How To Buy a Used Car in Ontario


What You Need to Know About Buying a Car in Ontario

If you’re looking to buy a car in Ontario, you should consider buying used. There are many reasons why buying a used car is more practical than buying a new car, but we’re not going to dive into that in this article. Instead, we’ll talk about how to buy a used car in Ontario and all the necessary steps you need to take. 

3 Steps to Getting a Used Car Loan in Ontario

1. Decide on a Budget

Before you do anything, you need to figure out what you can afford and how you intend to pay for the car. For most people buying a used car, applying for financing is the best option. Therefore, you’ll need to decide on if and how much of a down payment you want to make and what you can afford to pay monthly. A great way to mess around with numbers is to use a car loan calculator, this way you can adjust different down payments, term lengths, interest rates and trade-in value. Once you know what it costs for ownership alone, incorporate how much insurance, maintenance and fuel will cost so you have an accurate number of what you can afford. 

2. Decide on a Car

Now that you know what you can afford, you need to decide which vehicle is right for you. The best way to do this is to research websites like and get a feel for the market. Look for cars that seem to be getting great reviews and can fit your lifestyle. 

3. Find a Local Car Dealership

Now that you have your list narrowed down to a few cars, you need to find a local car dealership with a solid reputation. The best way to do this is to use google reviews, ask friends and even visit multiple dealerships to see which you get a good vibe from. If you find that a dealership you visit is very high pressure, walk away and know that you should avoid that dealership. Once you’ve found a dealership or two that you feel good about, see what they can offer you and if one has better offers than the other. 

4. Choose a Lender

Once you’ve found a car that you love, you need to find a lender who’s willing to loan you the money for the car at a favourable rate. While this may seem like an intimidating process, it’s actually quite simple and you have three main options. The first option is to reach out to a financial institution directly and see what they can offer you. Financial institutions can sometimes be limited in who and what they’re willing to lend so depending on your credit score you may or may not be eligible for a car loan. The second option is to get financing through the dealership that you bought the car from. The last option is to go through a company like Car Loans Canada who specializes in getting Canadians car loans regardless of their credit score. 

How to Use Car Loans Canada:

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is complete our short application form so we have a better understanding of your situation and what you’re eligible for. We do not ask for your SIN number and all of the information you provide is secure and confidential. 
  • Once you’ve filled out our application, we’ll connect you with one of our many dealer partners across Ontario and get them in contact with you. All of our dealer partners are carefully selected so we can ensure all of our customers work with the best, most reputable car dealerships. 

Steps to Take Before Buying a Car in Ontario

Get a vehicle history report. Because you’re buying a used car, there is always the possibility that the previous owner of the vehicle had to do a major repair or was involved in a crash. If this is the case, it could potentially affect the longevity of the vehicle. Therefore it’s critical that you do a vehicle history report using the Vehicle Identification Number also known as the VIN. Carfax allows you to get a full report of the vehicle for $39.99. 

Vehicle emissions test. Depending on how old the vehicle is that you buy, you may need to make sure the vehicle passes a vehicle emissions test. In Ontario, all vehicles over seven years old need to pass a Drive Clean emissions test every few years. You can check to see if the vehicle has recently passed the test using its VIN number and if it hasn’t you can request the dealership tests it for you before you buy.

Get the vehicle inspected by a third party. The last and arguably most important thing you should do before buying a car is have it inspected by a third-party mechanic. The best way to do this is to find a local mechanic and hire him for an hour or two to give a thorough inspection of the vehicle. While dealerships will have their own mechanics check each vehicle, there is a risk of bias as they’re selling the car so it’s best to find a third-party mechanic. 

Looking to Buy a Used Car in Ontario?

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