Buying Used Car in Canada

Let’s face it: most of us can’t afford to buy a brand new car so the next option is to find out how to buy a used car.

By doing this you can save a lot of money. A new car will depreciate over time and in a few years it is only worth 60-70% of the original price. The fact is, as soon as you leave the dealership your vehicle’s price deflates by a few thousand! Another advantage to buying a used car is you can get a loaded model that you could not afford brand new.

Buying Used Car

When buying a used car you want to be prepared and do your research. Read reviews, consumer reports, and gas data and ask family and friends. Narrow your search down to one or two models so you know what you want and the price to repair it in the future. You should also check online insurance quotes on different makes to know what insurance you’ll have to pay for this or that car.

Also, when you test drive a few different cars of the same model it is easier to compare conditions and pick the best one.

  • Be sure to check the car’s history records so you can eliminate those with the most problems.
  • Remember to do a car inspection yourself and don’t believe everything the used car dealerships tell you.
  • Finally, be careful when doing up the paperwork.
  • Make sure there are no registered liens on the vehicle and that the Bill of Sale is signed by the owner.
  • Check the auto dealers warranty policy and check with the Registration Authorities to make sure it wasn’t stolen. If the vehicle is “certified” check which items were checked off and get all the details in writing.

You can search for auto dealers in your local newspapers and classifieds under used car listings. Look for any posters or fliers and private sellers. Then you can contact the seller and make an appointment to see the used car. Put together a list of questions you want to ask them like the age of the car and why they want to sell it?

You should ask them for a Used Vehicle Information Package which contains all you need to know about the car including vehicle registration and the retail value. Finally, you will have to fill out an Application for Transfer to a Driver if you buy the car and turn this into the Canadian provinces Vehicle Issuing Office. Furthermore, you will have to pay all the retail fees and taxes and get a Safety Standards certificate and then register the car in your name.

Make sure the vehicle has a thorough mechanical inspection to check for compression and the major systems like the engine, electrical and charging systems, transmission and drive line, fluids, brakes, suspension and steering. The body needs to be checked and then it should be taken for a test ride. Depending on the type of vehicle and price you may want to think about getting a used car loan to afford the vehicle. This way you can borrow the full amount of the price and pay it back over a period of time, usually one to five years. You can usually choose from competitive rates or flexible terms.

Buying a used car takes research, inspections and know how. You may also consider getting a loan. In the long run it will cost you less than buying a new car outright.

About the Author:
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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