Car Deal Canada

Best Used Car Dealerships in Stratford

Best Used Car Dealerships in Stratford

With new vehicles becoming increasingly unaffordable, more and more drivers in Stratford are turning to the used market to find quality cars at lower prices. Buying from a reputable used car dealer improves your chances of finding a well-maintained and inspected pre-owned vehicle. This guide will overview the top-rated used car sellers in the Stratford area and provide tips for finding a reliable used car.


As new car prices continue to rise, used vehicles offer an attractive alternative for budget-conscious buyers. The average price of a new vehicle now tops $47,000 in Canada, putting ownership out of reach for many. In Stratford, you can find an array of quality used cars for under $20,000. Buying pre-owned also means skipping the huge depreciation new cars face in those first years.


Stratford has a number of excellent used car dealers with extensive inventories. By focusing your search on reputable dealers like Stratford Toyota, Stratford Chrysler and Stratford Honda, you can increase your chances of finding a great used car. This guide will highlight those top-rated dealers along with tips to ensure you select a reliable used vehicle.

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Why Buy Used

With new vehicle prices continuing to rise, more and more car shoppers are turning to the used market to find a high-quality ride at an affordable price point. There are several excellent reasons to consider a pre-owned vehicle rather than buying brand new:

 

Save Money Compared to New

The most obvious perk of buying used is the lower price tag. Even a 2-3 year old used model can cost thousands less than the current new version. This gives you more car for your money.

 

Still Get Reliability

While new cars come with the peace of mind of a full warranty, today’s used cars are very dependable. Modern vehicles are built to last over 100,000 miles. So you can find a reliable used car if you shop carefully.

 

Avoid Big Depreciation of New

A new car starts depreciating rapidly the moment you drive off the lot. In the first 12 months alone it can lose 30% of its value. With a used car, the first owner takes that big depreciation hit.

In summary, you get almost the same car for a lot less money by going the pre-owned route. Just be sure to have any used car inspected by a mechanic before purchase.

 

Top Stratford Used Car Dealers

Stratford has several excellent used car dealerships known for quality pre-owned vehicles. By focusing your search on reputable dealers, you can feel confident about finding a reliable used car. Here are three of the top options in the area:

 

Stratford Toyota

Stratford Toyota is a family-owned Toyota dealership with an impressive selection of certified pre-owned Toyota models. As a certified dealer, Stratford Toyota puts all certified vehicles through a rigorous 160+ point inspection. They have competitive financing rates and flexible payment options to make purchasing easy. Stratford Toyota has earned a stellar reputation for both quality vehicles and excellent customer service.

With a knowledgeable sales staff and fully reconditioned inventory, Stratford Toyota is a great place to find your next certified pre-owned Toyota in Stratford.

 

Stratford Chrysler

Stratford Chrysler has a massive inventory featuring all makes and models, both domestic and imported. They specialize in trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. For each vehicle, they provide vehicle history reports and professional inspections. The helpful sales staff focuses more on customer service than pressuring sales.

With transparent practices and a vast selection, Stratford Chrysler Supercentre is a top choice for quality pre-owned vehicles in Stratford.

 

Stratford Toyota

When it comes to finding a reliable and well-maintained used Toyota in Stratford, Stratford Toyota is a top choice. This family-owned Toyota dealership has been serving the community for over 50 years and has earned a stellar reputation for quality pre-owned vehicles.

As an authorized Toyota dealer, Stratford Toyota has exclusive access to Toyota certified used vehicles. These CPO Toyotas go through a rigorous 160+ point inspection and reconditioning process before being put up for sale. Certified models come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

The dedicated team at Stratford Toyota puts each vehicle through a thorough multi-point assessment. All major systems including engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, electrical and more are inspected and repaired as needed. This ensures every certified used Toyota meets the highest standards before being offered for sale.

In addition to their rigorous inspections, Stratford Toyota also stands out for its exceptional customer service. The knowledgeable sales staff focuses on finding the right vehicle for each buyer’s needs and budget. There is never any pressure or upselling. Customers appreciate the dealership’s honest, transparent approach.

With hundreds of pre-owned Toyota models in stock ranging from Corollas to Tacomas and everything in between, selection is another strength. Stratford Toyota provides a great range of CPO Toyotas to choose from, often with low mileage and attractive pricing.

For shoppers looking for the best value on a pre-owned Toyota in Stratford, Stratford Toyota is a dealership that consistently delivers quality vehicles, thorough inspections, outstanding service and unbeatable value.

 

Stratford Chrysler

Stratford Chrysler is another excellent option for finding quality used vehicles in the Stratford area. As one of the largest used car dealers in the region, they have an extensive selection with hundreds of makes and models in stock, both domestic and imported. Trucks, SUVs at Stratford Chrysler.

For every pre-owned vehicle they sell, Stratford Chrysler provides a vehicle history report from CarProof or Carfax. This gives buyers confidence in the history of the vehicle. Their service advisors and sales staff focus more on customer service than high-pressure sales tactics. The team at Stratford Chrysler aims to find the right vehicle for each customer’s needs and budget.

Shoppers can expect transparency and honest deals at Stratford Chrysler. With their massive used vehicle inventory and emphasis on customer satisfaction, it is easy to see why this dealer is a preferred choice for many Stratford area residents looking for quality pre-owned transportation.

 

Stratford Honda

Stratford Honda is another excellent choice for CPO vehicles in the Stratford area. As an authorized Honda dealer, they have access to a wide selection of certified pre-owned Honda models. All of their used Honda inventory goes through a rigorous inspection and reconditioning process to ensure quality.

One of the great things about buying a CPO Honda from Stratford Honda is getting the balance of the factory warranty. This provides additional peace of mind that your used vehicle purchase is covered. Hondas are known for their reliability and many of their CPO vehicles still have plenty of factory warranty remaining.

Stratford Honda is transparent with their pricing and won’t hit you with hidden fees down the road. They provide a full CARFAX report on every pre-owned vehicle so you can verify the history. Their sales staff is helpful and won’t pressure you into making a purchase.

If you’re looking for a certified pre-owned Honda CR-V, Accord, Civic or other model, Stratford Honda has a great selection. Focus your search here if you want a thoroughly reconditioned Honda with warranty coverage at a fair price.

 

What to Look for When Buying Used

When purchasing a used vehicle, there are several key things you’ll want to examine closely:

 

Clean Title and Maintenance Records

Ask to see the vehicle’s title. It should be clean and clear, with no history of salvage. Also request to see maintenance and repair records. These will give you insight into how well the previous owner cared for the vehicle.

 

Recent Safety Inspection

Have the used car inspected by a licensed mechanic before purchase. They will check critical systems and components and can alert you to any issues or needed repairs.

 

Test Drive

Take the car for an extensive test drive on both city streets and highways. Pay attention to transmission shifting, brake responsiveness, steering, acceleration and any unusual noises or vibrations.

 

Check All Functions

While test driving, check that all electrical components and features work properly, including lights, turn signals, wipers, radio, heat, A/C and power windows.

 

Tire Tread Depth

Inspect tires carefully. There should be even wear and tread depth of at least 4/32″. Irregular or low tread can indicate suspension issues or alignment problems.

 

Check Service History

When buying a used car, it’s crucial to review the vehicle’s service history. This provides insight into how well the previous owner maintained the car. Ideal service records will show a regular pattern of maintenance that aligns with the vehicle’s mileage. Significant gaps between service intervals or maintenance not completed relative to mileage can indicate underlying issues.

Look for service records that document oil changes, inspections, fluid flushes, belt replacements, brake services, tire rotations, and other maintenance recommendations from the manufacturer. For major services, the records should specify the parts replaced and date/mileage of service.

Beware of cars with no service records or large gaps between maintenance visits. This makes it difficult to confirm the car received proper care. Routine items ignored over time can lead to larger mechanical problems down the road. When reviewing records, look for completed maintenance that aligns with the vehicle’s mileage rather than arbitrary time intervals.

Service history provides assurance that critical maintenance was performed at the proper intervals. This helps buyers feel confident in the vehicle’s condition and may indicate a car that will be more reliable. Quality records can also improve resale value down the road. So be sure to thoroughly check the service history before purchasing any used vehicle.

 

Take a Test Drive

One of the most important parts of buying a used car is taking it for an extensive test drive. You’ll want to spend at least 15-20 minutes behind the wheel to get a real feel for how the car handles and performs. Here are some key things to assess during your test drive:

 

Drive on a mix of city streets, highways, and backroads. Test the car’s acceleration by speeding up on an on-ramp or from a stop sign. Come to a quick stop to test the brakes. The car should accelerate smoothly and brake evenly without pulling, vibrating or making loud noises.

Listen closely for any odd sounds coming from the engine, transmission, exhaust or suspension. Knocks, rattles, grinding or whining noises could indicate larger mechanical issues.

Pay attention to the overall ride comfort in terms of noise, vibration and harshness. Test things like the seats, climate control and radio. The car should drive smoothly and control cabin comfort.

A comprehensive test drive will help you identify any problems and get a good feel for how the used car has been maintained. Don’t rush this critical step in the buying process.

 

Have a Mechanic Inspect

One of the smartest things you can do when buying a used car is to have it inspected by an independent mechanic before purchase. This pre-purchase inspection can reveal major mechanical or structural issues that may not be obvious from a test drive and walk-around. Find a mechanic you trust to give the vehicle a thorough going over – it will be money well spent.

Ask the mechanic to check the engine compression, transmission operation, brakes, suspension, electrical system, and do a road test. They should provide a written report of their findings. A good inspection will cost $100-150 but can potentially save you thousands by avoiding a problematic vehicle.

Some dealers will let you take the vehicle to your own mechanic, while others want you to use their in-house service department. It’s best to have an independent shop do the inspection if possible. They have no stake in the sale of the car.

While a pre-purchase inspection isn’t foolproof, it greatly improves your chances of avoiding major mechanical headaches and expensive repairs down the road. For most buyers, the peace of mind is well worth the cost.

 

Check Accident History

One of the most important things to verify before purchasing a used vehicle is its accident history. An easy way to do this is by requesting a CARFAX or AutoCheck report. These reports can reveal valuable information about any damage or accidents the car has been involved in. Make sure to carefully review the report and note any incidents – even minor fender-benders can cause underlying issues.

You’ll also want to confirm the vehicle has a clean title. Avoid cars with salvaged or rebuilt titles, as these indicate the car was severely damaged and likely unsafe. A clean title means no total loss was reported to the DMV. Run the VIN through your provincial registry to validate the title status.

Reviewing the accident history provides peace of mind that you’re not buying a vehicle with hidden safety issues. Minor accidents may not be a dealbreaker, but you can use them to negotiate the price down. Taking these steps helps ensure you don’t end up with a lemon.

 

Look for Signs of Damage

When inspecting a used vehicle, be diligent about checking for any signs of damage or poor repair work. Carefully inspect the paint finish from different angles and lighting for any indication of prior accidents or touch-ups. Look out for overspray, mismatched colors, orange peel texture, or uneven blending between panels. These are telltale signs of shoddy collision repairs.

Also examine the alignment of the hood, doors, trunk and other body panels. Make sure the gaps between panels are consistent. Misalignments can indicate the vehicle was in an accident that compromised the frame or required body work. Run your hand along each panel to feel for any ripples in the metal that may suggest prior damage.

Check that the tires show even wear patterns without any feathering or cupping, as irregular wear can indicate suspension damage from an accident. When test driving, listen for any odd noises and make sure the vehicle tracks straight without pulling to one side.

 

Conclusion

Finding the right used vehicle involves careful research and test drives. Test drives are crucial to get a feel for how the car handles and identify any issues not apparent from a visual inspection. Focus your search on reputable dealerships like Stratford Toyota, Stratford Chrysler and Stratford Honda to give yourself the best chance of scoring a great used car deal. Taking the time to research service history, have a mechanic inspection, and thoroughly test drive can lead to finding a quality pre-owned vehicle with less risk.

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Questions About The Best Used Car Dealerships in Stratford

Some of the top used car dealerships in Stratford, Ontario include Stratford Toyota, Stratford Chrysler, and Stratford Honda. These dealerships have great selections of used vehicles at competitive prices. They also offer warranties, vehicle inspections, financing assistance, and more. Customers often praise their friendly staff and no-pressure sales environment.

The best way to find good deals on used cars in Stratford is to shop around and compare prices across multiple dealerships. Also, look for certified pre-owned vehicles, which come with extra warranties and inspections. Consider expanding your search to Kitchener-Waterloo and other nearby cities for more selection. Checking sites like AutoTrader.ca and visiting dealership websites can help you find promotions and price drops on used vehicles. Coming prepared with financing can also give you more negotiating leverage.



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

 

– How many previous owners has the vehicle had?

 

– Has the vehicle been in any accidents? Can I see a CarProof report?

 

– What is the mileage on the vehicle? Does it seem accurate for the vehicle’s age?

 

– Has the vehicle had any major repairs or replacements?

 

– Has regular maintenance been performed? Can I see service records?

 

– Is the vehicle still under factory warranty? Does it include a dealer warranty?

 

– Can I take the vehicle for an independent inspection?

 

– Can you provide references from previous customers?

Common fees to expect when buying from a Stratford used car dealer include:

 

– Documentation fee – covers paperwork processing

 

– Licensing and registration costs

 

– Safety and emissions testing fees

 

– Dealer preparation fees

 

– Tire tax and air conditioning tax

 

– HST tax

 

There may also be added fees for extended warranties, rust protection, theft protection devices, loan processing, and more. Make sure to ask for a full breakdown of all costs before finalizing a used car purchase. Negotiating fees can help lower the total price.



Used vehicles from Stratford dealerships often come with two main warranty options:

 

  1. Certified Pre-Owned Warranty – Extends powertrain coverage and includes roadside assistance. Included on select late model used vehicles that pass inspections.

 

  1. Dealer Warranty – Basic powertrain or comprehensive coverage for a set time period. Dealers offer these warranties on used cars to make them more appealing to buyers.

 

Warranty length and details vary between dealers. Some used vehicles may have no warranty or the original factory warranty may still apply. Always verify the warranty terms before purchasing a used vehicle. Extended service contracts can also be purchased for added coverage after the included warranty expires.

To thoroughly inspect a used car before purchasing from a Stratford dealer:

 

– Test drive the vehicle on both city streets and highways

 

– Check all interior features and electronics

 

– Look for paint inconsistencies, body damage, rust

– Check underneath for leaks or damage

 

– Review service records and CarProof report

 

– Have a certified mechanic complete a pre-purchase inspection

 

Let the dealer know you wish to have the vehicle inspected by a third-party mechanic before agreeing to buy it. Test drives and inspections help ensure you don’t miss any issues with the used vehicle.

ost used car dealerships in Stratford offer a variety of financing options through partnerships with third-party lenders and banks. Common financing options include:

 

– Extended term loans (6-8 years)

 

– Flexible payment plans

 

– Low interest rate incentives

 

– Bad credit financing programs

 

– In-house financing

 

– Leasing

 

Getting pre-approved for financing can streamline the buying process and strengthen your negotiating position. Compare interest rates between banks, credit unions, and dealer financing to find the best used car loan rate. Ask the dealers about any special financing offers too.

Tips for getting the best price when negotiating with Stratford used car dealers:

 

– Research fair purchase prices for the specific used vehicle using guides like Canadian Black Book

– Consider visiting at end of month when salespeople need to hit quotas

– Be ready to walk away if you can’t get close to your target price

– Ask for discounts, free extras like winter tires, or waived documentation fees

– Leverage competitive dealer quotes to get them bidding for your business

– Suggest making a deal contingent on having your mechanic inspect the vehicle

– Stay firm, patient, and friendly during negotiations

 

Setting a maximum budget and being willing to walk away puts you in a better bargaining position. Shopping at high-volume dealers can also lead to bigger discounts as they discount prices to move inventory quicker.

The typical last steps when finalizing a used car purchase with a Stratford dealer include:

 

  1. Finalize Sales Agreement – Review all fees, taxes, terms. Get all promised extras in writing.

 

  1. Sign Bill of Sale – Legally transfers ownership to buyer.

 

  1. Submit Payment – Pay agreed amount via cash, financing, trade-in credit, etc. Get receipt.

 

  1. Insurance & Registration – Set up insurance, transfer plate or get temporary permit.

 

  1. Dealer Follow-Ups – Get copy of signed paperwork. Schedule servicing appointment.

 

  1. Drive Off the Lot! – Dealer provides orientations for new vehicle features before customer takes delivery.

 

Don’t feel rushed during this process and make sure all your questions are fully answered before signing anything.



Tips for ensuring a positive used car buying experience with Stratford dealers:

 

– Research vehicles and fair pricing ahead of visiting dealer lots

 

– Read dealer reviews to identify reputable, customer-focused ones

 

– Test drive multiple vehicles that meet your needs

 

– Communicate clearly what you’re looking for and your budget

 

– Ask lots of questions about the vehicles and all fees

 

– Work with a single salesperson through the negotiation

 

– Avoid high-pressure tactics and being rushed into a purchase

 

– Carefully review all paperwork before signing

 

Buying used requires more diligence than buying new. Taking your time leads to making an informed, stress-free purchase at the best possible price.

If you experience problems with a used vehicle purchased from a Stratford dealer, some recourse options include:

 

– Using your warranty – Most issues early on should be covered, save all repair invoices

 

– Contacting dealer management – Discuss having dealer cover or assist with repair costs

 

– Reporting issues to provincial consumer protection authorities

 

– Consulting a lemon law lawyer if serious repeated issues

 

– Reporting fraud to the police and Competition Bureau

 

– Leaving online reviews detailing the problems to warn others

 

– Trading it in and cutting ties with the problematic dealer

 

Hopefully any issues can be resolved working directly with the selling dealer first. If not, legal action or regulatory complaints may prompt the dealer to repair the vehicle or cover associated costs.



To avoid illegal curbstoners when buying used privately in Stratford:

 

– Meet seller at their home address – curbstoners won’t provide this

 

– Google their name, email, phone for red flags

 

– Ask to see their driver’s license to verify identity

 

– Require a used vehicle package or CarProof report

 

– Ask why they are selling, probe backstory

 

– Test drive vehicle extensively, inspect carefully

 

– Ask to see the vehicle ownership paperwork

 

– Trust instinct if something seems suspicious

 

Curbstoners typically misrepresent vehicles online to make sales quickly. Taking precautions helps identify shady sellers. Consider paying the premium to purchase through a licensed dealer instead for added consumer protection.

When purchasing a used vehicle privately in Stratford, be on the lookout for:

 

– Accident damage or poor repairs

 

– Engine or transmission issues

 

– Rust underneath or on body panels

 

– Smoking/pet smells inside

 

– Excessive wear on brakes, tires, belts

 

– Leaks or stains under the vehicle

 

– Incomplete service records

 

– Sellers unable to answer questions

 

– Mismatched VINs or vehicle history gaps

 

Carefully test driving and bringing along someone knowledgeable can help identify problems. Reviewing maintenance logs, service invoices, CarProof reports and having a mechanic inspect the vehicle provides further assurance before buying used privately.

When purchasing a used car privately in Stratford, you have fewer legal protections compared to buying from a licensed dealer:

 

– No implied warranties – Sold “as-is” unless stipulated in bill of sale

 

– No option for returning vehicle or getting a refund

 

– Less recourse if the seller lied or withheld information

 

– Limited ability to recover repair costs later on

 

However, existing consumer protection laws related to misrepresentation, breach of contract, and fraud still apply when the at-fault seller is identifiable. Creating a bill of sale, taking photos/video, documenting correspondence and keeping repair invoices helps prove issues resulting from deceitful actions later on. Overall, private used car purchases carry more inherent risk for buyers.



When purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller in Stratford, be sure to get:

 

– Bill of sale – Signed by buyer and seller, details vehicle information, sale terms

 

– Proof of payment – Get a receipt for any cash payment, cheque images, or e-transfer confirmation

 

– Ownership transfer – Completed vehicle transfer form signed by registered owner

 

– Service records – Any invoices for maintenance, repairs, upgrades

 

– Safety standards certificate – Valid safety certificate proving mechanical fitness

 

Also take photos of the seller’s driver’s license or ID card to prove who sold you the vehicle. Review all vehicle history documentation provided as well. Keep copies of paperwork for at least ownership period. These documents protect the buyer if any issues surface later on.



The best places to get a used vehicle appraisal before buying privately in Stratford include:

 

– Stratford Honda or Stratford Toyota – Dealer appraisers can provide quick free evaluations

 

– Canadian Black Book – Reliable estimated value from vehicle pricing experts

 

– Car Help Canada – Independent appraisers offer unbiased market value assessments

 

– Mechanic shops – Some shops offer vehicle inspection plus valuation services

 

Having the vehicle thoroughly examined by an expert before negotiating a price gives you greater confidence you are paying fairly based on the vehicle’s true market value and mechanical condition. This prevents overpaying sellers asking above-market prices for their used vehicles.

Besides dealerships and private sellers, other options for acquiring a used vehicle in Stratford include:

 

– Police vehicle auctions – Source of government-owned fleet vehicles

 

– Lease takeovers – Assume remainder of another person’s lease

 

– Rental car companies – Purchase ex-rentals direct from Enterprise or Hertz

 

– Company fleet vehicles – Buy used corporate vehicles rotated out of service

 

– Bank repossessions – Lenders sell seized vehicles to recover defaulted loans

 

These sources often provide well-maintained used cars and trucks that are a few years old at attractive prices. The vehicles may have higher mileage but all should come with vehicle history reports outlining previous use. Just watch out for any remaining financial obligations or restrictions tied to the vehicles.

Odometer fraud laws in Canada are enforced by the Competition Bureau, with fines up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison. Stratford area police also periodically crack down on rolled-back odometers locally when cases come to light.

 

When buying used privately, have a mechanic inspect the vehicle and confirm mechanical wear matches the claimed mileage. Also insist on seeing maintenance records, ownership history and CarProof reports that verify odometer readings over time.

 

Purchasing from licensed dealers provides more protection against odometer tampering. Reputable dealers stake their business on providing accurate representations of vehicle history and mileage. Still, verifying this yourself remains important before buying any used vehicle.

Used car lemon laws in Stratford offer limited protections versus new vehicles. However, if undisclosed serious defects are discovered upon an independent inspection within a reasonable timeframe, you can pursue legal action against the selling dealer or private seller for misrepresentation damages.

 

Documenting correspondence, repair invoices, and inspection reports builds your case. A lawyer can send a demand letter seeking compensation for repair costs plus associated expenses. If defects surfaced immediately, small claims court for issues under $35,000 is also an option otherwise a civil lawsuit would be required. Winning compensation ultimately depends on proving intentional deceit or negligence on the seller’s part regarding the vehicle’s true condition. For affordable legal assistance contacting the Law Society Referral Service makes sense.



If you discover a used vehicle purchased in the Stratford area was previously written off or salvaged, your recourse options include:

 

First discuss the issue with the selling dealer or private seller, requesting compensation or reversal of the sale. If they refuse, contacting a lawyer to send a demand letter often prompts cooperation. Failing that, you can launch civil action in small claims court if damages are under $35,000 or file a lawsuit otherwise.

 

Winning your case requires proving the seller knew about the prior incident history and intentionally hid this fact. Having a CarProof report clearly noting the vehicle’s salvage branding assists greatly. This deceit constitutes grounds for misrepresentation damages equal to repair costs, loss of use, plus legal fees.

 

Punitive damages may also apply for especially egregious deception cases. Having an lawyer specializing in used car fraud improves your odds of success. Be sure to leave online reviews warning others regardless of legal outcome.

If you uncover odometer fraud after buying a used car in the Stratford area, take these steps:

 

– Gather evidence – Have vehicle formally examined and gather all paperwork showing true mileage history

 

– Confront seller – Discuss issue requesting sale reversal or compensation

 

– Contact police – File a local police report regarding the odometer tampering

 

– Notify authorities – Inform Competition Bureau online about the incident

 

– Consult a lawyer – Discuss launching civil action to recover losses

 

– Report publicly – Leave online reviews about the odometer roll-back discovery

 

Winning your case requires conclusively proving the seller manipulated the odometer reading during their ownership period to illegally inflate the vehicle’s value. Having an experienced lawyer makes building a successful legal claim more likely. Suing for misrepresentation can recover repair costs, extra depreciation, legal fees, and potentially punitive damages too.

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