How i purchased a used vehicle from a used car dealership in Toronto in one week.
If you have never bought a used car before, it can be quite hectic to start off with. There are just so many things you have to look out for and many questions swirling in your head, without any straight answers you can find.
Luckily i have listed my experience and the steps i have taken to ensure my purchase of used vehicle went smoothly:
1. First of all, search for the type of car you want to drive such as "Pickup Truck, Minivan, SUV, Sedan, two doors Sports cars, Vintage or Mini cars". They all have their advantages depending on your preferences.
2. Pick the type of Petrol Gasoline, Hybrid, Diesel fuel, or the full EV Electric Cars. Of course EV Electric cars are more expensive in the short term but if they do last long enough, it is worth the money.
3. Choose your favorite car brand. Examples of car brands in Canada are Toyota, Acura, Honda, Lexus, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Chrysler, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Range Rover, Hummer, Mazda, Nissan, Volvo.
4. Do a search on "Google Search" to look for your preferred brand of used car dealership in your local area.
5. Arrive at your local dealership and check out some of the displayed cars. Some dealership will allow for a test drive of their displayed cars. In my case, i had to pay a deposit of $500 as commitment to buy the used car i like, in order to test drive it. The $500 deposit was refundable if i dislike any of their car.
They said the deposit was because of extra work they have to do to get the car ready for test drive, since some of their cars are parked at location where a tow truck is needed to bring that particular car, from its elevated higher parking space like on top of the elevated concrete block platform. I totally understand their concern but you can refuse to give them the $500 deposit and walk off to another used car dealer.
6. I test drived an Acura MDX SUV i liked and also paid the $500 deposit they asked for. I made sure to check everything out carefully about the SUV Car and also inquired about the "Carfax" report which simply mentions, if that car had been in an accident before or not, and what type of accident it was involved in. Mine only had the windshield broken before, and had been repaired, and nothing else.
7. You now have the option of having that used car to do a "Safety standard check certificate" by your mechanic for around $200 if the dealership allows it, or usually the dealership has relationships with some of their mechanics who will do the "Safety Standard Check" for you. The dealership price charge of doing that Safety Check however is much higher @ $1000.
I opted for their $1000 "Safety Standard Check Certificate" because i couldn't get my mechanics to do the check for me and the dealership was insisting that i go through with their mechanics.
This step is important because it is required at the time when the dealer will be obtaining a new license plate number for you from "ServiceOntario" centre.
8. The dealership will offer you 1 year warranty for any major engine, transmission, rack and pinion, drive train and other parts and labours for another $1000. If you feel that the used car you picked won't have any major problems, then you can leave out their offer protection plan.
I chose their 1 year warranty plan as i didn't want to have to deal with expensive repair if anything major problem happens. If it was a brand new car, i might not take any warranty. But because it was a used car, i decided to play it safe.
Keep in mind though that this warranty is provided by another 3rd party company, and so if any warranty problems and issues arises, you will to deal with this 3rd party company, and it is not the dealership's responsibility for warranty problems.
9. The dealership will also offer to register the used car under your name and get a new license plate for you for about $60 from the "ServiceOntario" centre. You do not get to choose your own preferred license plate number. If you want personalised plate number then you will have to go to "ServiceOntario" Centre on your own and pay $350 for custom personalized license plate number. The dealership will not help you choose a personalized license plate number.
10. Usually the dealership can get your car ready in 3 or 4 days but some will take a week to do so.
11. Go to your bank and get a "bank draft" for the amount of price of car, payable to the name of the used car dealership. Remember the GST tax has to be added to the displayed price of the vehicle you chose. So make sure the "Bank Draft" amount you make includes the total final price with GST tax.
12. Some car dealerships will offer you financing help for your car loans need but understand that it could actually be cheaper, if you borrowed money from your bank line of credit instead. The dealership uses 3rd party loan company for financing the vehicle for you and the dealership also takes a cut of their commission for loan financing by 3rd party.
In my case, i borrowed line of credit from my bank for much lower interest of 10%, instead of 20% provided by dealership's 3rd party loan company.
13. Collect your used car on the day the dealership mentioned and there you are done with your car purchase. Enjoy your new ride!