Buying a used car - plan ahead

Plan ahead and control that used car purchase

We'd all like to buy a new vehicle but often purchasing a used car is the best answer. Someone else has paid the depreciation for you. There are some things to consider when you are shopping for a used vehicle.

  • What type of vehicle are you looking for? Yes, using the Internet is a good idea to see what is available and what different models look like.
  • Consider your comfort while driving - check out this website on driver ergonomics.
  • The Alberta Government provides this website for helping you make a choice on what you can afford and gives some advice about warranties.
  • How important is fuel efficiency to you? Check out this website for the energy-efficient winners for current and past year's vehicles.
  • Safety is always an issue. We see many product recalls on TurnersTips for problems with vehicles. So checking into who has the safest vehicles is a good idea. Check out this page for the 2010 listing. How well will your vehicle stand up in a car crash? Another recommended site is NHTSA website.
  • Talk to your insurance agent or broker. Not all vehicles are alike. There can be a big difference between the price of one model or year to another. This could be the "deal breaker" when you are choosing between one vehicle and another.
  • A vehicle inspection can be mandatory for older vehicles. It also gives you an unbiased, realistic report on what is right and wrong with your vehicle.
  • Are you selling your current vehicle? Is it too old to have much value? Check out this page for information about getting government money on trading in your vehicle. Programs can exist but you need to check the government sites carefully as some have limited time periods and some are restricted to certain provinces or types of purchase.
  • You might want to check out the prior history on this vehicle. Getting the vehicle identification number (VIN) and then spending a bit of money at your local registry could save you a lot of grief later. People have bought stolen vehicles with no idea that everything was not above board. When the police come by to confiscate your vehicle you will not get back any money.
  • You will need a bill of sale to register a vehicle so take the time to check out the form and complete it properly. If you are making some sort of payment arrangement then do understand the rules of making a deposit and whether or not you will get a refund if you change your mind.

Good luck and safe driving!