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There can be a lot of confusion for Ontario Drivers who want to sell their car for parts. This is because to sell a car in Ontario there is a legal process that the car owner has to go through. When selling the vehicle for car parts, there are a couple of options for doing this, such as;

  • Selling to a private individual who wants to buy the vehicle for its parts
  • Selling to a salvage yard
  • Selling to a Recycle Service

There may be different rules for selling to any one of these options.

Selling a Used Vehicle in Ontario

There are specific rules that must be followed to sell a used vehicle in Ontario. If one is selling to a private owner, it has to be sold with a Used Vehicle Inspection Package. This package is created, so the seller is aware of many of the important details about the vehicle they are buying. There are a lot of different questions that have to be answered on this information package. One section deals with the description of the vehicle. In this section the following description has to be given for;

  • The make, year and model
  • The VIN
  • The plate number
  • Colour and body type
  • Cylinders
  • Power
  • Status
  • Brand

For those that are selling their vehicle for car parts filling in the Brand information here is going to be very important.

What Does Brand Mean for Cars in Ontario?

In Ontario, vehicles come under four specific brand categories such as;

  • Irreparable
  • Salvage
  • Rebuilt
  • More

For those selling the vehicle for car parts, they may want to fill this section in as “irreparable” or “salvage”.


If the vehicle is being branded as irreparable then it must be;

  • That the vehicle has been classed as a total loss and has been written off
  • The vehicle can only be used for spare parts or scrap
  • This vehicle cannot be driven again in Ontario


In this case the vehicle;

  • Has been written off and is considered a total loss
  • It can be repaired or used for spare parts or can be scrapped

If the vehicle is repaired, it must then pass a structural inspection test. It will have to be tested by an authorized technician. In the case that the vehicle is rebuilt, then it will get branded again as a rebuilt.

As the seller of this vehicle in a private sale, you are going to have to decide whether you want to brand the vehicle as irreparable or salvage. But, you should fill this section of branding out in the Used Vehicle Inspection package to make it clearly understood as to what your intentions are when selling the vehicle. This information about the branding gets registered with the ministry. It helps to protect vehicles that are not fit for the road being sold again unless they are rebuilt. It also informs new buyers of this vehicle that this is the case. If the vehicle is branded as irreparable, then there will not be an option for it to be re-branded as being rebuilt, if you have sold it with the “irreparable” branding.

Selling the Car to a Scrap Yard

It is unclear as to what is required to sell a vehicle to a scrap yard. Most assume that when they are selling the vehicle this way that it is only going to be used for parts. Therefore it will never be on the road again so why would it be necessary to have a Used Vehicle Inspection Package? The question has to be raised, however, how does the seller know that the car is truly going to be scrapped and not put on the road?

Keep in mind that the ministry says that:

“Branding is the process of assigning “brand” types that indicate whether a vehicle has been severely damaged in the past.Vehicles that have been damaged to the point of total loss must be assigned a brand by:

  •     Insurance companies
  •     Auto recyclers
  •     Salvagers
  •     Auctioneers
  •     Dealers
  •     Individual vehicle owners

These vehicles must be reported to the Ministry of Transportation. The brand is recorded in the ministry’s Vehicle Registration System.

  • Brand types are:
  •  “Irreparable”
  •     “Salvage”
  •     “Rebuilt”
  •     “None”

“Rebuilt” or “None” are the only acceptable brands for a consumer buying a used vehicle for on-road use.”

Source: MTO

Another thing to keep in mind according to the MOT is that the vehicle is the responsibility of its owner until ownership has been transferred properly with the Ministry.

Most scrap yards will only ask you to sign over the ownership and give them the keys.

The Used Vehicle Inspection Report Exemptions

There are some exemptions to the used vehicle inspection report having to be completed, but it does NOT specifically say that one is not needed if the vehicle is being sold to a scrap yard. The MOT advises that individuals contact them for more information about exemptions.

A wise idea would be to follow up with the scrap yard that the vehicle that has been sold and transferred to them has been followed through with at the ministry. This way the owner is completely free of the vehicle.

Donating to Charity

Another option for selling your car for car parts is not selling but donating it to charities that accept this type of donation. Many of these charities will sell the parts and use the profits from this for their worthy causes. This is one way of getting rid of a car for car parts where the Used Car Inspection Package is not required.

The bottom line is until the vehicle is formally transferred to new ownership through the right process at the MOT it is your responsibility. You cannot just assume that the entity that you are selling it to is going to be using the vehicle only for spare car parts.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.