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Best Used Car Dealerships in Winnipeg

Best Used Car Dealerships in Winnipeg

Looking to buy a used car in Winnipeg? With so many options to choose from, it can feel overwhelming trying to find the right dealership. You want to make sure you’re getting a quality used vehicle at a fair price from a dealer you can trust. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about shopping for used cars in Winnipeg. We’ll start with tips on what to look for when buying pre-owned, then dive into reviews of the top-rated used car dealerships in Winnipeg. By the end, you’ll feel confident you know where to start your search and what to prioritize to end up with the perfect used car.

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Why Buy Used

Purchasing a used vehicle instead of a new one offers many benefits for car buyers in Winnipeg. The most obvious reason is the significantly lower initial cost. Brand new vehicles depreciate rapidly in the first few years, so buying used allows you to skip that major depreciation hit. This means much more value for your dollar when shopping. While some associate used with unreliable, this is often not the case when purchasing from a reputable dealership. Dealers thoroughly inspect, repair, and certify their used inventory. This brings peace of mind that the vehicle is in good working order. Many dealers also offer certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These come with extended warranty coverage to match or exceed new vehicle warranties. Between the cost savings, reliability, and CPO benefits – there are lots of excellent reasons to consider used for your next vehicle purchase.

 

Used Car Shopping Tips

When shopping for a used car, there are some key things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you find a quality vehicle at a fair price:

 

Inspect Thoroughly

Take time to do a thorough inspection of any used car you’re considering. Look for any cosmetic issues, damage, rust, or other problems on the exterior. Check that panels line up properly and paint matches. Pop the hood and inspect the engine bay – look at hoses, belts, fluid levels, etc. Make sure there are no leaks. Look under the car for any rust, damage, or leaks. Inspect the tires and brake pads for wear. Finally, get inside and check all controls, seat adjustments, and features. Make sure heat, A/C, radio, power windows/locks all work properly.

 

Get History Report

Always get a vehicle history report from Carfax or AutoCheck. This will show any accidents, flood damage, odometer rollbacks, lemon history, and more. Make sure the report is clean – any major issues should give you pause about buying the car.

 

Test Drive

Don’t buy a used car without taking it for an extensive test drive first. Drive on different road conditions – highway, city streets, back roads. See how it accelerates and brakes. Listen for any odd noises or issues. Make sure steering and suspension feels tight with no vibrations or pulling. This is the best way to get a feel for the car before buying.

 

Negotiate

Used car prices aren’t fixed – there is usually room to negotiate to get the best possible deal. Look at pricing guides to see what a fair price is. Point out any flaws you found in your inspection to ask for a lower price. Be ready to walk away if you can’t get close to your target price. With some negotiation tactics, you can often save hundreds or thousands off the asking price.

 

Top Used Car Dealerships in Winnipeg – Overview

When shopping for a used vehicle in Winnipeg, there are several reputable dealerships that consistently rise to the top. Based on criteria like reputation, selection, pricing, certifications, warranties, and customer service – three dealers stand out as the best options for finding your next used car or truck.

Auto Gallery of Winnipeg is a family owned and operated dealer that has been serving customers since 1963. With great online reviews and a long-standing positive reputation – they offer a large selection of makes and models onsite. Flexible financing and ASE certified technicians make them a great choice.

Ride Time is one of Winnipeg’s highest rated used car dealers, with a modern showroom and over 100 vehicles in stock. They are known for competitive pricing, low interest financing, and great policies like their 30 day exchange program.

The Birchwood Automotive Group is the largest used car dealer network in Winnipeg. Their wholesale to retail model provides discounted pricing on an absolutely massive selection of over 800 vehicles. With in-house financing and ASE certified mechanics – they offer buyers huge choice and savings.

 

Reputation and Reviews

One of the most important factors when choosing a used car dealership is their reputation and customer reviews. With so many options to choose from, reviews and testimonials can give you insight into the overall quality, customer service, and transparency of the dealer.

Dealerships with consistently positive reviews across various platforms like Google, Facebook, and DealerRater show they have built trust and satisfied customers over time. This is a good indicator that they will provide a smooth, professional car buying experience.

On the other hand, numerous negative reviews mentioning pushy sales tactics, misleading advertising, poor management of issues, or lack of transparency are red flags. This suggests poor business practices that could lead to a bad experience as a customer.

When researching dealer reviews, read the details and not just the star rating. Complaints about specifics like hidden fees, poor mechanical inspections, or bait and switch pricing provide helpful context. Also look for consistent praise of honest salespeople, fair negotiating, and excellent service.

Along with online reviews, consider the dealership’s reputation in your local community. Word of mouth and personal recommendations from family and friends can further validate that a used car lot is ethical and reliable. The best used car dealerships in Winnipeg combine great online and local reputations.

Taking the time to carefully research reviews and reputation gives you the confidence that the dealership will live up to your expectations. This helps ensure no surprises or issues as you search for your ideal pre-owned vehicle.

 

Inventory and Selection

A wide inventory and selection of makes and models is key when shopping for a used vehicle. The best used car dealers in Winnipeg have massive inventories with hundreds of quality pre-owned vehicles to choose from across many different brands. Having a large selection gives you more options to find the ideal car, truck, or SUV that fits your needs and budget.

Look for dealerships that have 150+ used vehicles onsite so you can browse a variety of models all in one location. The top dealers carry almost every make from Acura to Volkswagen. You’ll have choices across body styles like sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. And they stock all sizes – compact cars to full-size pickups.

With a huge selection, you can take your time to find the perfect pre-owned vehicle. Test drive as many as you want, compare features and pricing across models, and ask questions to sales staff. Don’t feel rushed or limited in your options.

The big used car dealers also get fresh inventory daily from trade-ins, auction purchases, and private sales. So there are always new vehicles being cycled into the selection. You can keep coming back to find updated choices if you don’t see something you love right away.

Variety and selection allow you to get the exact used vehicle you’re looking for at the best value. The major dealerships in Winnipeg have the inventory and constant new arrivals to satisfy any used car shopper.

 

Pricing and Financing

When shopping for a used vehicle, pricing and financing options should be top considerations. The right dealership will offer fair transparent pricing without all the haggling and headaches. They should also provide flexible financing so you can get approved for a loan or lease that fits your budget.

Look for pricing that is clearly marked on every vehicle with no hidden fees or add-ons. Reputable dealers will have upfront pricing online and on their lot. You shouldn’t have to negotiate or go back and forth to get a fair price. Dealers like Auto Gallery of Winnipeg, Ride Time and Birchwood Automotive Group are known for no-haggle pricing that saves you time and money.

Getting approved for financing can be just as important as finding the right vehicle. The top used car dealerships in Winnipeg have in-house financing departments that work to get customers affordable payment plans. This includes options like:

 

  • In-house financing – Buy here pay here programs with low interest rates through the dealer direct.
  • Bank financing partnerships – Applying and getting approved for car loans through major banks.
  • Third party financing – Bad credit financing companies to help those who may not qualify for traditional loans.
  • Lease financing – Options to lease both new and select used vehicles.

 

Having these varied financing options under one roof makes it more convenient. Many dealers even offer guaranteed credit approval programs. So customers can get a loan tailored specifically to their budgetary needs.

 

Certifications

When shopping for a used vehicle, it’s important to look for dealerships that have certifications from reputable organizations. This helps ensure the vehicles meet certain standards and provides peace of mind for buyers.

Some key certifications to look for include:

 

  • ASE Certified – The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides certification for auto technicians and mechanics. ASE certified techs have passed exams proving competence in inspection, diagnosis, and repair. Dealerships with ASE certified mechanics inspect and service vehicles to a higher standard.
  • ICBC/MPI Accredited – The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) have accreditation programs for collision repair shops and vehicle dealers. Accredited dealers must adhere to strict processes for estimating, repairing, and inspecting vehicles. This accreditation indicates dealerships follow best practices.

 

The top used dealers in Winnipeg highlighted in this article have ASE certified technicians inspecting trade-ins. Ride Time is ICBC/MPI accredited showing they meet provincial standards. Looking for these certifications helps buyers identify dealers committed to reconditioning vehicles properly.

 

Warranties

A good warranty can provide peace of mind and protect you from expensive repairs down the road. When shopping for a used car, look for dealerships that offer extended warranty options to cover your vehicle beyond the original manufacturer’s warranty.

Most used cars will come with some remaining factory warranty, but this is usually limited to only a year or so. Extended warranties can range from 1-3 additional years and protect from mechanical breakdowns after the factory warranty expires. They cover repairs and replacements for most major components like the engine, transmission, drivetrain, electronics, etc.

Reputable used car dealers will allow you to purchase extended warranty plans from third parties or offer their own in-house plans. The coverage and length of the warranty will impact the overall cost. Basic powertrain warranties tend to start around $1000 while bumper-to-bumper plans with longer terms can cost upwards of $3000. Consider what components you want covered and the timeframe when deciding if an extended warranty is worth the investment.

When comparing dealerships, ask about what warranty options are available on the used vehicles you’re considering. Some dealerships may offer better extended warranty terms than others as part of the buying incentives. Having a good warranty can provide great long-term value and give you confidence in your used vehicle purchase.

 

Customer Service

A great used car dealership will have excellent customer service across the board. This means a helpful sales team that takes the time to listen to your needs, explains all your options, and doesn’t use high pressure tactics. It also means a service department that provides professional maintenance and repairs for the life of your vehicle. The dealers on this list excel when it comes to customer service.

The salespeople at these top dealerships aim to make the car buying process as smooth and stress-free as possible. They work to understand your budget, lifestyle, and vehicle preferences so they can match you with the ideal used car. You’ll never feel rushed or pressured into a decision. The sales staff is happy to give you all the time you need to properly test drive and compare different models.

The service departments at these dealers also offer exceptional customer care. Their ASE certified technicians will thoroughly inspect any used vehicle before it hits the lot and provide professional maintenance and repairs throughout your ownership. Appointment scheduling is flexible and waiting areas are comfortable. The service advisors keep you updated on the status of repairs and explain all work in easy to understand terms.

Buying from a dealer with great customer service gives you confidence and peace of mind. You’ll enjoy the car shopping process and know you have a helpful team supporting you and your vehicle long after your purchase.

 

Auto Gallery of Winnipeg

Auto Gallery of Winnipeg is one of the top choices for used car buyers in Winnipeg. Family owned and operated since 1963, this dealer has built up a stellar reputation over decades in business. With a large selection and great customer service, Auto Gallery of Winnipeg should be on your shortlist.

This dealership has over 150 used vehicles in stock across all makes and models. You’ll find a wide range of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans onsite to test drive. The lot is conveniently located off the Perimeter Highway, making it easy to access. Auto Gallery of Winnipeg has cultivated an impressive online reputation, with numerous positive Google reviews praising their no pressure sales approach.

As an established used car dealer, Auto Gallery of Winnipeg has refined the car buying process for a smooth customer experience. Their financing department offers flexible in-house financing options to get customers approved at competitive rates. You can also explore different payment plans to find one that fits your budget.

All vehicles at Auto Gallery of Winnipeg go through a 150+ point inspection by their ASE certified technicians. This ensures any reconditioning or repairs are done before the vehicles hit the lot. Extended warranty options are available on most models for added buyer protection and peace of mind.

From the buying process to financing and beyond, Auto Gallery of Winnipeg strives to provide quality vehicles along with professional service. Their excellent reputation has made them a go-to used car dealer in Winnipeg.

 

Ride Time

Ride Time is one of Winnipeg’s top rated used car dealerships, known for their huge selection, competitive pricing, and excellent customer service. This modern dealership has a massive indoor showroom with over 100 quality pre-owned vehicles in stock at any given time. Their online inventory is even larger, with the ability to browse and purchase vehicles 100% online for delivery across Canada.

As an ICBC and Manitoba Public Insurance accredited dealer, Ride Time adheres to high standards for vehicle inspections and reconditioning. Their service technicians thoroughly inspect every trade-in to identify and repair any issues before putting it up for sale. This gives buyers peace of mind on the mechanical condition and safety of vehicles purchased at Ride Time.

In terms of pricing, Ride Time is highly competitive and even offers a “Best Price Guarantee” where they will beat a competitor’s advertised price on a comparable vehicle. They have in-house financing options with some of the lowest interest rates in Winnipeg to help make payments affordable. Ride Time also has a unique 30 day exchange policy so you can swap out your vehicle within the first month if you find something you like better.

For added protection, Ride Time provides extended warranty options on most of their pre-owned inventory. Plans can be customized for 1 year, 2 year or 3 year coverage on major components to avoid expensive repairs down the road. Between their thorough inspections, pricing, financing, policies, and warranties – Ride Time checks off all the right boxes for a top rated used car buying experience.

 

Birchwood Automotive Group

With over 800 vehicles available across their massive dealer network, Birchwood Automotive Group offers the largest selection of used cars in Winnipeg. They utilize a unique wholesale to retail business model that acquires a high volume of trade-ins, auctions, and fleet vehicles, allowing them to offer unbeatable pricing to consumers.

As the largest used car dealer in the city, Birchwood has cultivated strong relationships with lenders and can provide very competitive interest rates through their in-house financing department. They work hard to get customers approved for on-the-spot financing.

All incoming inventory goes through a rigorous inspection by Birchwood’s team of ASE certified mechanics. This ensures only quality vehicles in good working order make it to their retail lots. They stand behind what they sell as well, with a great selection of extended warranty and service packages.

With two huge locations in Winnipeg plus seven other dealerships across Manitoba, Birchwood always has a tremendous selection of makes and models to choose from. They offer a great website and search tools to browse their vast inventory.

From trucks and SUVs to sedans, hatchbacks and minivans – Birchwood likely has the specific used vehicle you’re looking for in stock right now. Their massive purchasing power and vast selection means consumers can find incredible deals on the perfect car.

 

Conclusion

In summary, when shopping for a quality used vehicle in Winnipeg, focus your search on dealerships with excellent reputations, large inventories, flexible financing options, mechanics certifications, solid warranty coverage, and top-notch customer service. Based on these criteria, Auto Gallery of Winnipeg, Ride Time, and Birchwood Automotive Group stand out as the top options.

Auto Gallery of Winnipeg is a family-owned used car dealer with over 50 years of service. Their massive selection, ASE certified technicians, in-house financing plans, and stellar reputation make them a recommended choice. Ride Time is also highly rated with a modern facility and over 100 vehicles in stock. Their financing deals, exchange policy, and extended warranties add great value as well. For the largest inventory in Winnipeg, Birchwood Automotive Group can’t be beat. Their massive selection of 800+ vehicles, discounted pricing, financing assistance, and mechanics inspections give buyers plenty of choice.

In the end, conducting thorough research and choosing a used car dealer with excellent credentials will lead to the best experience and highest satisfaction. Focus your search on Winnipeg’s top-rated dealers like Auto Gallery, Ride Time, and Birchwood Automotive to find the perfect pre-owned vehicle. Their professionalism, expansive inventories, and focus on customer service will ensure your used car buying process is smooth, transparent, and successful.

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Questions About The Best Used Car Dealerships in Winnipeg

Some of the most reputable and best reviewed used car dealerships in Winnipeg include Auto Gallery of Winnipeg, Auto List of Canada, Crown Auto Group, Birchwood Automotive Group, Ride Time and Auto Show Sales & Finance. These dealerships have great selections of used vehicles across various makes and models, offer competitive pricing and financing options, and have knowledgeable sales staff to help you find the right vehicle. Many customers highlight their transparent dealings, quality vehicles and excellent customer service.

When shopping for a used car in Winnipeg, be sure to check the vehicle history report, take it for an extensive test drive, have it inspected by a trusted mechanic, check tires, fluids, lights etc. thoroughly, negotiate the best price, check safety ratings and more. Buying from a reputable used car dealership can help ensure you get a quality used vehicle. Also, be sure to inquire about included warranties, financing options and return policies in case something goes wrong after purchase.

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

 

– How many previous owners has the vehicle had?

– What is the mileage and service history? Were scheduled maintenance and repairs done?

– Has the vehicle ever been in an accident?

– Why are you selling the vehicle?

– Are there any existing problems or issues with the vehicle?

– Can I take the vehicle for an inspection or test drive?

– Is there any remaining factory warranty? Do you offer a dealer warranty?

– What financing and payment options are available if I need assistance?

Some of the used vehicles with the best safety ratings in Canada include:

 

– Toyota RAV4

– Mazda CX-5

– Subaru Forester

– Honda CR-V

– Ford Escape

– Hyundai Tucson

– Nissan Rogue

 

The IIHS and NHTSA crash tests evaluate collision safety, so checking their ratings for the model year you’re considering is wise. Many used crossovers, SUVs and sedans have excellent safety scores.



There are pros and cons to both options. Dealerships usually offer more consumer protections, better vehicle selection and financing options, but sometimes have higher prices. Private sellers generally have lower prices and you may find well-maintained one or two previous owner vehicles, but lack financing and some protections.

 

Weigh factors like price, vehicle history, seller reputation, financing terms, warranties and more when deciding. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly and have it checked by a trusted mechanic either way before purchase.



Some financing options for used cars in Winnipeg include:

 

Dealership financing – Many dealerships offer in-house financing or have partnerships with banks and lenders to finance vehicles for buyers. This also includes options like leasing.

 

Bank/credit union loans – Banks and credit unions provide auto loans, lines of credit and other lending options that can be used to purchase used vehicles.

 

Third party lenders – Companies like CarMoney, Rifco National Auto Finance, Auto Capital Canada etc. specialize in auto lending, including used cars.

 

HELOCs – Home equity lines of credit allow you to borrow against home equity and can provide funds to pay for used cars.

 

Personal loans – Unsecured personal loans from banks, credit unions and online lenders can provide lump sum amounts to purchase used vehicles.



The cheapest used cars to insure in Winnipeg tend to be:

 

– Subcompact cars like the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Chevrolet Spark

– Some hatchbacks and sedans like the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Kia Forte

– Certain crossover SUVs like the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3

 

Get quotes from providers like Sonnet, Belairdirect, TD Insurance etc. based on factors like make, model, year, safety ratings, annual kms driven etc. Choosing used cars with good safety ratings that are cheaper to repair also lowers insurance costs.



To check for recalls and technical service bulletins (TSBs) on used vehicles, you can:

 

– Ask the seller if the vehicle has any outstanding recalls.

 

– Search the vehicle identification number on Transport Canada’s recall database.

 

– Check manufacturer websites which provide search tools to check for recalls by VIN.

 

– Review TSB databases on sites like NHTSA, Edmunds, CarComplaints by entering model details.

 

– Ask your mechanic to check for TSBs during a pre-purchase inspection.

 

Addressing recalls and TSBs will help avoid problems down the road.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are lightly used vehicles generally less than 5-6 years old that undergo extensive reconditioning, refurbishment and stringent multi-point inspections by dealership technicians in order to meet manufacturer standards of operation and condition.

 

CPO cars come with extended warranty coverage, roadside assistance benefits, special financing rates and more consumer protections compared to regular used cars. While they cost more upfront, the long-term reliability and extra peace of mind may be worth it.

Some tips for finding the best used car deals in Winnipeg:

 

– Compare prices across multiple dealers to get the lowest quote.

 

– Look for dealerships offering promotions, discounts or incentives through sales events and holiday weekends.

 

– Consider buying from a private seller willing to negotiate on pricing.

 

– Shop late in the month or quarter when dealers push to hit sales quotas.

 

– Consider models that tend to depreciate quicker for big savings like luxury cars.

 

– Get pre-approved financing so you can negotiate the best possible out-the-door price.

 

– Time purchases right to find deals, like when new model years arrive or winter months.

Some potential disadvantages of buying used compared to new cars include:

 

– Used cars come with some inherent uncertainty around long-term reliability and maintenance needs.

 

– Features, technology and safety advancements may be outdated compared to new models.

 

– Higher interest rates for financing, and often higher insurance premiums.

 

– Limited or no factory warranty coverage to protect against defects down the road.

 

– Potential previous wear and tear or damage from previous owners.

 

However, you can mitigate risks by having a used car inspected, choosing reliable models, considering certified pre-owned (CPO) and getting extended warranties.

Reputable used car sellers in Manitoba should provide documents like:

 

– Bill of sale / sales agreement: Details price paid, vehicle details, seller/buyer information

 

– Safety certification: Proof the vehicle passed a provincial safety inspection.

 

– Used Vehicle Information Package: Includes history report, repairs done etc.

 

– Registration document: Shows proof of ownership being transferred.

 

– Title document: Shows seller’s legal right to sell and transfer ownership.

 

– Service records, manuals etc.: Provides maintenance history.

 

Reviewing these documents carefully is important before finalizing a used vehicle purchase.

In Manitoba, used vehicles sold by dealers are covered under the Consumer Protection Act which provides some protections, while private sales are as-is. With dealers:

 

– You can file a claim within 60 days of receiving the vehicle if undisclosed problems are found.

 

– If the issue would have prevented the sale or affected the price if known, you have remedies.

 

– There are limited options if you simply change your mind though unless a return policy exists.

 

So while not as flexible as new cars, some protections for used dealer vehicles exist in Manitoba if issues arise shortly after sale.

To properly inspect a used car before purchase:

 

– Review vehicle history reports for accident history, odometer tampering red flags etc.

 

– Take it for an extensive test drive checking steering, acceleration, brakes, suspension etc.

 

– Have it inspected by an independent mechanic to get a professional assessment.

 

– Thoroughly inspect tires, brakes, lights, fluids, chassis etc. yourself.

 

– Check for signs of damage like paint overspray, misaligned panels, welding marks.

 

– Review all vehicle documentation like ownership, service records, recall checks.

 

– Consider a dealership that offers certified pre-owned vehicles.

To transfer ownership and register a used car purchased in Manitoba, you must:

 

– Complete a Transfer of Ownership Document available from Autopac agents and some sellers. Needs to be signed by buyer and seller.

 

– Pay applicable taxes like retail sales tax on the vehicle purchase amount.

 

– Insure the vehicle by contacting Manitoba Public Insurance to activate your Autopac policy on it.

 

– Get a safety inspection done within 14 days generally.

 

– Register the vehicle by visiting a Manitoba Public Insurance service centre with paperwork.

To avoid buying flood damaged used cars:

 

– Check vehicle history reports for flood, salvage, or other damage records and title brands.

 

– Inspect the interior thoroughly for signs of water damage like musty smells, rust, corrosion, stained upholstery etc.

 

– Look for evidence of mud or silt in irregular places, like inside glove compartments.

 

– Check for rust or corrosion on screws, springs, brackets and other metal components under the dashboard, seats etc.

 

– Ensure all electrical components and systems are functioning properly during test drives.

 

– Consider having the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic.

Financing used cars through standard auto loans or lines of credit typically makes more financial sense long-term than leasing for most buyers. With financing, once the loan is repaid, you own the asset outright with no further payments. With leases, you are essentially renting and have to return the car at the end.

 

However leasing can offer lower upfront and monthly costs compared to financing the entire amount, especially for luxury vehicles. So it depends on budget, intended ownership length, and other personal financial factors.

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