Guide to Buying a Used Car in Canada

May 27, 2023

You might be thinking of buying a used vehicle. These cars are an excellent option. Many people are hesitant to buy a used car because they don't know what the process involves.

Although choosing a used vehicle can present more difficulties, they are still an attractive option for many drivers.

It is a good idea to get some advice before buying a used vehicle. We've created this guide to help you with your used car purchase and get affordable Car Insurance Quotes by McDougall in Ontario.

Identify Your Needs

Which type of car should you purchase? To help narrow down your list, make a list of all the needs. This includes storage and seating capacity, mechanical and performance specifications, as well as special considerations such as height restrictions, towing capacities, and fuel mileage.

Next, make a list of your needs that include luxury features, such as an upgraded surround sound system if you enjoy music, heated seats (most certainly a need in Canada), etc.

Determine your Monthly Budget for your Car

While you may desire a high-end sports car, your budget might dictate that you need a smaller car. Be sure to consider long-term operating costs as well as the final purchase price and monthly payment.

This is something you might want to think about Leasing: The pros and cons You can choose between short-term and long-term finance contracts.

Also, you may be able to use a low-interest credit line from your financial institution instead of signing up for a dealership loan with a higher interest rate.

Leasing your vehicle for business may be a more cost-effective and tax-efficient option. Your credit score may allow you to get a personal loan at a lower interest rate from your bank.

You should ensure that the car payment you choose leaves enough money in your budget to cover long-term operating costs. While $500.00/month may be reasonable for a monthly car payment, it is important to consider the vehicle costs such as:

  • Car payment plus interest and taxes
  • Fuel costs (premium, regular, diesel)
  • Maintenance snow tires and accessories
  • Car insurance

Request A Detailed Vehicle History Report for Your Used Car

It is important to obtain a detailed report from sites like Carfax and AutoCheck before you buy a car. This includes information such as the previous owners, accident history, maintenance history, and service history.

It is recommended that you obtain a pre-purchase inspection report. This report will provide information about the mechanical, cosmetic, and safety condition of the vehicle which can be used to negotiate the price of your car.

These reports might not include details about collision repairs if they are not included in the owner's insurance. In general, about half of all collisions are not reported.

A mechanic can inspect your car for about $100CAD, but it could save you thousands of dollars in unexpected maintenance.

Remember to also check your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This will give you information such as year, make, model, and manufacturing location.

You will find the VIN on the inside of your driver's windshield and door jamb. You can find a number of online tools that will help you decode the VIN.

Check the car for visible dents, cleanliness, or other physical damage. Ask questions about the warranty, service, and why you are selling your car.

Negotiate According to The Market Price for Your Car Model

Research the market value of the car you are looking to purchase before you start negotiating. Also, consider other factors that could impact the price. You can find average car values on websites such as the Kelly Blue Book or the Canadian Black Book.

There may be some negotiation depending on the person you are buying the car. Some car dealers and private sellers will negotiate the price more than dealerships. Major dealerships will set the lowest price upfront and won't negotiate. You can negotiate add-ons such as winter tires or rustproofing if the vehicle's price is set. Be aware of any additional fees that may be included in your sales contract.

If you do your research thoroughly, you'll know if you are getting a great deal. There may be a reason why the price is higher than comparable cars on the market. Before you decide to proceed, find out why.

As with all negotiations, you should be ready to walk away from any deal. Don't succumb to pressure. You must fully understand what you are buying and what it will cost you.

Purchase A Good Car Insurance Policy

Car insurance is an important consideration when buying a used vehicle. It's a smart idea to get advice once you have a clear idea of the vehicle that you want to purchase.

To ensure your protection between vehicles, you can buy gap insurance at car dealerships or financing companies.

This will give you an estimate of how much insurance will cost, especially if the vehicle is a different make and model than the one you drive. Many times, used cars are the most affordable cars to insure.

When comparing your options, you can get a better idea of how much it costs for insurance to cover a vehicle. This will help you negotiate more effectively.


I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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