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Used Cars are still a better Financial Options!

Date Added: January 03, 2008 01:35:58 PM

Used cars make good sense!

Many years ago, buying a used car was compared to buying “someone else’s troubles”. With cars being built to last longer, that’s no longer the case! It’s a matter of knowing how to take advantage of the resources available to car consumers today. You may need to work a little harder, but you’ll save money. And used cars don’t depreciate as much as new cars; you lose 20 to 30 percent of the purchase price when you drive a new car off the dealer’s lot. There are some great bargains to be found!


Your first stop should be to consult one of the publications such as that list retail and wholesale values for cars in Canada. This will give you an idea of what cars are available in your price range.

Take a look at newspaper advertisements and magazines that sell used cars to determine what cars are readily available, and which are not. You’ll find imports generally command a higher price than domestics, since imports tend to hold their value longer. However, if you can find a domestic car “loaded” with options and low mileage, it can be a good investment as well.

You may even want to join an organization like the Automobile Protection Association (APA) or the Automobile Consumer Coalition (ACC) or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). These offer a number of services, from the repair records for certain vehicles to dealer referral networks and recall information.

  • Check the history. Some provinces, like Ontario, require that you get a Used Car Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) or similar document when buying a used car. This gives you the vehicle history and other information.
  • Publication and Financing companies such as Credit LinX Canada will provide you with a free carfas report upon request.
  • Check for liens. You want to ensure that there are no outstanding liens on a vehicle!
  • Does the mileage match the car’s condition? Low mileage and lots of wear and tear on the car may mean the odometer has been tampered with.


Companies like will only finance a car that come from a dealer. Therefore if ou choose to g private you may have to have the entire value of the car handy, and also be prepared to pay registration fees and taxes at your local MTO.

Although it’s tempting to buy privately at a lower price, you may be better off purchasing a used car from a dealer. These days, car manufacturers have used-car programs that offer special warranties and other extras associated with new car programs, like roadside assistance.

Since the used car industry is booming, most car manufacturers like to keep their finger in the pot, often selling vehicles that have come off lease. Since they want to maintain their reputation, you’ll be more likely to get a sound vehicle.

In some provinces, such as Ontario, you may have recourse through government organizations should your transaction with a dealer go wrong. This recourse does not extend to private sales.

When you buy privately, you could be buying from a “curbsider”. These individuals pose as private sellers, but in fact, are dealers who are operating outside the law. They may try to sell you cars that are stolen, or scrap vehicles that have been welded together.

  • Take a road test. It should last for about 30 minutes and approximate your own driving circumstances.
  • Have a private mechanic do an inspection. Although inspections are mandatory in most jurisdictions, nothing can beat your own trustworthy mechanic conducting a thorough private inspection.
  • Be prepared to walk away. If you don’t like the answers to your questions, or feel you are being pressured, just leave.