While buying a new car is enthralling, nothing can quite be on par to the experience of scrounging the used market for the perfect ride. The sensation of gambling on cheap used cars can be quite addictive. However, this article here is to provide insight into the world of dependable used car purchases and enlighten you on things you should understand before going pre-owned.

Why buy pre-owned? The biggest, most obvious reason is that it’s quite a bit more affordable. Someone has already taken the biggest initial depreciation hit for you and generally speaking, a used product is cheaper. The other main motive is that what piques your interest simply isn’t being made anymore. Of course, there are some concerns about buying something worn, but if you grasp the idea well, you can avoid most of the woes with used cars.

1. Diligent Research Pays Off

If there’s only one thing worth reiterating over and over, it’s that you should do ample research before making any major purchasing decision, such as a car. Used or not, you should always ensure that you spend the time and effort to understand what car fits your needs, its general price range, its capabilities, and importantly its ownership experience.

This is to prevent you from ruing over your purchase decision. There’s no point in owning a daily driver, practical car that has to pay the workshop a weekly visit. It’s truly imperative that you acknowledge your budget, and ensure you absolutely abide by that. Take into account depreciation, fuel economy, annual insurance and running costs.

2. Stick to Reputable Sources

Buying a used car unlocks some flexibility that new cars can’t match. You generally have a few places where you can find used cars. There are dealerships, approved pre-own straight from the manufacturer, private sellers and auction houses. Of course, prices also vary across the board, with manufacturer pre-owned generally offering the safest bet and simultaneously demanding the most money. Private sellers and auction houses offer an eclectic range of options, but you have to know what to look for.

Therefore, dealerships and car lots typically serve as the optimum intermediate for the majority of consumers. However, definitely adhere to reputable, larger dealerships for your best shot at a straightforward, painless experience. It’s important because reputable dealerships offer a broad, but curated selection of cars and they also stick to large, venerated credit unions. Some bigger used car dealerships even offer after-sales warranty.

3. How to Make Your Purchase

There are a few different methods to pay for your car. Direct cash, financing and leasing. Direct cash is self-explanatory, just pay for your car in cash or cheque. It’s unrealistic for newer cars though. Auto loans in Kitchener Waterloo are the most common choice to approach newer used cars. And then you have leasing, where you never actually own the car. Instead, you pay the leaser to drive the car over an allocated period. This way, you never worry about depreciation and don’t have to pay lump sum. Leasing is a better idea if you need a short term transport solution, or if you’re a company.

4. Licensed Dealers

Much like the 2nd point, if you’re going the dealership route, it’s important to ensure that your choice of dealership is actually licensed. All car dealers in Ontario, in particular, are required to be registered with the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council. Ask for this proof because it provides mandatory consumer rights that every professional dealer should tout.

5. Scrutinize Your Prospects

This goes without saying, but make sure that you know what you’re thinking of buying well. This includes the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), which provides a multitude of important information about the car. A dealer in Ontario is legally obliged to display this document.

If possible, you should also purchase a pre-purchase inspection done by a reputable workshop. It’ll save you from potential headaches, and also provides leverage for negotiation. Get a history report too, which uncovers past accident records. Have a once-over with the car in person, and ask the seller about anything that seems dubious. Also be sure to ask for a test drive and make that test drive count.


These are 5 things that all buyers should understand before attempting to shop for a used car. If you have further questions, do talk to us at Garston Motors, as we’re confident we can sort you out.


Buying a Pre-Owned Vehicle