Business & Financer

Save Big On Your Next Car: Buy Online

With the rise of online marketplaces, the way Canadians shop for cars has changed drastically over the past decade, and nowhere is this more apparent than in pre-owned auto sales. If you were looking for a used car, truck, or SUV in the early 2000s, chances are the first place you turned to was the local newspaper classifieds or a used car dealer. Now, most people’s first instinct is to go online and see whether anyone in their area has a quality vehicle for sale.

By allowing buyers to browse hundreds of options at a time and connect effortlessly with sellers, online marketplaces have played an important role in lowering prices for used cars. For those who are willing to take the initiative and look for themselves, buying a used car online can be a way to save a lot of money. But if you are looking for deals on a used car there are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

First, buyers should exercise the same discretion they would when visiting a dealership or a used car lot. It’s always best to do some research beforehand to find out which makes and models perform best, and it’s good to know what features can standard with which cars. With the wealth of information available online, it’s easy to do this research yourself, but you should also talk to your friends and family to get their feedback.

Second, you should never buy a used car without checking it out in person first. While you should come prepared to purchase, just because you show interest in purchasing a vehicle from someone doesn’t mean you have an obligation to buy it. Make sure the vehicle is in good condition and that the seller has a safety standards certificate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be sure to take the vehicle out for a test drive before agreeing to buy it. Most online sellers will expect you to take these measures, so it isn’t rude to find out if the car has recently undergone repairs or needed replacement parts.

Third, if you’re new to car shopping, you can save yourself trouble by reading up on common problems people have with their vehicles. This will give you a sense for what you should look out for in a used car, and will help you distinguish between a good car that’s seen some wear and a beater that’s on its last legs. If you aren’t confident enough in your own ability to spot a problem car, bring along a friend who can help flag potential issues. It’s better to err on the side of caution rather than get burned on a bad purchase.

Finally, have fun. Buying a car is a great opportunity to see what’s on the market, and if you are willing to do a bit of research, online marketplaces like Kijiji can be fantastic places to find deals. Next time you’re shopping for a used car, save the dealership fees and see what the people around you are selling — you might be pleasantly surprised by the deals available.