Tips On How To Buy a Used Car In Canada
Thanks to engineering advances in the last decade, used cars are not a bad deal anymore, and certainly not only for losers. Nowadays, cars are more durable than ever, and if you are buying for example 10 year old car, you can expect at least 2-3 more trouble free years from the car. But when buying a used car there is always a concern about taking over someone else’s problems. To address this concern, most used vehicles on sale in Canada in used dealerships are safeted and e-tasted, with the exception of some trade-ins that are sold on as-is basis. “Safeted and e-tasted” means that the cars have passed a certified safety and emission tests.
One thing you have to know when shopping around for a used car is that in Canada you must pay the tax on your vehicle when you register it in MTO office, which in Ontario is 8% PST and 5% GST for a total of 13% tax. However, if you purchase your used car from a private seller, not a dealership, you wouldn’t have to pay the GST, which means 5% saving.
Here are some tips you might want to consider when buying a used car:
- Take the car on a test drive and listen for any unusual noise from the engine. Also try to notice any harsh shifting of the gears. If the car is with manual gear, try all gears during the test drive.
- Check the AC; try all door locks; try the windshield wipers; if the car has a back wiper, try it too. Also examine the car for excessive smoke from the exhaust and for any rust on the body.
- If the car’s steering is difficult, check the tire pressure first. If the tire pressure is correct and the car’s steering is difficult, move to the next one.
- Fuel economy and insurance cost should be big factors when buying a used car. You might want to check these first before making your decision.
- An average driver usually drives around 16,000 km per year. If the car has a lot more or a lot less, this should raise some alarm for you.
- For a small amount you can check the car’s history over the internet. This could be necessary if you have a reason to believe that the car has been written off in the United States and brought to Canada for sale.
- Don’t be afraid to offer a lot less than the sticker price. The opening price is usually what they want to get for the car plus the amount they expect you to bargain off the price. At the end you should be able to get a price at least 10-15% lower. I have been able to buy two used cars in the recent years for almost 20% lower price than the opening price. While bargaining the price, show the salesperson any other offers you might have for other cars. Be prepared to leave if the negotiation don’t go your way.
- Don’t buy a car that is advertised as “in need of minor repair”, “little to safety” or “as is”. These cars usually end up costing you much more than expected.
- Don’t make your decision on the same day of the test drive. Better come back the next day with somebody knowledgeable and have a second test drive for as long as you can and test the car on a highway if possible.
- Review all of the car’s documentation carefully before making your final payment. If you are buying an expensive car, take the VIN and check the car’s history online for a fee.
And last but not least, In Canada you must first insure your car before even you can drive it home and register your ownership in your local MTO office. So, be ready with your homework and go to your insurance company as soon as possible. More on How To Insure Your Car.