Buying a used vehicle in Alberta

Shopping and research tips to help you find a used vehicle that fits your needs.


If you have limited knowledge of vehicles, asking an expert for help during before and during your purchase is a good idea.

Determine how much money you are able to pay for your vehicle. Check with the public library for the "Gold Book of Used Car Prices" and the "Canadian Red Book" to research prices. Then, visit several auto dealers, as well as checking your options in the classified ads.

Required inspections

Provincial regulations require that vehicles:

  • registered for the first time in Alberta undergo an Out of Province Vehicle Inspection
  • written-off by an insurance company be reported and undergo a Salvage Vehicle Inspection from a licensed inspection technician before re-registering
  • designated as non-repairable cannot be re-registered and can only be sold as scrap or dismantled for parts
  • Visit a registry agent to obtain the appropriate Request for Vehicle Inspection Form before booking an appointment.

    Locate a Vehicle Inspection Facility in Alberta.

    Be a wise consumer

    Unless otherwise stated, used vehicles are sold "as is". This means any flaws or defects with the vehicle after the sale are the responsibility of the buyer. Do not let yourself be blinded by the reputation of a particular make or model. Even a well-made vehicle can deteriorate if it is not maintained properly.

    Contact Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) if you have concerns surrounding the misrepresentation of an automotive sale or similar activity.

    The AMVIC toll free investigation line is 1-877-279-8200. Complaints not related to automotive sales, can be directed to Service Alberta "Consumers" investigations units in Edmonton and Calgary.