Used Car Shopping Tips from Your Budget to the Test Drive


    You need a new set of wheels, and you don’t want it to break the bank. With the cost of just about everything skyrocketing in Canada lately, savvy car shoppers are making sure they save as much money as they can.

    Used Car Shopping Tips

    The trick with used car shopping is getting a great deal without having to pay for it later. If you spend too little on a used car or fail to do your due diligence, you can wind up spending a lot of time and money taking your vehicle to the mechanic.

    Try these used car shopping tips to get the best deals on used cars in Mississauga this year.

    #1 Find the Right Time of Year

    Historically, January and February have been some of the best months of the year to buy a used car. Dealerships are trying to clear out old inventory, and not many people are eager to put a new vehicle on the roads when they’re snowy, icy, and slippery.

    The price of used cars is increasingly tied to the price and supply of new vehicles. The world is still recovering from the supply crunch of the pandemic, and vehicle prices have been slow to climb down from their peaks. As supply failed to keep up with demand, people just trying to get any car at all pushed used car prices up.

    That remains true, and it’s taken some of the seasonality out of car shopping, but you can still get better deals when there are fewer car shoppers on the market, especially from dealers eager to get their commissions.

    #2 Budget Carefully

    When you’re getting ready to buy a used car, don’t just look at the sticker price. Consider the advice of financial experts who say that you should spend no more than 10% of your income on transportation costs. That includes car loan payments, insurance, gas, and repairs.

    Look beyond the down payment that you’ll need to buy a used vehicle. Factor in fuel efficiency, insurance costs, and the condition of the vehicle, as these can all contribute to ongoing costs.

    #3 Do Your Research into Makes and Models

    If you’re concerned about buying a lemon, one smart way to protect yourself is doing your research into makes and models. Most mainstream makes will have a ton of reviews and resources from reliable sources. After a few years, common issues with a certain model should also become fairly well-known.

    #4 Buy from a Private Seller

    Dealerships are known for getting as much money as they can out of their customers. While they can make the process of buying a used vehicle more convenient, if you’re willing to put in a bit of work, such as registering your vehicle and paying the retail sales tax at Service Ontario yourself, you can save a lot by finding a private seller.

    #5 Listen During the Test Drive

    In addition to checking for rust and dents on a used vehicle when you go to check it out, make sure you give it a listen when you’re taking it on a test drive. Keep an ear out for rattling, squealing, thumping, and odd noises. These can all indicate issues under the hood.

    Protect your pocketbook by shopping smart for your next used vehicle.

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