Canadian Used Car Prices: Do They Differ From the U.S.

January 27, 2012
US and Canadian flags waving

Selling a used car in the United States can be difficult, but transferring the sale to Canada and determining appropriate Canadian used car prices is even more confusing for many Americans. If you plan to make across the border for car sales, you'll need to be able to accurately estimate car price values in Canada as compared with the U.S. Unfortunately, the process of converting the price is not so simple as just changing from United States dollars to Canadian ones. In fact, there are some vehicles in the U.S. that cannot legally be sold in Canada at all, and vice versa. Read on for some additional information about how the pricing of used cars differs in Canada as compared to the United States.

Determining Blue Book Value

In the United States, the Kelley Blue Book is the single most trusted source of information for price listings of a variety of vehicles. In Canada, there is no direct equivalent of the Kelley Blue Book. The Kelley Blue Book covers motorcycles and other vehicles that are not listed in the Canadian Black Book, which is otherwise the closest equivalent to a comprehensive pricing guide in Canada. For pricing information about motorcycles and other non-standard vehicles, you'll need to refer to the Canadian Blue Book, which details prices of motorcycles, snowmobiles and other non-car vehicles as well. Don't be confused and attempt to find the price of your car on the Canadian Blue Book, as it is unlikely to list your vehicle.

The Canadian Black Book is the closest equivalent to the Kelley Blue Book. However, the Canadian Black Book is a publication released every two weeks to dealerships, insurance companies and auto wholesalers only. Private individuals cannot purchase the Black Book directly, so they must rely on third party companies or other assistance in calculating the most accurate used car prices. The Canadian Black Book does publish a guidebook that features high and low charges for all types of Canadian-sold automobiles; although this document is only released once per month and does not have the same degree of information.

Depreciation and Other Concerns

Aside from the fact the market value of cars in Canada will be different from that in the United States, the principle by which cars depreciate in value over time and with use is the same in both countries. You'll need to convert a vehicle's odometer into kilometers in order to get an accurate reading for Canadian prospective buyers. You'll also have to examine the vehicle for signs of damage and other displays of use. Generally, you can determine a fair price for the vehicle by deducting these total damage costs from the Black Book value of the vehicle. If you have any other questions about the pricing of used cars in Canada as compared with the United States, speak with a mechanic or a dealer.

Privacy Policy|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com