dealership will be the easier route to take, since the dealer will do all the marketing and negotiating on your behalf. However, in exchange for this convenience, you’ll typically get less for your car than if you sell it privately. The dealer wants to make a profit when they sell it for market value. The price they pay you might be closer to the vehicle’s trade-in value.

Trade-in. If you plan to buy a new car, you could use your current vehicle as a trade-in, and the value could be put towards the purchase price of a new vehicle. While the trade-in value may serve as a down payment on a new car purchase, the value is often lower compared to other car values. 

Compare Your Car Value in Canada To What’s Online

Once you have all the information needed to determine your car’s value when selling privately, selling to a car dealer, or trading in your car, go online to see what vehicles similar to yours are currently selling for. Not only should you pay attention to the asking prices, but also the volume of cars like yours. The lower the number of similar vehicles currently on the market, the more negotiating power you’ll have. 

Online Calculators To Check What Your Car Is Worth

There are several independent third-party platforms online that provide vehicle value information across Canada, including the following:

Carfax 

To use Carfax‘s valuation tool, you’ll need to enter the following information: 

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Postal Code
  • Odometer reading
  • Trim
  • Engine
  • Drivetrain
  • Transmission (manual or automatic)
  • Body style

Alternatively, you can look up your vehicle’s information by inputting the VIN. Carfax will then provide you with a price range for selling privately or trading it in a dealership.

Kelley Blue Book (KBB)

Kelley Blue Book is a popular resource for vehicle valuation. To use the calculator, you’ll need the following information:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Version

KBB will then provide you with a price range if you’re selling your car at a dealer, selling privately, or trading it in.

Car Gurus

Car Guru‘s online valuation calculator will tell you what your car is worth for a variety of purposes, including the following:

  • Buying
  • Trading it in
  • Listing for sale
  • Selling instantly online
  • For insurance-related valuation

To use the calculator, you’ll need the following details:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Trim
  • Postal code
  • Odometer reading

Or, you can look up your vehicle information by the VIN.

AutoTrader

Many Canadians looking to buy or sell their cars privately use AutoTrader. But it’s also a good resource to use when determining the value of your car. You’ll need the following details to get an estimate of your car’s value:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Trim
  • Postal code
  • Odometer reading
  • Vehicle condition

Canadian Black Book

Canadian Black Book is used by dealerships across Canada to appraise vehicles based on the following details:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Trim
  • Postal code
  • Odometer reading

Keep in mind that you’ll need to provide your full name, email address, phone number, and mailing address before Canadian Black Book provides you with your car’s value. 

What Affects Your Car Value in Canada? 

In addition to the factors listed above, there are a few other elements that will impact your car’s value:

Damage History 

Your car’s value can be negatively affected if it’s ever been significantly damaged in the past. Whether from an accident, vandalism, or a natural disaster, any damage caused to your vehicle can compromise its integrity and therefore bring its value down. 

Car Colour

Interestingly, the colour of your car plays a small role in its resale value. Neutral colours are classic and retain their desirability factor for years, while others may be trendier and go out of style more quickly. For instance, black is a classic colour and can help a car maintain its value over time since there is always a market of interested buyers for this hue. 

Car Maintenance 

Keeping a car in good shape typically involves regular maintenance. Buyers can request a record of maintenance that would show how well a vehicle has been maintained. The more attention a vehicle has been given over the years, the higher the perceived value among buyers, who may be willing to pay a little more.  

Should You Get An Appraisal?

There are a few good reasons why you might want to have your car appraised by a professional:

You’re planning to sell your car. Having your car professionally appraised will show buyers that your asking price is fair and based on the current market. You’ll have more negotiating power with proof of what your car is worth.   

You’re using your vehicle as collateral for a loan. You can use your vehicle as collateral for a loan, which can help increase your odds of loan approval at a lower rate. Just remember that if you default on the loan, you risk losing your car. 

For legal purposes. If you need an official certificate of value for legal reasons, such as a divorce settlement, then you’ll need to have the vehicle appraised to verify its value.

Final Thoughts on Finding A Car Value in Canada

There are several reasons why you’d want to know what your car is worth. Fortunately, there are many online calculators available that you can use to quickly find out your car’s value, whether you plan to sell, trade in, or use your car for loan collateral. 

Just remember that every car’s history is different, and every dealership knows how to evaluate a car in a way that is best for their bottom line. Knowing your car’s retail and trade-in value before you sell it is how you protect your own financial health.

How To Find Your Car Value in Canada- FAQs

What car brand has the highest resale value?

The Toyota brand tends to boast the highest resale value in the non-luxury category, while Lexus takes top spot for luxury brands. That said, there are many other car brands that have high resale values. 

What is a good price for a used vehicle?

The price for a used car varies a great deal and depends on several factors, including the year, make, model, odometer reading, condition, style, and the car’s location. If you’re buying from a private seller, make sure you use a trusted source to get an accurate estimate of the car’s current value before buying. If you’re buying from a car dealer, find out what the retail and trade-in values are before making an offer. 

Can I use my car as a trade-in if I still haven’t paid off my car loan? 

Yes, you can still trade your car in even if your auto loan isn’t yet paid off. Just make sure that the trade-in value is higher than the outstanding balance on the loan.  If it’s worth less than your loan balance, that means you’re “upside down” on your car loan and will owe money when you trade it in. In this case, you would have to roll the remaining balance into your next car loan.

What is a car’s certified pre-owned value?

A certified pre-owned vehicle is one that has gone through a thorough inspection by a professional to make sure the vehicle is in good condition and safe for driving. The program may also include extended warranties and roadside assistance. A car’s certified pre-owned value can be determined in part by this thorough inspection. 

What is a drivetrain?

A car’s drivetrain is what sends power to the wheels. It includes the transmission, driveshaft, axles, wheels. A drivetrain is not the same as the car’s powertrain, which includes the motor.

Does my car’s value include its warranty?

If your car is still under its manufacturer’s warranty, then it is a value-add to its market or resale price. You should consider that when you estimate the value of your car. If you have extended warranty on it, you should ask your used-car warranty dealer if the warranty remains with the car when you sell it.

Can I return a used-vehicle if I change my mind?


In most provinces there is no “cooling off period” when you buy a used car from a dealership. The purchase is final. However, in Quebec, you have 2 days to change your mind once you and the dealership both have the signed contract.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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