If you’re planning a move across Canada, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is what to do with your vehicle. Selling your car where you currently live or paying to transport it to your new home both have pros and cons. Let’s take a deeper look at the options.
Reasons to Sell Your Car
There are some good reasons to sell your car rather than transport it when relocating across Canada:
- Avoid transport costs – Selling your car saves you the $500-$2000 it typically costs to have a vehicle transported by an auto transport company.
- Get cash for a down payment – Selling your car before the move allows you to pocket the funds for a down payment on a new home or vehicle in your new city.
- Avoid hassle of transport logistics – When you sell locally, you don’t have to coordinate pickup/delivery dates or deal with delays if your car gets held up en route.
- Not worth retaining an older vehicle – If your car is older or high mileage, it may not be financially sensible to transport it long distances.
Transport Your Car Tips for Selling Your Car Before a Move
To get the best price if selling before a move, here are some tips:
- Clean both interior and exterior thoroughly to make a great first impression.
- Replace any worn or damaged parts like filters, wiper blades, etc. to look well-maintained.
- Take professional photos showcasing the condition from multiple angles.
- Price it competitively based on current market values of similar vehicles.
- List it for sale online on sites like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace to reach more buyers.
Reasons to Transport Your Car
There are also good reasons why transporting your vehicle yourself makes sense in some moving situations:
- Sentimental value – If the car has personal meaning, it’s worth the extra effort to keep it.
- Requires a vehicle right away – In a new city, you’ll likely need reliable transportation sooner than selling/buying again.
- Better resale value – Newer or lower-mileage cars may retain more value if you sell after the move.
- Avoid car-buying hassle – Transporting saves time/effort of vehicle research, test drives, negotiations in the new location.
Choosing a Vehicle Transport Company
If transporting, do research to find a reputable carrier. Check reviews on sites like Google and ask moving companies or auto clubs for referrals. Get quotes from 3-4 options listing dates, insurance coverage and total costs.
|Vehicle is secured but exposed to elements on an open trailer.
|$1/mile, minimum $500
|Vehicle is enclosed in a protective trailer with climate control.
|$1.3/mile, minimum $1000-1500
Ensure the company is bonded and insured. Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before and after transport. Compare estimated vs. actual travel distances to avoid surprise charges.
Additional Factors to Consider
There are some other considerations when deciding whether to sell or transport your vehicle across Canada:
Transport Your Car Timing of Your Move
If moving during peak seasons like summer, your options may be limited as auto transport companies book up in advance. Selling privately could be quicker.
Transport Your Car Distance of Your Move
Very long distance moves like from BC to Nova Scotia make transporting more expensive versus shorter moves like Manitoba to Ontario.
Vehicle Type and Value
High-value newer vehicles may retain more of their worth after a move through transport versus an older model. Trucks/SUVs cost more to transport due to their size.
Cost of Registration Transfer and new Plates
There is a fee of $50-100 to transfer your existing registration/plates when transporting your vehicle to a new province versus buying new plates if you sell/repurchase.
Inspection and Repair Costs
After a long transport, your vehicle may require post-move servicing/repairs. Factor this into your total costs.
Transport Your Car Parting Words
As you can see, there are logical scenarios where either selling privately or transporting your vehicle make more financial and practical sense when relocating within Canada. Carefully weighing all the pros, cons, timing and your specific needs will help you decide the best option. With the right preparation and research, your vehicle transition can go smoothly no matter which path you choose.