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Best Used Car Dealerships in Pickering

Best Used Car Dealerships in Pickering

Purchasing a used vehicle can be a smart financial decision, allowing you to get a quality car while avoiding the rapid depreciation new models face. However, buying from a private seller comes with risks and uncertainties. The wise move is to find and buy from reputable used car dealerships in Pickering, Ontario. This guide will provide tips to help you identify and choose the top used car dealers in the Pickering area.

Buying from a trustworthy used car dealer provides numerous benefits. They offer quality pre-owned vehicles that have been thoroughly inspected and reconditioned. Professional dealers have access to vehicle history reports to check for accidents or issues. They can provide certified pre-owned vehicles that come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind. Reputable dealers stand behind the cars they sell with strong return policies and assistance with any problems down the road.

Additionally, established dealerships have financing options to help make purchasing more affordable. Their financing terms are often more competitive than what banks offer to individual buyers. Dealers also take care of all the paperwork and registration, making the buying process smoother. This guide will outline what to look for and how to find the top used car dealerships in Pickering, Ontario. Following these tips will help you score an excellent used car deal from a dealer you can trust.

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Research Online Reviews

One of the best ways to find reputable used car dealerships in Pickering is to check out online review sites. This allows you to see unfiltered feedback from customers on their experience buying from local dealers. Focus your research on sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, DealerRater, and Facebook that feature detailed reviews.

Pay extra attention to dealerships that have a high volume of recent positive reviews. This indicates they are actively pleasing customers and building community goodwill. However, a few negative reviews are normal for any business, so look for any concerning patterns vs isolated incidents. Ideally the dealership should average at least 4 out of 5 stars across a few dozen or more reviews.

While reading reviews, look for key details on the dealer’s customer service, pricing/negotiation experience, vehicle quality and selection, financing terms, and the overall purchase process. This qualitative insight goes beyond ratings to give you a sense of what to expect. You want to prioritize dealerships where customers describe fair prices, low pressure sales tactics, quality vehicles, and a smooth purchase process.

By taking the time to research reviews upfront, you can pre-vet local dealers on their reputation and develop a shortlist of the top recommended options to visit in-person. This makes your buying experience much more efficient and targeted.


Visit Dealerships In-Person

Visiting used car dealerships in person is a crucial step when searching for your next vehicle. It allows you to assess the professionalism of the staff, inspect vehicle conditions first-hand, and test drive specific cars you’re interested in buying.

Pay attention to how you are greeted and treated by sales staff. A reputable dealership will have courteous, non-pushy associates who focus on finding the right car for your needs. Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics or any feeling that staff are prioritizing making a sale over your satisfaction.

Take time walking dealer lots to get a close look at vehicle exteriors and interiors. Check for any evidence of damage, rust, or wear and tear. Well-maintained dealer inventories signal a dealership that cares about providing quality pre-owned vehicles. Be sure to look under the hood and assess things like fluid levels, belts, hoses, etc.

Test driving vehicles you are seriously considering buying is a must. This allows you to gauge important factors like acceleration, handling, comfort, and noise. Bring the car on both highway and city streets. Be sure to test all functions including headlights, signals, wipers, radio, etc. Pay attention to any issues or strange noises. Trust your gut feeling after test drives when deciding if a car meets your needs.


Thoroughly Inspect Each Vehicle Before Buying

One of the most important steps when buying a used car is to thoroughly inspect each vehicle before making a purchase. There are a few key things you’ll want to do during your inspection:


Get a vehicle history report to check for any prior accidents, damage, or other issues. Sites like Carfax provide detailed reports on a vehicle’s background using its VIN number. This can reveal valuable information about the car’s history that the dealer may not tell you upfront.

Take the car to an independent mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. For a small fee, a mechanic can do a multipoint inspection of all the vehicle’s systems and components. They may catch problems the dealer overlooked or missed entirely.

Test drive the vehicle for at least 15-20 minutes in various conditions. Pay attention to any unusual noises, smells, or sensations that could indicate issues. Be sure to test all the features thoroughly during your test drive.

Carefully inspect the interior and exterior yourself, checking for any damage, wear and tear, or problems. Look for paint overspray, misaligned panels, and inconsistent tire wear which could signal underlying issues.

Check that all functions and electronics work properly, including lights, turn signals, wipers, moonroof, power windows, locks, seats etc. Verify the A/C blows cold air and the heat works across all settings.

A thorough inspection upfront will help you avoid buying a used car with serious mechanical or structural issues down the road. Take the time to get a complete picture of the vehicle’s condition before making a major purchase.


Negotiate the Best Price and Financing Terms

One of the most important steps when buying a used car is negotiating the price and financing terms. Going into a dealership unprepared can result in overpaying by thousands of dollars. Do your research ahead of time to strengthen your negotiating position.

Start by researching the fair market price for the specific used vehicles you’re interested in. Resources like the Canadian Black Book and Car Cost Canada provide detailed pricing information based on the car’s make, model, year, mileage, condition and location. This will give you a good baseline to know if the asking price is fair or inflated.

It’s also wise to check what similar vehicles are selling for in your area. Look at classified ads and online listings to compare prices. Consider adjusting your budget if you can’t find comparable vehicles at the dealership’s asking price.

When it comes to financing, it pays to shop around interest rates before you walk into the dealership. Talk to your bank or local credit union to see what interest rates and terms they can offer. You may be able to secure pre-approval for an auto loan. This gives you bargaining power to negotiate the best financing.

Dealers make a good chunk of their profit on financing, so don’t take the first offer. See if they can beat your pre-approved rate. Crunching the numbers on total interest paid over the loan term can reveal big differences between rates. Aim for the most favorable interest rate and payment terms that fit your budget.

Negotiating requires flexibility and preparation. Have a target price in mind but don’t reveal your bottom line. Make reasonable counteroffers if their price is higher. Be ready to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price and financing terms.


Prioritize Certified Pre-Owned

One of the best ways to gain more confidence when buying a used vehicle is to look for certified pre-owned (CPO) models. CPO cars, trucks and SUVs have been thoroughly inspected, reconditioned and backed by extended warranty coverage to provide more peace of mind.

CPO vehicles typically come with extras like:


  • Rigorous mechanical and cosmetic inspections
  • Reconditioning and repairs to meet standards
  • Extended powertrain warranties
  • Roadside assistance coverage
  • Special financing rates


The CPO certification process ensures any issues are addressed upfront. However, it’s still important to verify the documentation on any warranties and confirm they transfer to you as the new owner. Having the certified pre-owned designation from the automaker provides an extra layer of reassurance when buying used.


Consider Reputable National Chains

When shopping for used cars in Pickering, it can be worth considering some of the major national dealership chains. These large dealers often have advantages like:


  • Huge selection and inventory – Major chains like AutoCanada have connections to source vehicles across the country, giving you more selection.
  • Multi-point inspections – Many national chains put their used cars through rigorous mechanical and cosmetic inspections before sale.
  • Certified Pre-Owned programs – Large dealers offer certified pre-owned vehicles that come with extended warranties and benefits.
  • Professionalism – Established national brands invest in customer service training for their sales teams.
  • Added peace of mind – There is some added consumer confidence when dealing with a major reputable retail chain.


While independent local dealers can also offer excellent vehicles and service, the resources and inventory of national chains are worth considering if available in your area. The benefits like warranties, inspection standards and service training can give added peace of mind for used car buyers.


Check for Recalls and Open Recalls

One of the most important steps when buying a used car is to check for any outstanding recalls and get a full vehicle history report. Recalls related to safety issues like airbags, seat belts, brakes, or engine components can put drivers at serious risk if left unaddressed. Thankfully, getting recall information and the full history of a used vehicle is easy with online databases.

Before purchasing a used car, use the Transport Canada recalls database to enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and confirm whether there are any open recalls. Unfixed recalls will be clearly listed, allowing you to verify if critical safety recalls have been addressed. If the car has outstanding major recalls, make fixing these a condition of the sale.

In addition to checking for open recalls, purchase a full vehicle history report using Carfax or Carproof. These reports will provide a complete record of all recalls issued for that particular car over its lifetime. Reviewing the full recall history is important to understand if the model has systemic issues. Watch for multiple recalls across various components, as this could indicate underlying problems with the vehicle.

Addressing all open recalls and reviewing the full recall history helps ensure your safety when purchasing a used car. Unfixed recalls also lower resale value. So both for your own protection and retaining value, it’s critical that any outstanding safety recalls are repaired before buying a pre-owned vehicle.


Ask About Return Policies

Many dealers offer short term return windows, which can provide important protection for used car buyers. It’s wise to ask about the dealership’s return policy before purchasing a used vehicle. Reputable dealers will often allow returns within a few days or a couple weeks after purchase. This gives you time to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by your own mechanic, and provides recourse if any undisclosed issues are found. Return policies give you extra peace of mind, knowing you can bring the car back if problems arise very shortly after your purchase. Policies vary between dealers, so compare return windows when shopping. Some things to ask about specifically:


  • How many days is the return window?
  • Are there any mileage limits for returns?
  • Do I need to provide a specific reason for returning the car?
  • Will I get a full refund or will fees be deducted?
  • Can I exchange the car for another vehicle instead of returning it?


A reasonable return policy shows that a dealer stands behind the quality of their vehicles. If a dealer refuses returns or has a very short or restrictive policy, proceed with caution. Reputable dealers want to ensure your satisfaction as a customer.


Look for OMVIC Certification

When buying from a used car dealer in Ontario, it’s important to look for OMVIC certification. OMVIC stands for Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, and it is the provincial regulator that oversees vehicle sales in Ontario.

OMVIC sets standards that used car dealers must meet in order to be certified. These standards help ensure fair transactions and protect consumers. For example, OMVIC requires dealers to be transparent in their advertising, provide vehicle history reports, and disclose any issues or defects upfront.

Buying from an OMVIC certified dealer provides several advantages. If you run into an issue with a dealer, you can file an official complaint with OMVIC. They have the authority to investigate complaints against dealers and take disciplinary action if necessary. This gives you important recourse if you end up with a lemon or feel misled by a dealer.

Overall, prioritizing OMVIC certified dealerships helps minimize the risks when shopping for used cars. The OMVIC certification provides oversight and sets a higher bar for professionalism and ethical business practices. So always confirm a used car retailer is officially OMVIC certified before purchasing.


Consider Buying Pre-Inspected Vehicles

One way to simplify the used car buying process is to consider dealers that offer pre-inspected vehicles. Some dealers will put their used cars through a comprehensive inspection checklist and make any needed repairs or replacements prior to listing them for sale. This saves you the time and hassle of getting an independent inspection yourself. When you buy a pre-inspected used car, you can have peace of mind knowing any major issues have already been identified and addressed. Look for dealers that provide detailed vehicle inspection reports so you can review exactly what components were inspected. The pre-inspection process helps take some of the uncertainty and risk out of buying used. However, you’ll still want to test drive the vehicle thoroughly and verify any repairs were done properly.


Read All Paperwork Carefully

When purchasing a used vehicle from a dealership, it’s crucial that you carefully review all paperwork before signing anything. This includes reading the sales contract, warranties, and any other documents line-by-line. Don’t feel rushed or pressured – take your time and make sure you understand every term and condition.

Pay close attention to the sales contract and confirm all the agreed upon details like the final price, trade-in value, fees, taxes, etc. Make sure there aren’t any unexpected charges added at the last minute. Also verify that any special deals, rebates, or incentives you negotiated are properly reflected in the contract.

Review warranty coverage details carefully as well. This includes the basic warranty from the manufacturer, any extended warranty you may purchase, as well as any dealer warranties. Know exactly what’s covered, for how long, where you can get service, and what costs you may be responsible for. Ask questions if the warranty terms are unclear or confusing.

Don’t sign anything until you are 100% comfortable with every detail in the paperwork. Make sure to get copies of everything you sign should any issues arise later on. Taking the time to carefully read all documentation will help ensure you fully understand what you are agreeing to when buying a used car.


Consider Extended Warranties

When buying a used car, especially an older model or high mileage car, it can give you peace of mind to have an extended warranty. Extended warranties, sometimes called vehicle service contracts, provide additional coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. This gives you protection against major mechanical issues or breakdowns after the original warranty expires.

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering an extended warranty on a used vehicle purchase:


  • Shop policies and pricing – Get quotes from the dealer as well as third party providers. Make sure you understand what is covered, any deductibles, and the claims process.
  • Consider the age and mileage – Higher mileage cars are more prone to repairs, so an extended warranty may make sense.
  • Read the fine print – Not all issues may be covered, so read the contract details carefully.
  • Think about repair costs – Weigh the peace of mind against the cost of the warranty.


While not always necessary, extended warranties can provide valuable protection against expensive surprises. Do your research to find the best policy for your used car purchase situation.


Ask About Financing Options

When buying a used car, it’s important to have your financing options in order before visiting dealerships. This prevents you from getting locked into a higher interest rate than necessary. There are two main routes for financing a used car purchase:


Get Pre-Approved for Financing

Shop around at banks, credit unions, and online lenders to get pre-approved for an auto loan. This allows you to secure competitive interest rates and gives you negotiating power when it comes to the dealership’s financing offers. Having a pre-approval letter in hand shows the dealer you already have financing, putting you in a better position to negotiate.


Compare Dealer Financing Offers

Many dealerships have partnerships with lenders to offer financing on the vehicles they sell. Don’t take the first financing offer at face value. Negotiate the interest rate and terms to match or beat your pre-approved rate. Run the numbers to see which financing option results in the lowest total cost over the loan term after interest.

Getting pre-approved before visiting dealers gives you important baseline financing terms to compare any dealer financing offers against. This allows you to make sure you get the best possible interest rate and payment terms on your used car purchase.



Finding the best used car dealership in Pickering requires doing thorough research and being a savvy buyer. Focus your search on dealers with consistently positive reviews, OMVIC certification, and certified pre-owned vehicles. When visiting dealerships, take test drives and have a mechanic inspect any car you’re seriously considering. Negotiate the best possible price and financing terms. Read all paperwork carefully before signing. Consider extending warranties for added peace of mind.

Based on online reviews and reputation, some of the top used car dealerships in Pickering include Pickering Toyota, Pickering Honda, Whitby Toyota, and Rainbow Motors Auto Sales. These dealerships have large inventories of quality used vehicles across many makes and models. They employ professional sales staff and have served the Pickering area for many years. While every used car purchase requires diligence, you can feel more confident buying from one of these reputable dealers.

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Questions About The Best Used Car Dealerships in Pickering

The top used car dealerships in Pickering, Ontario include Rainbow Motors Auto Sales, Pickering Toyota, Pickering Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, Star Line Sales and Leasing, Hk Fine Motors Inc, and Hakim Auto Sale. These dealerships have great selections of quality used vehicles at competitive prices. They also offer exceptional customer service to help you find the right used car.

When buying a used car in Pickering, you’ll want to inspect the vehicle thoroughly, review maintenance records, take it for a test drive, have it inspected by a trusted mechanic, verify ownership and accident history, negotiate the best price, and complete all necessary paperwork. Checking critical components like the engine, transmission, brakes, tires, and electronics can help avoid future headaches. Focus on certified pre-owned vehicles which undergo rigorous inspections.

Yes, Pickering Honda and Pickering Toyota both have great selections of high-quality used Honda and Toyota vehicles. As reputable dealers, they put each pre-owned car through a stringent certification process to ensure reliability. You can browse their online used car inventories, schedule test drives, and even get trade-in appraisals on your current vehicle. Their professional sales staff can help you find the right used Honda or Toyota to fit your needs and budget.

Some top used car websites and apps with inventory from Pickering dealers include, CarGurus, AutoTempest,, Carfax Used Car Listings, Bring A Trailer, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and CARFAX Used Car App. You can browse based on location, price, make, model, features and more. Read reviews, search vehicle histories, and even get price alerts on your favorite models. This makes it easy to find great used car deals in the Pickering area.

Both small used car lots and big dealerships have pros and cons. Small lots may offer lower prices but limited inventory. Big dealers boast expansive selections and financing options, but charge more. Ideally, shop both to compare. Vet all vehicles thoroughly and buy based on condition, ownership history and price – not size of the lot. Big Pickering dealers like Pickering Toyota and Pickering Honda also have great used selections worthy of consideration.

Key questions to ask any Pickering used car salesperson include: Why are you selling this vehicle? How many previous owners were there and do you have maintenance records? Has it been in any accidents? What warranty is included? Can I take it for an independent inspection? What items still need repair? What is the lowest price you’ll accept? Being informed prepares you to spot issues and negotiate the best possible deal.

When buying a used car in Pickering, common fees and taxes include HST sales tax, licensing and registration costs, environmental handling fees, and dealer documentation fees. You may also face charges for extras like rustproofing, etching, and extended warranties. Confirm the final out-the-door price ahead of time so there are no surprises. Know exactly what is and isn’t included before signing.

Both options have advantages. Your own bank likely offers lower interest rates, letting you save substantially over the loan term. But dealer financing provides convenience through one-stop shopping, potential rebates, and specials. Ideally, check rates from both sources. Then negotiate the best auto loan terms through whichever provides the greatest overall value.

Yes, buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle from a reputable Pickering dealership like Pickering Toyota or Pickering Honda is a smart decision. CPO cars undergo rigorous multi-point inspections and often include great perks like extended warranties, roadside assistance, loaner cars and more. While they cost a little more than non-certified used cars, the peace of mind often makes it worthwhile for buyers wanting a worry-free used vehicle purchase.

Essential paperwork when buying a used car in Pickering includes the bill of sale, vehicle ownership, safety standards certificate, service records, outstanding loan details from the previous owner (if applicable), proof of insurance, and registration. Review all documents carefully before signing. Get copies of the signed paperwork for your records too. This protects you if any issues arise later.

In Ontario, used car purchases are protected by the Consumer Protection Act. This gives you some recourse if your used car turns out defective. Specifically, the law provides a basic 30-day warranty or 5,000 km powertrain warranty – whichever comes first. So test drive thoroughly and have the car inspected during this period, as returning faulty used vehicles later can be challenging. Get any promises of an extended return period in writing too.

While vehicle history reports from CARFAX or AutoCheck provide excellent background, it’s still smart to get a used car inspection before buying in Pickering. An independent mechanic can assess critical components like the engine, transmission and electronics that reports miss. This gives invaluable peace of mind and lets you negotiate repairs or walk away from any unacceptable issues not evident from the report alone.

Some top-selling used vehicle types in the Pickering area include mid-size sedans like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, as well as pickup trucks including the Ford F-150, RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Well-equipped used luxury vehicles are also a popular choice thanks to their comfort, performance and prestige.

Private sellers usually offer the lowest prices, but dealers provide perks like warranties, financing, inspections, and more. Review any used car thoroughly before buying in Pickering, especially from private sellers. If the asking price seems too good to be true, walk away. Vetting the vehicle history and having a mechanic inspect it first is essential. For simplicity and accountability, a reputable local dealer can be worth the extra cost.

When test driving a used car for sale in Pickering, thoroughly assess critical functions first – including steering, brakes, acceleration and electronics. Next, listen for odd noises and check for fluid leaks. Drive at both low and high speeds, on hills, highways and tight turns. Ask questions and have a mechanic evaluate anything concerning. A rigorous test drive helps avoid expensive issues down the road. Bringing someone along provides a second set of eyes and ears too.

Finding the best price on a used car in Pickering requires casting a wide net and negotiating thoroughly. Check online listings, local dealership websites, auctions, classifieds, community boards and more. Once you find some options that meet your needs, compare prices and leverage quotes from other sellers when negotiating. Being an informed buyer willing to walk away puts you in a strong position to get the lowest price. Time, flexibility and research are key.

The typical used car buying process at most Pickering dealers includes: Initial research online, test drives of vehicles that interest you, vehicle inspection and history report review, negotiating your best price, securing financing, trading in your current vehicle (optional), signing sales paperwork, and finalizing license, title, registration and insurance. Ask the dealer to explain each step so you know what to expect. Don’t feel rushed.

Purchasing an extended warranty from a reputable provider gives added peace of mind when buying a used car in Pickering. It protects you from big repair bills down the road. But assess the age, make, model and mileage first. Newer, reliable used cars may not need coverage. Read the fine print too, as many warranties exclude certain components. Getting quotes from various providers ensures you don’t overpay. If still uncertain, an extended warranty brings invaluable protection.

COVID-19 precautions when buying a used car in Pickering include: Scheduling appointments ahead of time, inquiring about and following the latest dealership safety policies, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, using hand sanitizer frequently, minimizing contact with high-touch surfaces, taking the vehicle for an inspection yourself first, asking for detailed photos and videos, and completing paperwork digitally when possible. This helps ensure the process stays safe.

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