5 Common Sense Steps To Take When Shopping For Used Cars In Canada
Shopping for a used car in Canada isn’t easy. There are a lot of factors to consider, and buying a used vehicle can be confusing, especially if you don’t take the proper steps to prepare for the purchase process.
So to help you navigate this process, we’ve put together a list of the 5 common sense steps you should take when you’re shopping for Langley used cars at dealerships across Canada.
- Start With A Budget In Mind
First things first, you should know how much you can afford when you’re buying a car. And don’t just look at the monthly cost of the loan – consider the overall, lifetime cost of the loan, your interest rate, and other factors.
What’s the best way to do this? With an online auto loan calculator, like this one from Bankrate. You can play around with the loan value, interest rate, length of the loan term, and more, and see what monthly payments you can expect. Of course, this partially depends on your interest rate, which leads to our next point…
- Get Pre-Approved For A Loan (And Know Your Credit Score)
You should ask a few different banks and lenders for auto loan pre-approval. The best place to start is with your current bank or credit union. Apply for an auto loan based on your budget, and you’ll be able to understand what interest rates to expect.
It’s also a good idea to know your credit score when doing this, so you know what rates you’ll be eligible for. To do so, we recommend getting a free yearly credit report. Follow the instructions on this page to get your free annual report.
- Research Prices On The Internet Before Shopping
Next, you should do some basic internet research on the cars you’re interested in. You can use websites like Canadian Black Book to learn more about what prices you can expect when searching for a particular model of car, so that you have a bit more room to negotiate when you visit a dealership.
- Ask For A CarProof Or CarFax Report
CarProof and CarFax reports should be supplied to you with any used car purchase at a reputable dealership in Canada. These reports can give you more information about
- The mileage on a car
- The number of previous owners
- Service history and records
- Accidents (if applicable) and their severity/reported damage
- Any potential title issues
This helps give you valuable peace of mind, and ensure that the car you’re looking at is in good shape. Beware, however, that CarFax and Carproof are not perfect. Just because there is a clean report does not mean there is no damage to the vehicle – it may simply not have been reported.
- Get A Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI)
Once you’ve found a car that’s a great deal, and has a good CarFax report, it’s time to ask for a pre-purchase inspection (PPI).
You should do this only if you intend to buy the car if the results are good. If you make it clear to a dealership that you are willing to buy the car, they should let you take it for a PPI at your preferred local mechanic.
Your mechanic will then perform a comprehensive check of the vehicle, and alert you to any potential issues they find. This is the best way to know if you’re getting a good deal for your money, and avoid a potential “lemon” with serious issues.
If the PPI comes back with good results, or just minor issues, you can then complete the purchase of the car. Congratulations on your new (to you!) vehicle!
Follow These Tips – And Know How To Find A Great Used Car!
With these tips, you’ll be able to find a high-quality used vehicle that fits your budget and your lifestyle, and make sure that you get the most for your money.