5 Things to Watch For When Buying a Used Vehicle in Ontario
In a perfect world we’d all be able to walk into a dealership and drive out in whatever vehicle we wanted. However, in the real world, there are a ton of factors that keep this from happening—from budgeting to supply chain, credit issues, and more. With that being said, there’s one way you can find a vehicle you’ll love and will fulfill all your needs, at a reasonable price, and that’s by shopping used.
So whether you’re looking for something a little less expensive to help you rebuild your credit, or you just want to maximize your budget, read on with Ontario’s Autohouse Kingston to learn about the top five things you should keep in mind when purchasing a used vehicle.
Top 5 things to consider when buying used
While there are always a number of factors to consider when buying a vehicle, new or used, we think that the following are some of the most pivotal:
- Condition & age
- Brand reputation
- Odometer reading
- Vehicle history
- Dealership reputation
1. Condition & age
There’s often a stigma around used vehicles, with plenty of pop culture portrayals leading the way. It starts with a slick and seedy used car salesman in a horrifically ugly sport coat taking the protagonists for a ride—not literally of course—followed by the protagonist driving off the lot only to have the vehicle die down the block.
The reality is, used vehicles can come in all manner of conditions no matter the age. An older vehicle doesn’t necessarily constitute a vehicle in poor shape (much like how a vehicle being newer doesn’t mean it's in better condition). Many older vehicles come from responsible owners that keep their vehicles clean and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals. So when you’re looking for a used vehicle, spend more time inspecting the vehicle itself than focusing on the age of the vehicle.
If you’re buying from Autohouse Kingston, you can trust that we only purchase vehicles that meet our strict quality standards, and have had any faulty parts or necessary maintenance completed before landing on our lot.
2. Brand reputation
Playing into the point above, a brand’s reputation can be a major determining factor when choosing a used vehicle (or when buying new). Certain brands, such as Honda and Toyota, are lauded for being more reliable than others, and retain their value better over time because of this.
When it comes to shopping at a used vehicle dealership like Autohouse Kingston—as opposed to a franchise dealership—you have access to a huge variety of makes and models rather than just a single (or handful) of brands.
3. Odometer reading
The vehicle’s odometer reading, or how many kilometres it’s been driven, is another factor you’ll want to consider when it comes to purchasing a used vehicle. Just like how you should judge a used vehicle on its condition rather than its age, you’ll want to factor in how many kilometres have been driven on it. This is an area where it's okay to prioritize a vehicle with low-to-average mileage, since it indicates there has been less wear on the engine and other parts.
There’s no clear consensus on what constitutes “normal” mileage, though according to Natural Resources Canada it’s about 15,200 km in a year. Of course, this number can go up or down depending on a number of factors. If you’re buying a truck to tow with, expect that the prior owner used it for the same purpose (putting more strain on the engine than one that doesn’t tow) and may have added a few extra kilometres themselves. Likewise, if the original driver was located in a small town without much need for visiting neighbouring towns, the mileage will be lower than average.
4. Vehicle history
Knowing a vehicle’s history is a good way to determine if it is in good condition for its age and mileage, or if there has been a series of unfortunate events leading it from its prior owner(s) to you today. While there are a number of things you can do as a consumer to look into vehicle history such as using the VIN to learn about recalls or liens, Autohouse Kingston proudly includes a CarFax Canada report with all of our used vehicles to help set your mind at ease. This will give you a much clearer idea of the vehicle’s history, including service records, accident history, and more.
5. Dealership reputation
When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, the dealership you buy from is an incredibly important consideration. While you can certainly go the private sale route, it lacks the kind of expertise you’ll find at a dealership—not to mention the lack of financing options. By shopping at Autohouse Kingston, not only will you have access to a wide selection of vehicles, but you’ll also have access to our combined decades of experience when it comes to vehicles and vehicle financing. That means if you have any questions about how the process works, or need support after purchasing the vehicle, you can trust that a member of the Autohouse Kingston team will be able to help.
If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, whether you want to upgrade your current situation or are looking to rebuild your credit, come see the staff at Ontario’s Autohouse Kingston. We stand by the pre-owned vehicles we sell, and will gladly help you through the list above while finding the right vehicle for your needs. Simply stop by our dealership, or give us a call!