How To Buy A Used Car In Ontario Your Ultimate Guide
Posted on August 12, 2020
Did you know that depreciation accounts for 40% of owning a new vehicle? That's around $3,000 a year!
It's never been a better time to purchase a used car. It's the smartest choice for many car buyers out there.
Now that you're making a good decision for your wallet, how do you buy a used car in Ontario? We've gathered together the must-know facts about buying your next used car. Read on to learn what you need to know before heading to a dealership.
Research Ahead of Time
If you want to drive away with the right car and price, you don't want to show up without a plan. Luckily, today there is a lot of information online to help you.
Before heading to an Ontario car dealership, make sure you research the car you are looking for online to get the best value. Listing sites like Autotrader, Kijiji and Cargurus are good spots to compare cars from different dealerships. Most dealerships will list the cars they have online so you can look and figure out what will be best for your budget.
You can look up the vehicle ahead of time on third-party review websites, such as Consumer Reports, to get unbiased information as well.
Don't go for the cheapest used car, but rather the best value, which should take into effect the options, age, mileage, accident history, and warranty left on the car.
Buying from a Dealership vs. Private Sellers
You may find some private sellers online who are selling their cars for cheap. When deciding between a private seller and a dealership, there are a lot more pros to buying from a reputable car dealership.
Even though a private seller might be offering a lower cost, there are many risks you take when buying a used car from an individual rather than an established business. You are more likely to encounter scams when purchasing from a private seller, which has become a major issue in the past few years in Ontario.
Plus, you will buy the vehicle as-is in many cases and are left with having to pay for whatever it costs o make the car safe for roads and pass the safety tests. A reputable used car dealership will do a full reconditioning of the vehicle, do a full safety test an emission test and provide 30 days limited warranty on such tests so you can drive away with confidence. When you purchase from a dealership the vehicle will come certified pre-owned with fully certified histories and sometimes additional manufacturer warranties.
You also get a chance to trade in your old car and get an extra 13% tax savings towards buying your next car a car dealership, which is not possible when buying from a private seller.
Set Your Car Purchase Budget
You'll want to have your budget set before you venture to a dealership or start looking for your match online. A quality dealership will help you stay within your budget and go over your options to keep you within it. They shouldn't push you into buying something that you can't afford.
You may pay in cash, which will limit your spending ability. If you are thinking of financing a vehicle, then you may have more options with prices. When financing, make sure you set a limit on how much of a monthly payment you can afford.
On top of the cost of purchasing a car, don't forget to consider the cost of owning and running it. An older car might be cheaper upfront but end up breaking down faster, which is especially important when the average hourly charge for most mechanic shops is $140 around GTA and most of Ontario. A sports car might look flashy but cost you higher insurance premiums. An SUV might be roomier but may not get the best gas mileage. Also, consider import vs. domestic car brands as many European brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi require Premium gas, instead of regular, which will cost you about 30% more per liter.
Consider the depreciation of the type of car you are looking at. Some cars hold their value more than others. Plus, some cars cost more to fix and are easier to repair than others.
Either way, make sure you understand exactly how much the car will cost. Don't get pushed into a sale without knowing the exact cost and hidden fees included.
Don't purchase a vehicle until you've read the complete damage report. It'll save you time if you look into the history of the car before heading out as many times, the vehicle that I the cheapest in the market would have a blemished history that the seller will not provide upfront.
The report should also tell you if the car has a lien on it, which is basically a loan. If the vehicle has a lien that could mean the new owner would owe money towards the loan. All Ontario used car dealerships are required to clear the Lien before selling a vehicle, but make sure that is done if buying from smaller used car lots or private sellers.
This information is also helpful when determining how much the car is worth. Make sure you have multiple sources that show the worth of the car and bring them with you. This can help when you are negotiating a fair price for the car. Otherwise, it's your word against there's.
When buying a used car in Canada in general, make sure you receive the following paperwork. Without it, you may be risking legal repercussions.
The first is a Safety Standards Certificate, which verifies the vehicle is legally safe to drive in Canada. A Used Vehicle Information Packet (UVIP) should be included that tells you all about the registration history ( less important when buying from a reputable dealership), any liens, and factory data.
Lastly, you should receive the Ontario Drive Clean Emissions Test (ODCET). This is an important document as well as it's needed for your licensing if buying privately.
Pick a Reputable Dealership
When you're going to buy a used car, make sure you are working with professionals who aren't trying to scam you. It may not be obvious at first, but you shouldn't feel pressured to purchase a car right away.
You can find a dealership by word of mouth or researching reviews online. A reputable dealership will have already looked at other similar cars in the area and priced their vehicles fairly.
It's not only morally right but also good for business to treat their clients respectfully. They should be focused on good customer service and building relationships. Not pushing you to buy a car before leaving.
Take your time and if you feel any pressure, don't be afraid to leave and think about it.
Purchase Your Used Car
Once you have done your research and arrive at the dealership, make sure you thoroughly inspect the car. You should also take it for a test drive.
If you're satisfied with the results then you're ready to buy! Remember, you don't have to buy right after the first inspection. Feel free to go home and think about it. You might even want to return later with someone else for a second opinion.
Buying a used car can be a big endeavor but it's also an exciting addition to your life!
Want to find reliable used cars in your area? Check out our website to learn more.