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Best Used Car Dealerships in Ottawa

Best Used Car Dealerships in Ottawa

In today’s economy, buying a used car is an increasingly smart choice for many Canadians. One of the primary advantages is the significant cost savings compared to purchasing a brand new vehicle. With depreciation being the largest expense for new cars, a pre-owned model that has already taken that initial hit can save you thousands of dollars upfront.


Beyond the lower sticker price, used cars also offer lower registration fees, more affordable insurance rates, and the ability to opt for a higher trim level or more premium features that may have been outside your budget with a new model. You’re essentially getting more bang for your buck by allowing someone else to absorb that steep depreciation over the first few years.


For the environmentally conscious, buying used is also a more sustainable choice. Manufacturing a new vehicle requires substantial energy and resources, so keeping an existing car on the road reduces its overall environmental impact. Many used car dealerships also offer certified pre-owned (CPO) programs, providing inspected and reconditioned vehicles with extended warranties, giving you added peace of mind.


Whether you’re a first-time buyer on a tight budget or simply looking to get more value for your money, the used car market presents a wealth of affordable and high-quality options. With proper research and due diligence, you can drive away in a reliable pre-owned vehicle that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

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Understanding the Used Car Buying Process

Before diving into the hunt for the perfect used car, it’s essential to understand the process and prepare accordingly. The first step is research – determine your budget, desired make and model, and must-have features. Online resources like Autotrader and Kijiji Autos can provide insights into pricing and availability in your area.

Next, consider your financing options. If you’re not paying cash, you’ll need to secure a loan or explore dealership financing. Many used car dealerships in Ottawa offer in-house financing options, even for those with less-than-perfect credit. Be sure to shop around for the best interest rates and terms.

If you have an existing vehicle to trade in, research its value using resources like Canadian Black Book. This will give you a better idea of its worth and help you negotiate a fair trade-in value at the dealership.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time to start visiting dealerships and test-driving potential vehicles. Don’t be afraid to negotiate – most dealers expect some back-and-forth on pricing. Come armed with your research, trade-in value, and a firm idea of what you’re willing to pay.

Remember, the process of buying a used car takes time and patience. By understanding the steps involved and being prepared, you’ll be in a better position to find the right vehicle at the right price from a reputable Ottawa dealership.

 

What to Look for in a Reputable Used Car Dealership

When scouring the market for the best used car dealerships in Ottawa, there are several key factors to consider. A wide selection of inventory across various makes, models, and price points is crucial, as it increases your chances of finding the perfect vehicle match. Competitive and transparent pricing is also essential, ensuring you get a fair deal without hidden fees or markups.

Positive online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family can provide valuable insights into a dealership’s customer service, sales tactics, and overall reputation. Look for dealerships with a proven track record of satisfied buyers and a commitment to transparency throughout the purchasing process.

Reputable dealerships should offer financing options or assistance to help buyers secure affordable loans, regardless of their credit situation. This added convenience can make the car-buying journey much smoother, especially for those with less-than-perfect credit scores.

When it comes to peace of mind, seek out dealerships that offer certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle programs. These programs typically involve a rigorous multi-point inspection process, ensuring the vehicle meets strict quality standards. CPO vehicles also often come with extended warranty coverage, adding an extra layer of protection against unexpected repair costs.

Finally, a dealership with an on-site service department can be a major advantage, allowing for convenient maintenance and repairs without the hassle of finding a separate mechanic. This one-stop-shop approach can save time and ensure your vehicle receives proper care from factory-trained technicians using genuine parts.

 

The Advantages of Buying from a Dealership vs Private Sale

While buying a used car from a private seller can sometimes save you money upfront, there are significant advantages to purchasing through a reputable dealership. One major benefit is access to comprehensive vehicle history reports that provide transparency into the car’s past ownership, maintenance records, and any previous accidents or issues. Dealers are typically able to source these reports from providers like CARFAX or AutoCheck.

Another key advantage of the dealership route is the ability to take advantage of return policies or exchange programs. Most established used car lots will offer a short window, typically around 5-7 days, where you can return the vehicle if you’re not completely satisfied for any reason. This offers valuable reassurance and peace of mind that you won’t be stuck with a lemon.

Financing assistance is also much more readily available at dealerships compared to private party purchases. If you require a loan to cover some or all of the vehicle cost, dealers have relationships with banks and lenders to help secure affordable rates based on your credit history. They can handle all the paperwork and documentation for you.

Finally, buying from a dealership means you have a point of contact for any questions or issues that may arise after the sale. Most have onsite service departments that can handle maintenance, repairs under warranty, recall notices, and any other post-purchase needs. Dealers are motivated to keep customers satisfied long-term to maintain their reputation and earn repeat business.

 

Car-On Auto Sales: Ottawa’s Largest Used Car Hub

When it comes to finding the best selection of pre-owned vehicles in Ottawa, Car-On Auto Sales stands out as the city’s premier used car destination. With a vast inventory boasting over 300 quality used cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans from virtually every major automotive brand, this dealership offers an unparalleled variety to meet any driver’s needs.

One of the standout advantages of Car-On Auto Sales is their commitment to carrying a diverse range of makes and models. Whether you’re in the market for a reliable sedan like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, a rugged pickup truck, a family-friendly SUV, or even a luxury vehicle, their expansive lot is sure to have something that catches your eye. This extensive selection ensures that customers have ample options to find their ideal pre-owned ride without compromising on preferences.

In addition to their impressive inventory, Car-On Auto Sales is renowned for its hassle-free financing options. The dealership understands that not everyone has perfect credit, and they work diligently to provide flexible financing solutions tailored to individual circumstances. Their in-house financing department is dedicated to finding affordable payment plans, ensuring that owning a dependable used car is within reach for customers from all walks of life.

What truly sets Car-On Auto Sales apart, however, is their stellar reputation for exceptional customer service. From the moment you step onto their lot, you’ll be greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable sales team committed to understanding your unique needs and preferences. Unlike many dealerships with pushy sales tactics, the staff at Car-On Auto Sales prioritizes transparency and a pressure-free environment, allowing you to browse and make an informed decision at your own pace.

With a focus on quality vehicles, fair pricing, and a customer-centric approach, it’s no wonder that Car-On Auto Sales has garnered a loyal following and countless positive reviews from satisfied buyers throughout the Ottawa region. If you’re in the market for a top-notch used car shopping experience, this dealership should undoubtedly be at the top of your list.

 

Myers Automotive Group: A Vast Pre-Owned Vehicle Empire

When it comes to sheer size and selection, few used car dealerships in Ottawa can match the scale of Myers Automotive Group. Situated on a massive 17-acre facility, this pre-owned vehicle empire boasts an inventory of over 400 cars, trucks, and SUVs at any given time.

While Myers carries a wide range of domestic and import brands, their specialty lies in offering an exceptional selection of pre-owned imports from makers like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and more. Their team takes pride in hand-picking only the highest quality trade-ins and off-lease vehicles to ensure a reliable stock of late-model, low-mileage used cars.

One of the standout hallmarks of Myers Automotive Group is their commitment to a transparent, pressure-free sales experience. Their non-commissioned product experts are focused on educating buyers rather than applying hard sales tactics. You can browse their inventory at your own pace, secure in the knowledge that you’re getting an honest, upfront price.

To provide added peace of mind, Myers offers extended warranty and protection plan options on their pre-owned vehicles. These plans can cover you for years to come, safeguarding you against unexpected repair bills and giving you confidence in your purchase. With customer service frequently praised in reviews, Myers has cultivated a reputation as a trustworthy source for quality used imports in Ottawa.

 

Drivetown Ottawa: Family Legacy and Quality Domestics

For over 50 years, Drivetown Ottawa has been a trusted name in the local used car market, having built a stellar reputation as a family-owned and operated business. While they specialize in domestic brands like Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, and more, their inventory also encompasses a range of import models to cater to diverse customer needs.

One of Drivetown’s standout strengths is their commitment to transparency. They provide comprehensive ICBC history reports on all vehicles, allowing buyers to make informed decisions with complete confidence. This level of openness, combined with their decades of automotive expertise, has earned them a loyal following among Ottawa’s used car buyers.

For those seeking financing assistance, Drivetown Ottawa is an excellent choice. Their team works diligently to secure approval for all credit types, ensuring that owning a quality pre-owned vehicle is within reach for a wide range of customers. With flexible financing options and a commitment to finding the right solution for each individual, the dealership takes the stress out of the car-buying process.

Beyond their impressive inventory and customer-centric approach, Drivetown Ottawa has garnered a wealth of positive reviews for the overall quality of their vehicles and the exceptional service provided by their knowledgeable staff. It’s this combination of a rich automotive heritage, a focus on domestics, and a dedication to putting customers first that solidifies Drivetown’s position among the best used car dealerships in the Ottawa region.

 

Other Top Used Car Dealerships in Ottawa to Consider

While Car-On Auto Sales, Myers Automotive Group, and Drivetown Ottawa are standout options, there are several other reputable used car dealerships in Ottawa worth exploring. These include:

 

Canadian Auto Mall – This large dealership on Bank Street offers over 400 pre-owned vehicles from all major brands. With a focus on providing quality at affordable prices, Canadian Auto Mall is known for its diverse inventory that includes everything from affordable commuter cars to luxury models and trucks. The dealership provides free Carfax reports and has an on-site body shop for any needed repairs or maintenance.

Capital Auto Center – Conveniently located in the heart of Ottawa, Capital Auto Center is a family-owned operation that has been selling used cars since 1994. Despite being a smaller dealer, they have a constantly rotating stock of well-maintained sedans, SUVs, pickups and more across domestic and import brands. Capital Auto Center prides itself on transparent pricing and a customer-focused approach.

Envoy Auto Sales – This Walkley Road dealership is a top destination for those seeking quality used imports at fair prices. Envoy specializes in brands like Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai, carefully inspecting and reconditioning each vehicle before sale. The knowledgeable sales team provides a pressure-free experience, and Envoy offers financing assistance to buyers with credit challenges.

Prio Auto Sales – One of Ottawa’s largest used car operations, Prio Auto Sales has over 300 pre-owned vehicles on its lot at any given time. This high-volume dealer carries a vast selection of recent model year cars, trucks and SUVs from all the popular brands. Prio is praised for its competitive pricing, warranty options and efficient sales process.

 

Preparing to Visit a Used Car Dealership

Before stepping onto a dealership lot, it’s crucial to do your homework. Researching vehicles, securing financing, and arranging for inspections can give you a significant advantage in the negotiation process and help ensure you get the best deal possible.

First, narrow down your search to specific makes, models, and years that fit your needs and budget. Read expert reviews, check reliability ratings, and research common issues for the vehicles you’re considering. Create a shortlist of your top choices to stay focused during your dealership visits.

Next, get pre-approved for financing from your bank, credit union, or an online lender. Having a firm grasp on your budget and pre-approved financing will prevent you from being steered toward a more expensive vehicle than you can comfortably afford. It also gives you more negotiating power when working out the final deal.

Finally, arrange to have any used car you’re seriously considering inspected by a trusted, independent mechanic before purchase. While dealerships should provide vehicle history reports and may offer warranties, an impartial inspection can reveal potential issues the dealer may have missed or neglected to disclose. This crucial step could save you from inheriting someone else’s problems down the road.

With your research completed, financing secured, and inspection plans in place, you’ll be well-equipped to approach Ottawa’s used car dealerships with confidence. You’ll have the knowledge and preparation to negotiate effectively and drive away with the right used vehicle at a fair price.

 

Securing the Best Price on Your Used Vehicle Purchase

While Ottawa’s top used car dealerships aim to offer fair and competitive pricing, it’s still important to do your homework and negotiate effectively to secure the best possible deal. Start by researching the market value of the specific make, model, year and trim level you’re interested in through trusted pricing guides like Canadian Black Book. This will give you a realistic expectation of what constitutes a good price based on the vehicle’s age, mileage and condition.

When negotiating, it’s generally advisable to avoid mentioning your trade-in right away, as this can diminish your leverage. Instead, negotiate the best possible price on the used car you want first, then discuss your trade-in separately. Be sure to get quotes from multiple dealers on your trade to maximize its value.

While polite negotiation is expected, avoid getting overly emotional or adversarial. Stick to the facts, be reasonable, and don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t reach an agreement within your target price range. Timing can also work in your favor – dealers may be more flexible at month-end when they’re trying to hit sales targets.

It’s also wise to have your financing pre-approved through a bank or credit union before visiting the dealership. This eliminates the need to use potentially higher dealer financing rates and gives you another negotiating tool, as you can simply take the loan elsewhere if their rates aren’t competitive.

 

Understanding Dealer Fees, Taxes and Other Costs

When purchasing a used vehicle from a dealership in Ottawa, it’s important to understand the various fees and taxes that may be added to the sticker price. These additional costs can add up quickly, so being aware of them upfront will help you budget accordingly and avoid any surprises at the time of purchase.

One common fee you’ll encounter is the administration or documentation fee, which covers the dealership’s costs for processing paperwork and handling the sale. This fee can range from a few hundred dollars up to $1,000 or more, depending on the dealership’s policies. While this fee is negotiable at some dealerships, others consider it non-negotiable.

Another cost to factor in is the safety certification fee, which covers the inspection and certification required for used vehicles in Ontario. This fee typically ranges from $50 to $200 and ensures that the vehicle meets provincial safety standards before being sold.

Of course, you’ll also need to account for the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario, which is currently set at 13%. This tax will be applied to the total purchase price, including any dealer fees and the vehicle’s value.

Lastly, don’t forget about the costs associated with licensing and registration. In Ottawa, you’ll need to pay for new license plates and vehicle registration, which can cost several hundred dollars depending on the vehicle’s age and type. Some dealerships may include these costs in the total price, while others may require you to pay them separately.

 

Financing Options for Used Cars in Ottawa

Once you’ve found the perfect used vehicle at a reputable Ottawa dealership, the next step is securing financing to make your purchase a reality. While paying cash upfront is ideal, most buyers will need to explore loan options to cover the cost. Fortunately, there are several financing routes available for used car buyers in Ottawa.

 

Dealership Financing: Many used car dealers in Ottawa offer in-house financing programs to qualified buyers. This can be a convenient one-stop solution, with the financing process handled directly through the dealership. However, it’s wise to compare interest rates and terms against other lenders, as dealer financing may come with higher costs.

Bank Loans: Securing a loan through your personal bank is another popular option for used car financing in Ottawa. Banks typically offer competitive interest rates, especially for borrowers with strong credit. The loan application process is straightforward, and you can shop around to find the best terms before committing to a purchase.

Credit Unions: Local credit unions present an often-overlooked financing avenue for used cars in Ottawa. As not-for-profit organizations, credit unions can sometimes beat out traditional banks with lower interest rates and fees for members. If you belong to a credit union, it’s worth inquiring about their auto loan offerings.

Leasing: While less common for used vehicles, leasing is still an option that some Ottawa dealerships may provide. Leasing involves making low monthly payments to essentially rent the vehicle long-term, after which you can choose to purchase it outright or return it. Leasing terms are typically shorter than financing loans, but restrictions apply regarding mileage limits and vehicle modifications.

 

No matter which financing route you pursue, be sure to carefully review all terms, interest rates, and associated fees before signing any agreements. It’s also wise to get pre-approved for a loan amount before visiting dealerships, as this will put you in a better negotiating position and prevent the temptation of overextending your budget.

 

Certified Pre-Owned Programs Explained

When shopping for a used car at a reputable dealership, you’ll likely encounter certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These are pre-owned models that have undergone a rigorous multi-point inspection process and have been refurbished to meet strict manufacturer standards. CPO cars offer valuable benefits compared to regular used cars.

Firstly, certified pre-owned vehicles must meet specific age and mileage requirements set by the manufacturer. They cannot be too old or have excessive mileage on the odometer. Once approved, the CPO car undergoes a comprehensive inspection covering all major components, systems, and accessories to ensure they are in top working condition.

Beyond the inspection, any worn parts or components are repaired or replaced with genuine OEM parts to restore the vehicle to like-new condition. The interior and exterior are also thoroughly reconditioned to maintain a pristine appearance. This comprehensive refurbishing process provides valuable peace of mind, as buyers can trust that their certified pre-owned car has been thoroughly vetted and refreshed.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of certified pre-owned vehicles is the extended warranty coverage. Manufacturers offer comprehensive warranty protection that often mirrors the original new car warranty. Depending on the program, CPO warranties can cover the powertrain, major components, and additional systems for several years or up to 100,000 miles or more.

Many certified pre-owned programs also include additional benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, rental car allowances, and even complimentary maintenance services. These perks provide added convenience and value that regular used cars cannot match.

While certified pre-owned vehicles typically cost more than their non-certified counterparts, the added warranty protection, comprehensive inspections, and additional benefits often justify the higher price tag. For buyers seeking a like-new experience with the cost savings of a used car, a manufacturer-certified pre-owned program is certainly worth considering.

 

Post-Purchase Care: Insurance, Maintenance and Repairs

After driving off the lot with your new-to-you used vehicle, the journey is just beginning. Now it’s time to properly insure, maintain and repair your car to ensure many years of reliable transportation.

When it comes to insurance, used cars typically cost less to insure than new models. However, rates can still vary significantly based on the vehicle’s age, make, model, repair costs and other factors. Do your research to find the most affordable used car insurance rates in Ottawa.

Many dealerships offer their own vehicle service plans or extended warranties to provide extra protection and peace of mind. While these can add upfront costs, they may pay off by covering expensive repairs down the road. Weigh the costs against your vehicle’s history and life expectancy.

Regardless of any warranty, it’s wise to establish a relationship with a trusted, certified mechanic in Ottawa. They can properly inspect your used car, provide routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, and handle any bigger repairs that arise. With their expert care, you can maximize your vehicle’s lifespan.

Finally, be diligent about following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Neglecting routine services is a surefire way to shorten your car’s life and risk costly breakdowns. With proper upkeep and a skilled mechanic on your side, your used car can be an affordable, trusty companion for years to come.

 

The Bottom Line: Finding an Ottawa Dealer You Can Trust

When it comes to finding the best used car dealerships in Ottawa, taking the time to do your research pays off immensely. By focusing your search on reputable dealerships like Car-On Auto Sales, Myers Automotive Group, and Drivetown Ottawa, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re working with professionals who prioritize customer satisfaction.

These top-rated dealerships stand out for their extensive inventories, fair pricing, transparent sales processes, and commitment to quality. Whether you’re after a domestic model or an imported vehicle, their knowledgeable staff will guide you through every step of the buying process.

Remember, purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is a significant investment, so take your time to research models, compare prices, inspect vehicles thoroughly, and negotiate confidently. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, request vehicle history reports, and have a mechanic inspect any prospective purchase.

With some patience and due diligence, you’ll be driving away in your ideal used car from a trustworthy Ottawa dealership. Enjoy the journey and the satisfaction of finding the perfect pre-owned vehicle to suit your needs and budget.

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Questions About The Best Used Car Dealerships in Ottawa

Where are the top used car dealerships in Ottawa?

Some of the top used car dealerships in Ottawa include Approval Genie, Global Auto Sales, Janex Auto Sales & Service, Barrhaven Honda, Canadian Auto Mall, and Car Canada. These dealerships have great selections of used vehicles across various makes and models.



When buying a used car in Ottawa, look for dealerships that provide vehicle history reports, have their inventory inspected by mechanics, offer certified pre-owned vehicles, provide warranties, have return policies, and have online reviews. Also inspect the vehicle thoroughly yourself and take it for an independent inspection.

Some important questions to ask when buying a used car in Ottawa include:

– How many previous owners did the vehicle have?

– What is the accident history and has the vehicle had any major repairs done?

– Are there any outstanding recalls or issues I should know about?

– Can I see a vehicle history report?

– Why are you selling the vehicle?

– Can you provide service records?

Some of the best used car models and brands to consider buying in Ottawa are:

– Toyota Corolla and Camry – Reliable, affordable, good resale value

– Honda Civic and Accord – Also very reliable with low maintenance costs

– Subaru Outback and Forester – Great AWD capability for Canadian winters

– Mazda3 – Fun driving dynamics and fuel efficient

– Hyundai Elantra and Sonata – Affordable but higher quality interiors

The average price range for used cars sold by dealerships in Ottawa tends to be between $10,000 – $25,000. Very old used cars with high mileage can sell for under $5,000 while certified pre-owned luxury vehicles can sell over $30,000. Expect to pay around $15,000 for a decent used sedan a few years old.

Some good places to find used car listings in Ottawa include:

– Dealership websites

– AutoTrader.ca

– Kijiji Autos

– Facebook Marketplace

– CarGurus.ca

– Canada Drives

– Cars.com

The main paperwork required when buying a used car in Ottawa is the bill of sale, vehicle ownership, safety standards certificate, service records, and valid e-test documents. Make sure everything is signed and you receive copies.

To check for liens or loans on a used car in Ottawa, you can order a vehicle history report from Carfax or Carproof which will indicate any outstanding loans. You can also contact the provincial Ministry of Transportation and provincial registries to check ownership and lien status.

When buying a used car in Ottawa, in addition to the vehicle price, expect to pay:

– HST tax

– Licensing and registration fees

– E-test or safety certification fee

– Dealer documentation fees

There may also be added accessories that increase the final price.

Yes, many used car dealerships in Ottawa offer in-house financing or work with third party lenders. The credit score required for approval really depends on the lender but scores of 650+ have the best rates. Options like bad credit car loans are also available.

Buying an extended warranty can provide peace of mind for more complex used vehicles. However for simpler reliable models, it may not be cost effective. Always check what is covered. Dealerships make good profit on them so shop around for the best price from third parties too.

Used cars from dealers tend to be more expensive but they have often been inspected and reconditioned. With private sales there is no warranty so have the vehicle thoroughly checked. Dealers also handle all the paperwork whereas private sales require more effort to transfer ownership.

When test driving a used car, take it on both city streets and highways. Have a mechanic present or take the vehicle for inspection before purchase. Also watch for leaks, noises, vibration, and check electronics, AC, heating etc. Examine paint quality and alignment. Don’t feel pressured and ask plenty of questions.

Key inspection checks include:

– Fluid levels

– Tire tread depth

– Brake pad thickness

– Exhaust

– Suspension components

– Leakages

– Warning lights operation

– Electronics charging and connectivity

– Alignment

– Rust inspection

Reputable used car dealerships in Ottawa should provide a vehicle history report, valid safety certificate, service records, financing documentation if applicable, bill of sale with breakdown of fees, warranty contracts if included, and documentation supporting their dealership credentials.

If you have bad credit in Ottawa but need a car, some options include:

– Dealerships that offer bad credit financing

– Co-signer with better credit

– Financing from alternate lenders like loan companies

– Buy an inexpensive used car you can pay for in cash

– Save and improve your credit score before applying for financing

To avoid buying flood damaged cars:

– Check vehicle history reports for flood records and odometer accuracy

– Look for signs of water damage like musty smell, rust, damp carpets

– Take it for a thorough inspection by a trusted mechanic

– Ask the seller directly and note their reaction

– Ensure electrical components are working properly

When buying from registered motor vehicle dealers in Ontario, you are protected under the Consumer Protection Act 2002 and Motor Vehicle Dealers Act. Dealers must provide vehicles fit for transportation without defects or they can be held liable. You also have protection if misled about the vehicle’s quality or history.

Helpful places to read reviews on used car dealerships in Ottawa include:

– Google Maps listings

– Dealership Facebook pages

– Yelp

– Better Business Bureau

– Online forums like Reddit

– Review sites like Dealerrater.ca

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