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How to Buy a Used Car in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador

Buying a used car can be an exciting yet daunting experience. With so many factors to consider, it’s important to go into the process informed and prepared. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know when buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We’ll start by looking at the pros and cons of buying used versus new, to help you determine if purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is the right choice for you. Next, we’ll explore the various places you can shop for used cars in NL, from dealerships to private sellers. Doing your research is key, so we’ll go over how to inspect a used vehicle and decode listings to avoid buying a lemon.

Financing, paperwork, registrations – purchasing a used car also means navigating administrative tasks. We’ll break down how to handle financing, insurance, licensing, and the bill of sale when buying privately or from a dealer. This guide also shares tips to avoid used car scams, negotiate pricing, test drive like a pro, and search online.

Let’s get started on your journey to finding the perfect used car in Newfoundland!

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Pros and Cons of Buying Used

Buying a used car instead of a new one comes with advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the key pros and cons to weigh when deciding between new and used:

 

Pros

  • Save money upfront – Buying used costs thousands less than new.
  • Still get a reliable car – Modern used cars are built to last over 100k miles.
  • Certified pre-owned options – Late model used cars can be “certified” by dealers to verify condition.
  • Less depreciation – The biggest drop in value happens in the first 1-2 years.

 

Cons

  • No warranty – Factory coverage has likely expired on a used vehicle.
  • Unknown history – You don’t know how previous owners maintained the car.
  • Surprise repairs – Out-of-warranty repairs come out of your pocket.

 

Overall, buying used offers big savings, but also some risks. Doing your diligence on the vehicle’s history and condition can help minimize the downsides.

 

Where to Shop for Used Cars in NL

There are a few different places you can shop for used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador:

 

Dealerships

Buying from a licensed dealership is one of the more common ways to purchase a used vehicle in NL. Reputable dealerships thoroughly inspect their used inventory and often provide some kind of warranty. You’ll have more consumer protections buying from a dealer vs. a private seller. Some of the major used car dealers in the province include Hickman Motors, Steele Honda, Crosbie Motors, and Sheppard Cars.

 

Private Sellers

Many used car sales take place between private individuals. Popular places to find private seller listings include Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and local classifieds. The advantage of buying privately is you can sometimes score a good deal. However, there is more risk involved too. Make sure you get a safety inspection if going the private sale route.

 

Auctions

Auto auctions like Copart allow you to bid on used vehicles, sometimes for very low prices. Keep in mind you usually can’t test-drive auction vehicles. Some may have significant mechanical issues. Auto auctions are best suited for auto dealers or mechanics, not the average used car buyer.

 

Online Listings

Beyond dealership websites, there are many online classifieds and auto listing sites where NL used cars can be found. Some popular options include AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji, Autotrader.ca, CarGurus, and Cars.com. The benefit of searching online is you can potentially find the exact make/model you’re after and arrange delivery from anywhere in the province.

 

Research Extensively Before Buying

One of the most important steps when buying a used car is doing your research. This involves digging into the vehicle’s history, condition, and ownership records. Taking the time to research thoroughly can help you avoid buying a lemon.

Run a vehicle history report using the VIN number. This will show any title issues, accident reports, number of previous owners, service records, and more. CARFAX and AutoCheck are two common vehicle history report services.

Have a mechanic you trust do a pre-purchase inspection. They will check under the hood for leaks, engine issues, inspect the transmission, tires, brakes and more. This is the best way to get an impartial assessment of the car’s mechanical condition.

Take an extensive test drive of at least 15-20 minutes. Test the car at highway speeds, on hills, braking, and over bumpy roads. See how it handles and listen for any abnormal noises.

Ask to see maintenance records and service invoices. This can give you insight into how well the previous owner cared for the vehicle. Evidence of regular oil changes, tune ups, and repairs is a good sign.

Researching thoroughly takes time but can save you from expensive surprises down the road. The more informed you are before purchasing, the better decision you can make.

 

Financing Options

When purchasing a used vehicle in Newfoundland and Labrador, you have a few options for financing:

 

Loans

One of the most common ways to finance a used car purchase is through an auto loan from your bank or credit union. Auto loans typically have lower interest rates than other financing options. You’ll need a good credit score to qualify for the best rates. Make sure to shop around at different financial institutions to compare rates and terms.

 

Cash

Paying cash upfront is another option. This allows you to avoid loan interest and pays off the car immediately. However, not everyone has enough cash savings to pay for a vehicle outright. Determine if you can comfortably afford the upfront cost before choosing this option.

 

Dealer Financing

Many dealerships offer in-house financing for used cars. This allows you to finance the car directly through the dealership. However, dealer financing often comes with higher interest rates. Be sure to negotiate the lowest rate possible. Dealer financing can be a good option if you’re unable to qualify for an auto loan with better terms from a bank or credit union.

 

Registering and Insuring Your Used Car in NL

Once you’ve purchased a used vehicle in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are a few important steps to take to legally register and insure it. This includes transferring the title, registration, and obtaining insurance.

 

Transferring Title

In NL, the title (also called the vehicle registration) stays with the car when it’s sold. The seller must complete a Transfer of Ownership Document and provide it to the buyer. This form releases the seller from legal ownership. The buyer will need to bring this form along with the used vehicle’s existing registration to their local Motor Registration Division office within 10 days to officially transfer ownership into their name.

 

Registration

You cannot drive a vehicle in NL until it is registered in your name. Used vehicles must be registered every year on or before the owner’s birthday. The fees to register a used vehicle vary based on the vehicle’s age and weight class. You will need to provide proof of insurance when registering.

 

Insurance Requirements

Newfoundland and Labrador requires all motor vehicles to be insured with at least basic liability coverage. When insuring a used vehicle, be sure to notify your insurance company of the make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and usage of the car. Rates are based on these factors. You’ll need to provide your insurer’s details when registering the used car in your name.

Following these crucial steps for transferring ownership, registration, and insurance ensures your used vehicle is properly registered in NL.

 

Important Paperwork

When buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are some key documents you’ll need for a smooth ownership transfer. The most important is the bill of sale. This records the details of the transaction such as the purchase price, vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year, mileage, and condition. Both the buyer and seller should sign the bill of sale as proof of the transaction.

You’ll also need the vehicle registration from the current owner. This proves they are the legal owner of the car. Make sure the name on the registration matches the name of the person selling the vehicle. Registration documents must be transferred to the new owner.

The vehicle title is also required to show legal ownership. Some provinces issue separate vehicle titles while in others the registration form serves as the title. Check with your provincial registry on requirements. The title will need to be transferred to the buyer after sale.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, license plates stay with the vehicle when it changes ownership. The buyer will need to transfer the registration but can continue using the existing plates. This differs from some other provinces where plates are returned when a vehicle is sold.

It’s recommended to also exchange insurance information. As the new owner, you’ll need proof of valid insurance before driving the used car off the lot. Ask the seller for their policy details so you can set up your own insurance right away.

Following all documentation requirements for transferring ownership will ensure the used car sale is legal and avoid problems down the road. Keep copies of all paperwork for your records too.

 

Buying from a Dealer

Purchasing a used vehicle from an established dealership has several benefits compared to buying privately. Dealerships have licensed salespeople to assist you through the buying process. They usually offer a selection of different makes and models to choose from. Dealers will also typically provide a vehicle history report and may offer a warranty or extended service plan.

When buying from a dealer, take time to research their reputation, checking reviews and complaints. Only work with reputable dealerships that are transparent about a vehicle’s history and condition. Ask to see maintenance records and inspection reports. Test drive the vehicle thoroughly before making any commitments.

Negotiating can help get you the best price when buying from a dealer. Know the market value of the used car you want based on year, make, model and mileage. Consider getting pre-approved financing from your bank or credit union so you have bargaining power. Be ready to walk away if you can’t get close to your target price. Dealers may be more flexible on pricing older model year vehicles. Have confidence when negotiating to get the fairest deal.

 

Buying Privately

Purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller can save money compared to buying from a dealer. However, there are some precautions to take when buying privately. Here are some tips:

 

Benefits of Private Purchase

Buying privately often results in significant savings, since there is no dealership markup. You can sometimes find well-maintained, low mileage used vehicles from private owners. It provides an opportunity to connect directly with the previous owner and get vehicle history and maintenance details. Private sellers are often more flexible on price and extras compared to dealers.

 

Meeting the Seller

Schedule a meeting in a public place when possible. Ask to see the vehicle registration to verify ownership before inspecting the vehicle. Take the vehicle for a test drive, with the seller along. Examine the engine, tires, body, interior, electronic components. Check for leaks, damage, malfunctions. Ask for maintenance records and ownership history.

 

Professional Inspection

Even if the vehicle looks good, have it inspected by a certified mechanic. They can check for issues you may have missed and provide an objective assessment. Be ready to walk away if problems are found. Only proceed if you’re comfortable with the results of the inspection.

 

Bill of Sale

Complete a bill of sale, signed by both parties, including details like VIN, model, mileage, sale price and date. This documents transfer of ownership. Include a clause confirming the vehicle is sold “as is” and have the seller warrant they are the legal owner. Register the transfer with the NL Provincial Motor Registration Division.

 

Certified Pre-Owned

A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a used car that has been inspected, repaired and certified by the manufacturer or dealer to meet strict criteria. Buying a CPO vehicle can give you peace of mind knowing the car has been thoroughly checked over. Here are some key things to know about CPO cars:

Definition: To qualify as a CPO vehicle, the car must be 5 years old or newer with less than 80,000 miles. It undergoes a rigorous inspection covering the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, interior and exterior. Any issues found must be repaired before it can be certified.

Benefits: A CPO car comes with extended warranty coverage, ranging from 1 year/12,000 miles up to 6 years/100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer. This protects you from expensive repair bills. CPO vehicles also come with roadside assistance, loaner cars, trip interruption coverage and more perks.

What to Look For: Only buy CPO from authorized dealers and look for the original certification paperwork. Review the extended warranty details closely to understand what is and isn’t covered. Test drive the CPO vehicle thoroughly and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

 

Used Car Pricing

When buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, negotiating price is an important part of the process. There are several factors that can impact how a used car is priced:

 

  • Age of the vehicle – Older cars tend to be priced lower than newer models
  • Mileage – The more miles on a used car, the less it will typically cost
  • Condition – A car in excellent condition with service records will have a higher price
  • Features and packages – Additional options like leather seats or navigation can increase the price
  • Demand – Popular models in short supply may be priced higher
  • Location – Prices can vary in different areas of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

When negotiating on a used car price, be sure to take all of these factors into account. Do your research to determine the fair market value and don’t be afraid to make a lower counteroffer. Dealers will often inflate the asking price knowing that the buyer will want to negotiate down.

Watch out for any hidden fees that dealers may try to tack on to the purchase price. This includes documentation fees, administrative fees, prep fees and more. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all charges so there are no surprises later.

Buying privately can help you avoid hidden fees, but you may be able to negotiate more aggressively at a dealership. Consider all options and negotiate the best deal possible when buying your next used car in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Avoiding Scams

When shopping for a used car, it’s important to be on the lookout for potential scams. An unscrupulous seller may try to pass off a lemon by covering up major mechanical issues or odometer fraud. Protect yourself with these tips for spotting potential scams:

 

  • Check vehicle history reports for accidents, title issues, or mileage inconsistencies. Services like Carfax provide detailed reports that can reveal a shady past.
  • Beware of sellers asking for wired funds or cash payments. Legit sellers will accept certified bank checks.
  • Ask to see maintenance records, ownership history, and the title. Missing paperwork can signal something amiss.
  • Inspect the car thoroughly yourself and/or have a trusted mechanic check it over before buying.
  • Research similar models to be aware of average mileage and pricing – an abnormally low odometer reading or price can be red flags.
  • Meet sellers in a public place and bring someone with you. Don’t be rushed into a decision.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Taking precautions helps avoid becoming the victim of a scam. Do your due diligence before handing over any money.

 

Test Driving

Test-driving a used car before buying is extremely important. You’ll want to test the car under different driving conditions to get a feel for how it handles and performs. Here’s what to look out for during a test drive:

 

What to Look For

Pay attention to the car’s acceleration and power as you drive up hills and merge onto highways. See how the engine and transmission respond and whether there are any hesitations or strange noises. Make some sharp turns and listen for any unusual clunks from the suspension.

Test the brakes by making hard stops at different speeds. The brakes should stop the car straight without any pulling, noises or vibration in the pedal. This tests the condition of the brake pads, rotors, calipers and brake lines.

Drive on as many different road surfaces as possible. Listen for new rattling or squeaking sounds that may come from a worn out suspension or loose interior trim pieces. Additionally, see how the car handles bumps – does it feel soft and controlled or harsh and bouncy?

 

Testing Different Conditions

Don’t just test drive on a quick trip around the block on a sunny, 70 degree day. Make sure to test in various conditions that simulate your real driving needs:

 

  • Highway driving – accelerating to highway speeds, cruising, passing other cars
  • City driving – stop-and-go traffic, tight turns, parking
  • Inclement weather – rain, snow, cold temps
  • Night driving – low light conditions to test headlights, high beams, interior lighting
  • Hot weather – test A/C performance on a 90+ degree day
  • Passengers and cargo – drive with a full cabin to test suspension
  • Long drive – 30 mins+ to simulate commute and check for problems

 

Test driving thoroughly allows you to experience how the used car performs in the conditions you’ll actually be driving it in. Take your time to fully evaluate the vehicle before making any buying decision.

 

Buying Online

Purchasing a used vehicle online can provide access to more options and potentially better pricing, but it requires extra caution. When buying online:

 

  • Thoroughly research sellers by checking reviews, complaints, and their reputation. Avoid sellers with no online presence.
  • Ask for a vehicle history report and as much documentation as possible, including maintenance records and accident history.
  • Hire an independent mechanic to thoroughly inspect the vehicle prior to purchase. Plan to pay for the inspection yourself.
  • Meet in person and test drive the vehicle if possible. If not, hire a third party inspection service.
  • Use secure encrypted payment services, and avoid wiring cash. Pay only after inspecting the vehicle.
  • Complete all documentation properly to transfer ownership into your name.

 

Purchasing online expands your options but requires more vigilance. Take steps to verify vehicle condition and seller reputation before transacting remotely.

 

Conclusion

Buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador can be a complex process, but taking the time to research and prepare will help ensure it’s a smooth experience. When shopping for used vehicles in NL, it’s important to know where to look, how to inspect a potential purchase thoroughly, negotiate fairly, and avoid common scams.

To recap, key steps for buying a used car in NL include:

 

  • Research vehicles and pricing online before heading to dealerships
  • Get a vehicle history report and know its service records
  • Thoroughly inspect any vehicle yourself or with a trustworthy mechanic
  • Test drive the vehicle under different conditions
  • Ask about any existing warranty or the possibility to purchase an extended warranty
  • Make sure all proper paperwork for ownership transfer is completed
  • Verify insurance coverage before driving the new vehicle off the lot

 

Taking the time upfront means you can feel confident you’re making a well-informed purchase. With research and patience, buying a used vehicle in NL can be smooth sailing.

Common Questions About Buying a Used Car in Newfoundland and Labrador

Yes, you can buy a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador even if you are not a resident. However, there are some additional steps and costs to consider as a non-resident. You may need to pay duties and taxes when importing the vehicle. You will also need to register and insure the vehicle in NL to drive it legally. Consider working with a broker who can guide you through the process.

When buying a used car privately in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need a bill of sale, vehicle registration, valid safety certificate if applicable, lien search from the Registry of Deeds to confirm no liens on the vehicle, and identification from the seller proving ownership. You’ll also need to transfer registration which requires proof of insurance.

Buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador can be cheaper than other provinces due to lower prices and taxes. However, selection is more limited compared to larger provinces. Do your research as prices can vary greatly across regions. Consider import costs if buying out-of-province. Evaluate options in nearby provinces as well.

When registering a used car in NL, you’ll need to pay a vehicle registration fee, driver’s licence fee, inspection fee if required, and applicable taxes. Fees are calculated based on the vehicle’s age and weight. There is also a rebate program for vehicles 5 years or newer meeting fuel efficiency standards. Verify exact fees for your specific vehicle.

To check for liens or loans on a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need to get a lien search from the Registry of Deeds. This search will indicate if there are any outstanding loans or liens attached to the vehicle you are looking to buy. The fee is minimal and it protects you from unknowingly purchasing a vehicle still tied to financing.

When test driving a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, ask to see the ownership, service records, accident history, and remaining warranty coverage if applicable. Also ask questions like why are you selling, how long have you had it, has it been in any accidents, any major repairs, and are there any mechanical issues you’re aware of? Take it for an extensive test drive and have it inspected by an independent mechanic.

Yes, used car prices in Newfoundland and Labrador are negotiable in most cases, especially when buying privately. Research the make, model, year and average resale value ahead of time so you know a reasonable price range to begin negotiating in. Consider mileage, overall condition and reconditioning costs needed when making an offer as well. Ultimately offer a price you are comfortable with.

To transfer ownership when buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, have the current owner sign the transfer/bill of sale section on the vehicle registration. Apply for registration transfer within 10 days by submitting the signed registration, proof of insurance, passing inspection certificate if needed, sales tax, fees and ID. You will get new registration in your name indicating transfer is complete.

Yes, you need to obtain a valid safety standards certificate when registering most used vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador, especially for models older than 5 years. Some exceptions include ATVs, motorcycles, trailers under a certain weight, and brand new vehicles. Inspections need to be done at approved authorized inspection centres within 30 days before registration.

Reliable used cars can be found in NL from reputable dealerships that certify their pre-owned inventory, at manufacturer dealers for CPO models, and through private sales with maintenance records. Resources like Carproof and Carfax vehicle history reports provide insight. Test drive extensively, get a third-party inspection, and check systems thoroughly before purchase.

 

Some of the best used car brands and models for Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate are Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Ford trucks, Jeeps, and other crossovers and SUVs with all-wheel drive. These reliable vehicles can handle cold weather, snow, rugged terrain, and coastal climates. Research options like the Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, Ford F-150, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Atlantic Buyers Program through Uni Select offers consumers significant savings off the sticker price on new and used cars across dealerships in Atlantic Canada so it can be worth exploring for used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador. You need to pay a $39 annual fee to access the discounted pricing with average savings of $2,000 or more possible.

When buying used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador from auctions, classifieds or online listings, be extra diligent as these vehicles are generally sold as-is. Carefully assess condition, mileage, history reports, necessary repairs, and pricing compared to similar vehicles. Ask extensive questions and have a trusted mechanic do an inspection before finalizing a purchase.

The best places to search used listings in NL are AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji Autos, Facebook Marketplace, dealership websites, CarGurus.ca, recar.ca, and UsedNL.com which focuses solely on local listings. Local classifieds, forums, community boards and auction sites may also have vehicles. Cast a wide net across multiple platforms when searching.

Used car financing options available in Newfoundland and Labrador include bank loans, manufacturer financing through dealerships, credit union loans, private lending companies, leasing, lines of credit, and in-house dealer financing. Compare rates and terms across multiple lenders. Consider length of loan term and down payment amount as that impacts monthly costs.

Yes, having a CAA membership can provide valuable coverage and perks when buying and owning a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador. Benefits include 24/7 emergency roadside assistance across the province, free battery service, exclusive discounts on parts, repairs and fuel, auto trip planning, and access to CAA auto buying tools and resources.

Purchasing an extended warranty from the dealer or third-party provider for additional coverage beyond the original factory warranty can give valuable peace of mind with used car ownership in Newfoundland and Labrador. Especially consider it for luxury vehicles, models with complex systems, any remaining manufacturer warranty under 5 years, and to avoid expensive repair bills.

Yes, rust is a common used vehicle purchase concern in NL as road salt and ocean air during winter months accelerates corrosion, especially on older models. Carefully inspect undercarriage, wheel wells, frames, and lower body panels for any visible rust or bubbling paint indicating rust underneath. Have a mechanic assess any questionable areas before finalizing your purchase.

If importing a used car into Newfoundland and Labrador from another province, ask the seller detailed questions on accident history, major repairs, existing damage, original purchase province, whether it was ever registered in NL before, outstanding loans, taxes and fees paid, and eligibility for passing safety inspection. Also clarify required import/ownership transfer process and costs.

Strategies for finding reliable, affordable used cars in NL include shopping older Toyota/Honda models, checking listings frequently, having flexibility on color/features, traveling to view vehicles in other regions, considering higher mileage vehicles that pass inspections, evaluating any repairs needed into offer prices, and getting pre-approved financing to improve negotiating power.

 

Pros and Cons of Buying Used

Buying a used car instead of a new one comes with advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the key pros and cons to weigh when deciding between new and used:

 

Pros

  • Save money upfront – Buying used costs thousands less than new.
  • Still get a reliable car – Modern used cars are built to last over 100k miles.
  • Certified pre-owned options – Late model used cars can be “certified” by dealers to verify condition.
  • Less depreciation – The biggest drop in value happens in the first 1-2 years.

 

Cons

  • No warranty – Factory coverage has likely expired on a used vehicle.
  • Unknown history – You don’t know how previous owners maintained the car.
  • Surprise repairs – Out-of-warranty repairs come out of your pocket.

 

Overall, buying used offers big savings, but also some risks. Doing your diligence on the vehicle’s history and condition can help minimize the downsides.

 

Where to Shop for Used Cars in NL

There are a few different places you can shop for used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador:

 

Dealerships

Buying from a licensed dealership is one of the more common ways to purchase a used vehicle in NL. Reputable dealerships thoroughly inspect their used inventory and often provide some kind of warranty. You’ll have more consumer protections buying from a dealer vs. a private seller. Some of the major used car dealers in the province include Hickman Motors, Steele Honda, Crosbie Motors, and Sheppard Cars.

 

Private Sellers

Many used car sales take place between private individuals. Popular places to find private seller listings include Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and local classifieds. The advantage of buying privately is you can sometimes score a good deal. However, there is more risk involved too. Make sure you get a safety inspection if going the private sale route.

 

Auctions

Auto auctions like Copart allow you to bid on used vehicles, sometimes for very low prices. Keep in mind you usually can’t test-drive auction vehicles. Some may have significant mechanical issues. Auto auctions are best suited for auto dealers or mechanics, not the average used car buyer.

 

Online Listings

Beyond dealership websites, there are many online classifieds and auto listing sites where NL used cars can be found. Some popular options include AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji, Autotrader.ca, CarGurus, and Cars.com. The benefit of searching online is you can potentially find the exact make/model you’re after and arrange delivery from anywhere in the province.

 

Research Extensively Before Buying

One of the most important steps when buying a used car is doing your research. This involves digging into the vehicle’s history, condition, and ownership records. Taking the time to research thoroughly can help you avoid buying a lemon.

Run a vehicle history report using the VIN number. This will show any title issues, accident reports, number of previous owners, service records, and more. CARFAX and AutoCheck are two common vehicle history report services.

Have a mechanic you trust do a pre-purchase inspection. They will check under the hood for leaks, engine issues, inspect the transmission, tires, brakes and more. This is the best way to get an impartial assessment of the car’s mechanical condition.

Take an extensive test drive of at least 15-20 minutes. Test the car at highway speeds, on hills, braking, and over bumpy roads. See how it handles and listen for any abnormal noises.

Ask to see maintenance records and service invoices. This can give you insight into how well the previous owner cared for the vehicle. Evidence of regular oil changes, tune ups, and repairs is a good sign.

Researching thoroughly takes time but can save you from expensive surprises down the road. The more informed you are before purchasing, the better decision you can make.

 

Financing Options

When purchasing a used vehicle in Newfoundland and Labrador, you have a few options for financing:

 

Loans

One of the most common ways to finance a used car purchase is through an auto loan from your bank or credit union. Auto loans typically have lower interest rates than other financing options. You’ll need a good credit score to qualify for the best rates. Make sure to shop around at different financial institutions to compare rates and terms.

 

Cash

Paying cash upfront is another option. This allows you to avoid loan interest and pays off the car immediately. However, not everyone has enough cash savings to pay for a vehicle outright. Determine if you can comfortably afford the upfront cost before choosing this option.

 

Dealer Financing

Many dealerships offer in-house financing for used cars. This allows you to finance the car directly through the dealership. However, dealer financing often comes with higher interest rates. Be sure to negotiate the lowest rate possible. Dealer financing can be a good option if you’re unable to qualify for an auto loan with better terms from a bank or credit union.

 

Registering and Insuring Your Used Car in NL

Once you’ve purchased a used vehicle in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are a few important steps to take to legally register and insure it. This includes transferring the title, registration, and obtaining insurance.

 

Transferring Title

In NL, the title (also called the vehicle registration) stays with the car when it’s sold. The seller must complete a Transfer of Ownership Document and provide it to the buyer. This form releases the seller from legal ownership. The buyer will need to bring this form along with the used vehicle’s existing registration to their local Motor Registration Division office within 10 days to officially transfer ownership into their name.

 

Registration

You cannot drive a vehicle in NL until it is registered in your name. Used vehicles must be registered every year on or before the owner’s birthday. The fees to register a used vehicle vary based on the vehicle’s age and weight class. You will need to provide proof of insurance when registering.

 

Insurance Requirements

Newfoundland and Labrador requires all motor vehicles to be insured with at least basic liability coverage. When insuring a used vehicle, be sure to notify your insurance company of the make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and usage of the car. Rates are based on these factors. You’ll need to provide your insurer’s details when registering the used car in your name.

Following these crucial steps for transferring ownership, registration, and insurance ensures your used vehicle is properly registered in NL.

 

Important Paperwork

When buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are some key documents you’ll need for a smooth ownership transfer. The most important is the bill of sale. This records the details of the transaction such as the purchase price, vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year, mileage, and condition. Both the buyer and seller should sign the bill of sale as proof of the transaction.

You’ll also need the vehicle registration from the current owner. This proves they are the legal owner of the car. Make sure the name on the registration matches the name of the person selling the vehicle. Registration documents must be transferred to the new owner.

The vehicle title is also required to show legal ownership. Some provinces issue separate vehicle titles while in others the registration form serves as the title. Check with your provincial registry on requirements. The title will need to be transferred to the buyer after sale.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, license plates stay with the vehicle when it changes ownership. The buyer will need to transfer the registration but can continue using the existing plates. This differs from some other provinces where plates are returned when a vehicle is sold.

It’s recommended to also exchange insurance information. As the new owner, you’ll need proof of valid insurance before driving the used car off the lot. Ask the seller for their policy details so you can set up your own insurance right away.

Following all documentation requirements for transferring ownership will ensure the used car sale is legal and avoid problems down the road. Keep copies of all paperwork for your records too.

 

Buying from a Dealer

Purchasing a used vehicle from an established dealership has several benefits compared to buying privately. Dealerships have licensed salespeople to assist you through the buying process. They usually offer a selection of different makes and models to choose from. Dealers will also typically provide a vehicle history report and may offer a warranty or extended service plan.

When buying from a dealer, take time to research their reputation, checking reviews and complaints. Only work with reputable dealerships that are transparent about a vehicle’s history and condition. Ask to see maintenance records and inspection reports. Test drive the vehicle thoroughly before making any commitments.

Negotiating can help get you the best price when buying from a dealer. Know the market value of the used car you want based on year, make, model and mileage. Consider getting pre-approved financing from your bank or credit union so you have bargaining power. Be ready to walk away if you can’t get close to your target price. Dealers may be more flexible on pricing older model year vehicles. Have confidence when negotiating to get the fairest deal.

 

Buying Privately

Purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller can save money compared to buying from a dealer. However, there are some precautions to take when buying privately. Here are some tips:

 

Benefits of Private Purchase

Buying privately often results in significant savings, since there is no dealership markup. You can sometimes find well-maintained, low mileage used vehicles from private owners. It provides an opportunity to connect directly with the previous owner and get vehicle history and maintenance details. Private sellers are often more flexible on price and extras compared to dealers.

 

Meeting the Seller

Schedule a meeting in a public place when possible. Ask to see the vehicle registration to verify ownership before inspecting the vehicle. Take the vehicle for a test drive, with the seller along. Examine the engine, tires, body, interior, electronic components. Check for leaks, damage, malfunctions. Ask for maintenance records and ownership history.

 

Professional Inspection

Even if the vehicle looks good, have it inspected by a certified mechanic. They can check for issues you may have missed and provide an objective assessment. Be ready to walk away if problems are found. Only proceed if you’re comfortable with the results of the inspection.

 

Bill of Sale

Complete a bill of sale, signed by both parties, including details like VIN, model, mileage, sale price and date. This documents transfer of ownership. Include a clause confirming the vehicle is sold “as is” and have the seller warrant they are the legal owner. Register the transfer with the NL Provincial Motor Registration Division.

 

Certified Pre-Owned

A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a used car that has been inspected, repaired and certified by the manufacturer or dealer to meet strict criteria. Buying a CPO vehicle can give you peace of mind knowing the car has been thoroughly checked over. Here are some key things to know about CPO cars:

Definition: To qualify as a CPO vehicle, the car must be 5 years old or newer with less than 80,000 miles. It undergoes a rigorous inspection covering the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, interior and exterior. Any issues found must be repaired before it can be certified.

Benefits: A CPO car comes with extended warranty coverage, ranging from 1 year/12,000 miles up to 6 years/100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer. This protects you from expensive repair bills. CPO vehicles also come with roadside assistance, loaner cars, trip interruption coverage and more perks.

What to Look For: Only buy CPO from authorized dealers and look for the original certification paperwork. Review the extended warranty details closely to understand what is and isn’t covered. Test drive the CPO vehicle thoroughly and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

 

Used Car Pricing

When buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, negotiating price is an important part of the process. There are several factors that can impact how a used car is priced:

 

  • Age of the vehicle – Older cars tend to be priced lower than newer models
  • Mileage – The more miles on a used car, the less it will typically cost
  • Condition – A car in excellent condition with service records will have a higher price
  • Features and packages – Additional options like leather seats or navigation can increase the price
  • Demand – Popular models in short supply may be priced higher
  • Location – Prices can vary in different areas of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

When negotiating on a used car price, be sure to take all of these factors into account. Do your research to determine the fair market value and don’t be afraid to make a lower counteroffer. Dealers will often inflate the asking price knowing that the buyer will want to negotiate down.

Watch out for any hidden fees that dealers may try to tack on to the purchase price. This includes documentation fees, administrative fees, prep fees and more. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all charges so there are no surprises later.

Buying privately can help you avoid hidden fees, but you may be able to negotiate more aggressively at a dealership. Consider all options and negotiate the best deal possible when buying your next used car in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Avoiding Scams

When shopping for a used car, it’s important to be on the lookout for potential scams. An unscrupulous seller may try to pass off a lemon by covering up major mechanical issues or odometer fraud. Protect yourself with these tips for spotting potential scams:

 

  • Check vehicle history reports for accidents, title issues, or mileage inconsistencies. Services like Carfax provide detailed reports that can reveal a shady past.
  • Beware of sellers asking for wired funds or cash payments. Legit sellers will accept certified bank checks.
  • Ask to see maintenance records, ownership history, and the title. Missing paperwork can signal something amiss.
  • Inspect the car thoroughly yourself and/or have a trusted mechanic check it over before buying.
  • Research similar models to be aware of average mileage and pricing – an abnormally low odometer reading or price can be red flags.
  • Meet sellers in a public place and bring someone with you. Don’t be rushed into a decision.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Taking precautions helps avoid becoming the victim of a scam. Do your due diligence before handing over any money.

 

Test Driving

Test-driving a used car before buying is extremely important. You’ll want to test the car under different driving conditions to get a feel for how it handles and performs. Here’s what to look out for during a test drive:

 

What to Look For

Pay attention to the car’s acceleration and power as you drive up hills and merge onto highways. See how the engine and transmission respond and whether there are any hesitations or strange noises. Make some sharp turns and listen for any unusual clunks from the suspension.

Test the brakes by making hard stops at different speeds. The brakes should stop the car straight without any pulling, noises or vibration in the pedal. This tests the condition of the brake pads, rotors, calipers and brake lines.

Drive on as many different road surfaces as possible. Listen for new rattling or squeaking sounds that may come from a worn out suspension or loose interior trim pieces. Additionally, see how the car handles bumps – does it feel soft and controlled or harsh and bouncy?

 

Testing Different Conditions

Don’t just test drive on a quick trip around the block on a sunny, 70 degree day. Make sure to test in various conditions that simulate your real driving needs:

 

  • Highway driving – accelerating to highway speeds, cruising, passing other cars
  • City driving – stop-and-go traffic, tight turns, parking
  • Inclement weather – rain, snow, cold temps
  • Night driving – low light conditions to test headlights, high beams, interior lighting
  • Hot weather – test A/C performance on a 90+ degree day
  • Passengers and cargo – drive with a full cabin to test suspension
  • Long drive – 30 mins+ to simulate commute and check for problems

 

Test driving thoroughly allows you to experience how the used car performs in the conditions you’ll actually be driving it in. Take your time to fully evaluate the vehicle before making any buying decision.

 

Buying Online

Purchasing a used vehicle online can provide access to more options and potentially better pricing, but it requires extra caution. When buying online:

 

  • Thoroughly research sellers by checking reviews, complaints, and their reputation. Avoid sellers with no online presence.
  • Ask for a vehicle history report and as much documentation as possible, including maintenance records and accident history.
  • Hire an independent mechanic to thoroughly inspect the vehicle prior to purchase. Plan to pay for the inspection yourself.
  • Meet in person and test drive the vehicle if possible. If not, hire a third party inspection service.
  • Use secure encrypted payment services, and avoid wiring cash. Pay only after inspecting the vehicle.
  • Complete all documentation properly to transfer ownership into your name.

 

Purchasing online expands your options but requires more vigilance. Take steps to verify vehicle condition and seller reputation before transacting remotely.

 

Conclusion

Buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador can be a complex process, but taking the time to research and prepare will help ensure it’s a smooth experience. When shopping for used vehicles in NL, it’s important to know where to look, how to inspect a potential purchase thoroughly, negotiate fairly, and avoid common scams.

To recap, key steps for buying a used car in NL include:

 

  • Research vehicles and pricing online before heading to dealerships
  • Get a vehicle history report and know its service records
  • Thoroughly inspect any vehicle yourself or with a trustworthy mechanic
  • Test drive the vehicle under different conditions
  • Ask about any existing warranty or the possibility to purchase an extended warranty
  • Make sure all proper paperwork for ownership transfer is completed
  • Verify insurance coverage before driving the new vehicle off the lot

 

Taking the time upfront means you can feel confident you’re making a well-informed purchase. With research and patience, buying a used vehicle in NL can be smooth sailing.

Common Questions About Buying a Used Car in Newfoundland and Labrador

Yes, you can buy a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador even if you are not a resident. However, there are some additional steps and costs to consider as a non-resident. You may need to pay duties and taxes when importing the vehicle. You will also need to register and insure the vehicle in NL to drive it legally. Consider working with a broker who can guide you through the process.

When buying a used car privately in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need a bill of sale, vehicle registration, valid safety certificate if applicable, lien search from the Registry of Deeds to confirm no liens on the vehicle, and identification from the seller proving ownership. You’ll also need to transfer registration which requires proof of insurance.

Buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador can be cheaper than other provinces due to lower prices and taxes. However, selection is more limited compared to larger provinces. Do your research as prices can vary greatly across regions. Consider import costs if buying out-of-province. Evaluate options in nearby provinces as well.

When registering a used car in NL, you’ll need to pay a vehicle registration fee, driver’s licence fee, inspection fee if required, and applicable taxes. Fees are calculated based on the vehicle’s age and weight. There is also a rebate program for vehicles 5 years or newer meeting fuel efficiency standards. Verify exact fees for your specific vehicle.

To check for liens or loans on a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need to get a lien search from the Registry of Deeds. This search will indicate if there are any outstanding loans or liens attached to the vehicle you are looking to buy. The fee is minimal and it protects you from unknowingly purchasing a vehicle still tied to financing.

When test driving a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, ask to see the ownership, service records, accident history, and remaining warranty coverage if applicable. Also ask questions like why are you selling, how long have you had it, has it been in any accidents, any major repairs, and are there any mechanical issues you’re aware of? Take it for an extensive test drive and have it inspected by an independent mechanic.

Yes, used car prices in Newfoundland and Labrador are negotiable in most cases, especially when buying privately. Research the make, model, year and average resale value ahead of time so you know a reasonable price range to begin negotiating in. Consider mileage, overall condition and reconditioning costs needed when making an offer as well. Ultimately offer a price you are comfortable with.

To transfer ownership when buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, have the current owner sign the transfer/bill of sale section on the vehicle registration. Apply for registration transfer within 10 days by submitting the signed registration, proof of insurance, passing inspection certificate if needed, sales tax, fees and ID. You will get new registration in your name indicating transfer is complete.

Yes, you need to obtain a valid safety standards certificate when registering most used vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador, especially for models older than 5 years. Some exceptions include ATVs, motorcycles, trailers under a certain weight, and brand new vehicles. Inspections need to be done at approved authorized inspection centres within 30 days before registration.

Reliable used cars can be found in NL from reputable dealerships that certify their pre-owned inventory, at manufacturer dealers for CPO models, and through private sales with maintenance records. Resources like Carproof and Carfax vehicle history reports provide insight. Test drive extensively, get a third-party inspection, and check systems thoroughly before purchase.

 

Some of the best used car brands and models for Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate are Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Ford trucks, Jeeps, and other crossovers and SUVs with all-wheel drive. These reliable vehicles can handle cold weather, snow, rugged terrain, and coastal climates. Research options like the Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, Ford F-150, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Atlantic Buyers Program through Uni Select offers consumers significant savings off the sticker price on new and used cars across dealerships in Atlantic Canada so it can be worth exploring for used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador. You need to pay a $39 annual fee to access the discounted pricing with average savings of $2,000 or more possible.

When buying used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador from auctions, classifieds or online listings, be extra diligent as these vehicles are generally sold as-is. Carefully assess condition, mileage, history reports, necessary repairs, and pricing compared to similar vehicles. Ask extensive questions and have a trusted mechanic do an inspection before finalizing a purchase.

The best places to search used listings in NL are AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji Autos, Facebook Marketplace, dealership websites, CarGurus.ca, recar.ca, and UsedNL.com which focuses solely on local listings. Local classifieds, forums, community boards and auction sites may also have vehicles. Cast a wide net across multiple platforms when searching.

Used car financing options available in Newfoundland and Labrador include bank loans, manufacturer financing through dealerships, credit union loans, private lending companies, leasing, lines of credit, and in-house dealer financing. Compare rates and terms across multiple lenders. Consider length of loan term and down payment amount as that impacts monthly costs.

Yes, having a CAA membership can provide valuable coverage and perks when buying and owning a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador. Benefits include 24/7 emergency roadside assistance across the province, free battery service, exclusive discounts on parts, repairs and fuel, auto trip planning, and access to CAA auto buying tools and resources.

Purchasing an extended warranty from the dealer or third-party provider for additional coverage beyond the original factory warranty can give valuable peace of mind with used car ownership in Newfoundland and Labrador. Especially consider it for luxury vehicles, models with complex systems, any remaining manufacturer warranty under 5 years, and to avoid expensive repair bills.

Yes, rust is a common used vehicle purchase concern in NL as road salt and ocean air during winter months accelerates corrosion, especially on older models. Carefully inspect undercarriage, wheel wells, frames, and lower body panels for any visible rust or bubbling paint indicating rust underneath. Have a mechanic assess any questionable areas before finalizing your purchase.

If importing a used car into Newfoundland and Labrador from another province, ask the seller detailed questions on accident history, major repairs, existing damage, original purchase province, whether it was ever registered in NL before, outstanding loans, taxes and fees paid, and eligibility for passing safety inspection. Also clarify required import/ownership transfer process and costs.

Strategies for finding reliable, affordable used cars in NL include shopping older Toyota/Honda models, checking listings frequently, having flexibility on color/features, traveling to view vehicles in other regions, considering higher mileage vehicles that pass inspections, evaluating any repairs needed into offer prices, and getting pre-approved financing to improve negotiating power.

 

Pros and Cons of Buying Used

Buying a used car instead of a new one comes with advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the key pros and cons to weigh when deciding between new and used:

 

Pros

  • Save money upfront – Buying used costs thousands less than new.
  • Still get a reliable car – Modern used cars are built to last over 100k miles.
  • Certified pre-owned options – Late model used cars can be “certified” by dealers to verify condition.
  • Less depreciation – The biggest drop in value happens in the first 1-2 years.

 

Cons

  • No warranty – Factory coverage has likely expired on a used vehicle.
  • Unknown history – You don’t know how previous owners maintained the car.
  • Surprise repairs – Out-of-warranty repairs come out of your pocket.

 

Overall, buying used offers big savings, but also some risks. Doing your diligence on the vehicle’s history and condition can help minimize the downsides.

 

Where to Shop for Used Cars in NL

There are a few different places you can shop for used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador:

 

Dealerships

Buying from a licensed dealership is one of the more common ways to purchase a used vehicle in NL. Reputable dealerships thoroughly inspect their used inventory and often provide some kind of warranty. You’ll have more consumer protections buying from a dealer vs. a private seller. Some of the major used car dealers in the province include Hickman Motors, Steele Honda, Crosbie Motors, and Sheppard Cars.

 

Private Sellers

Many used car sales take place between private individuals. Popular places to find private seller listings include Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and local classifieds. The advantage of buying privately is you can sometimes score a good deal. However, there is more risk involved too. Make sure you get a safety inspection if going the private sale route.

 

Auctions

Auto auctions like Copart allow you to bid on used vehicles, sometimes for very low prices. Keep in mind you usually can’t test-drive auction vehicles. Some may have significant mechanical issues. Auto auctions are best suited for auto dealers or mechanics, not the average used car buyer.

 

Online Listings

Beyond dealership websites, there are many online classifieds and auto listing sites where NL used cars can be found. Some popular options include AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji, Autotrader.ca, CarGurus, and Cars.com. The benefit of searching online is you can potentially find the exact make/model you’re after and arrange delivery from anywhere in the province.

 

Research Extensively Before Buying

One of the most important steps when buying a used car is doing your research. This involves digging into the vehicle’s history, condition, and ownership records. Taking the time to research thoroughly can help you avoid buying a lemon.

Run a vehicle history report using the VIN number. This will show any title issues, accident reports, number of previous owners, service records, and more. CARFAX and AutoCheck are two common vehicle history report services.

Have a mechanic you trust do a pre-purchase inspection. They will check under the hood for leaks, engine issues, inspect the transmission, tires, brakes and more. This is the best way to get an impartial assessment of the car’s mechanical condition.

Take an extensive test drive of at least 15-20 minutes. Test the car at highway speeds, on hills, braking, and over bumpy roads. See how it handles and listen for any abnormal noises.

Ask to see maintenance records and service invoices. This can give you insight into how well the previous owner cared for the vehicle. Evidence of regular oil changes, tune ups, and repairs is a good sign.

Researching thoroughly takes time but can save you from expensive surprises down the road. The more informed you are before purchasing, the better decision you can make.

 

Financing Options

When purchasing a used vehicle in Newfoundland and Labrador, you have a few options for financing:

 

Loans

One of the most common ways to finance a used car purchase is through an auto loan from your bank or credit union. Auto loans typically have lower interest rates than other financing options. You’ll need a good credit score to qualify for the best rates. Make sure to shop around at different financial institutions to compare rates and terms.

 

Cash

Paying cash upfront is another option. This allows you to avoid loan interest and pays off the car immediately. However, not everyone has enough cash savings to pay for a vehicle outright. Determine if you can comfortably afford the upfront cost before choosing this option.

 

Dealer Financing

Many dealerships offer in-house financing for used cars. This allows you to finance the car directly through the dealership. However, dealer financing often comes with higher interest rates. Be sure to negotiate the lowest rate possible. Dealer financing can be a good option if you’re unable to qualify for an auto loan with better terms from a bank or credit union.

 

Registering and Insuring Your Used Car in NL

Once you’ve purchased a used vehicle in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are a few important steps to take to legally register and insure it. This includes transferring the title, registration, and obtaining insurance.

 

Transferring Title

In NL, the title (also called the vehicle registration) stays with the car when it’s sold. The seller must complete a Transfer of Ownership Document and provide it to the buyer. This form releases the seller from legal ownership. The buyer will need to bring this form along with the used vehicle’s existing registration to their local Motor Registration Division office within 10 days to officially transfer ownership into their name.

 

Registration

You cannot drive a vehicle in NL until it is registered in your name. Used vehicles must be registered every year on or before the owner’s birthday. The fees to register a used vehicle vary based on the vehicle’s age and weight class. You will need to provide proof of insurance when registering.

 

Insurance Requirements

Newfoundland and Labrador requires all motor vehicles to be insured with at least basic liability coverage. When insuring a used vehicle, be sure to notify your insurance company of the make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and usage of the car. Rates are based on these factors. You’ll need to provide your insurer’s details when registering the used car in your name.

Following these crucial steps for transferring ownership, registration, and insurance ensures your used vehicle is properly registered in NL.

 

Important Paperwork

When buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are some key documents you’ll need for a smooth ownership transfer. The most important is the bill of sale. This records the details of the transaction such as the purchase price, vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year, mileage, and condition. Both the buyer and seller should sign the bill of sale as proof of the transaction.

You’ll also need the vehicle registration from the current owner. This proves they are the legal owner of the car. Make sure the name on the registration matches the name of the person selling the vehicle. Registration documents must be transferred to the new owner.

The vehicle title is also required to show legal ownership. Some provinces issue separate vehicle titles while in others the registration form serves as the title. Check with your provincial registry on requirements. The title will need to be transferred to the buyer after sale.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, license plates stay with the vehicle when it changes ownership. The buyer will need to transfer the registration but can continue using the existing plates. This differs from some other provinces where plates are returned when a vehicle is sold.

It’s recommended to also exchange insurance information. As the new owner, you’ll need proof of valid insurance before driving the used car off the lot. Ask the seller for their policy details so you can set up your own insurance right away.

Following all documentation requirements for transferring ownership will ensure the used car sale is legal and avoid problems down the road. Keep copies of all paperwork for your records too.

 

Buying from a Dealer

Purchasing a used vehicle from an established dealership has several benefits compared to buying privately. Dealerships have licensed salespeople to assist you through the buying process. They usually offer a selection of different makes and models to choose from. Dealers will also typically provide a vehicle history report and may offer a warranty or extended service plan.

When buying from a dealer, take time to research their reputation, checking reviews and complaints. Only work with reputable dealerships that are transparent about a vehicle’s history and condition. Ask to see maintenance records and inspection reports. Test drive the vehicle thoroughly before making any commitments.

Negotiating can help get you the best price when buying from a dealer. Know the market value of the used car you want based on year, make, model and mileage. Consider getting pre-approved financing from your bank or credit union so you have bargaining power. Be ready to walk away if you can’t get close to your target price. Dealers may be more flexible on pricing older model year vehicles. Have confidence when negotiating to get the fairest deal.

 

Buying Privately

Purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller can save money compared to buying from a dealer. However, there are some precautions to take when buying privately. Here are some tips:

 

Benefits of Private Purchase

Buying privately often results in significant savings, since there is no dealership markup. You can sometimes find well-maintained, low mileage used vehicles from private owners. It provides an opportunity to connect directly with the previous owner and get vehicle history and maintenance details. Private sellers are often more flexible on price and extras compared to dealers.

 

Meeting the Seller

Schedule a meeting in a public place when possible. Ask to see the vehicle registration to verify ownership before inspecting the vehicle. Take the vehicle for a test drive, with the seller along. Examine the engine, tires, body, interior, electronic components. Check for leaks, damage, malfunctions. Ask for maintenance records and ownership history.

 

Professional Inspection

Even if the vehicle looks good, have it inspected by a certified mechanic. They can check for issues you may have missed and provide an objective assessment. Be ready to walk away if problems are found. Only proceed if you’re comfortable with the results of the inspection.

 

Bill of Sale

Complete a bill of sale, signed by both parties, including details like VIN, model, mileage, sale price and date. This documents transfer of ownership. Include a clause confirming the vehicle is sold “as is” and have the seller warrant they are the legal owner. Register the transfer with the NL Provincial Motor Registration Division.

 

Certified Pre-Owned

A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a used car that has been inspected, repaired and certified by the manufacturer or dealer to meet strict criteria. Buying a CPO vehicle can give you peace of mind knowing the car has been thoroughly checked over. Here are some key things to know about CPO cars:

Definition: To qualify as a CPO vehicle, the car must be 5 years old or newer with less than 80,000 miles. It undergoes a rigorous inspection covering the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, interior and exterior. Any issues found must be repaired before it can be certified.

Benefits: A CPO car comes with extended warranty coverage, ranging from 1 year/12,000 miles up to 6 years/100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer. This protects you from expensive repair bills. CPO vehicles also come with roadside assistance, loaner cars, trip interruption coverage and more perks.

What to Look For: Only buy CPO from authorized dealers and look for the original certification paperwork. Review the extended warranty details closely to understand what is and isn’t covered. Test drive the CPO vehicle thoroughly and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

 

Used Car Pricing

When buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, negotiating price is an important part of the process. There are several factors that can impact how a used car is priced:

 

  • Age of the vehicle – Older cars tend to be priced lower than newer models
  • Mileage – The more miles on a used car, the less it will typically cost
  • Condition – A car in excellent condition with service records will have a higher price
  • Features and packages – Additional options like leather seats or navigation can increase the price
  • Demand – Popular models in short supply may be priced higher
  • Location – Prices can vary in different areas of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

When negotiating on a used car price, be sure to take all of these factors into account. Do your research to determine the fair market value and don’t be afraid to make a lower counteroffer. Dealers will often inflate the asking price knowing that the buyer will want to negotiate down.

Watch out for any hidden fees that dealers may try to tack on to the purchase price. This includes documentation fees, administrative fees, prep fees and more. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all charges so there are no surprises later.

Buying privately can help you avoid hidden fees, but you may be able to negotiate more aggressively at a dealership. Consider all options and negotiate the best deal possible when buying your next used car in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Avoiding Scams

When shopping for a used car, it’s important to be on the lookout for potential scams. An unscrupulous seller may try to pass off a lemon by covering up major mechanical issues or odometer fraud. Protect yourself with these tips for spotting potential scams:

 

  • Check vehicle history reports for accidents, title issues, or mileage inconsistencies. Services like Carfax provide detailed reports that can reveal a shady past.
  • Beware of sellers asking for wired funds or cash payments. Legit sellers will accept certified bank checks.
  • Ask to see maintenance records, ownership history, and the title. Missing paperwork can signal something amiss.
  • Inspect the car thoroughly yourself and/or have a trusted mechanic check it over before buying.
  • Research similar models to be aware of average mileage and pricing – an abnormally low odometer reading or price can be red flags.
  • Meet sellers in a public place and bring someone with you. Don’t be rushed into a decision.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Taking precautions helps avoid becoming the victim of a scam. Do your due diligence before handing over any money.

 

Test Driving

Test-driving a used car before buying is extremely important. You’ll want to test the car under different driving conditions to get a feel for how it handles and performs. Here’s what to look out for during a test drive:

 

What to Look For

Pay attention to the car’s acceleration and power as you drive up hills and merge onto highways. See how the engine and transmission respond and whether there are any hesitations or strange noises. Make some sharp turns and listen for any unusual clunks from the suspension.

Test the brakes by making hard stops at different speeds. The brakes should stop the car straight without any pulling, noises or vibration in the pedal. This tests the condition of the brake pads, rotors, calipers and brake lines.

Drive on as many different road surfaces as possible. Listen for new rattling or squeaking sounds that may come from a worn out suspension or loose interior trim pieces. Additionally, see how the car handles bumps – does it feel soft and controlled or harsh and bouncy?

 

Testing Different Conditions

Don’t just test drive on a quick trip around the block on a sunny, 70 degree day. Make sure to test in various conditions that simulate your real driving needs:

 

  • Highway driving – accelerating to highway speeds, cruising, passing other cars
  • City driving – stop-and-go traffic, tight turns, parking
  • Inclement weather – rain, snow, cold temps
  • Night driving – low light conditions to test headlights, high beams, interior lighting
  • Hot weather – test A/C performance on a 90+ degree day
  • Passengers and cargo – drive with a full cabin to test suspension
  • Long drive – 30 mins+ to simulate commute and check for problems

 

Test driving thoroughly allows you to experience how the used car performs in the conditions you’ll actually be driving it in. Take your time to fully evaluate the vehicle before making any buying decision.

 

Buying Online

Purchasing a used vehicle online can provide access to more options and potentially better pricing, but it requires extra caution. When buying online:

 

  • Thoroughly research sellers by checking reviews, complaints, and their reputation. Avoid sellers with no online presence.
  • Ask for a vehicle history report and as much documentation as possible, including maintenance records and accident history.
  • Hire an independent mechanic to thoroughly inspect the vehicle prior to purchase. Plan to pay for the inspection yourself.
  • Meet in person and test drive the vehicle if possible. If not, hire a third party inspection service.
  • Use secure encrypted payment services, and avoid wiring cash. Pay only after inspecting the vehicle.
  • Complete all documentation properly to transfer ownership into your name.

 

Purchasing online expands your options but requires more vigilance. Take steps to verify vehicle condition and seller reputation before transacting remotely.

 

Conclusion

Buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador can be a complex process, but taking the time to research and prepare will help ensure it’s a smooth experience. When shopping for used vehicles in NL, it’s important to know where to look, how to inspect a potential purchase thoroughly, negotiate fairly, and avoid common scams.

To recap, key steps for buying a used car in NL include:

 

  • Research vehicles and pricing online before heading to dealerships
  • Get a vehicle history report and know its service records
  • Thoroughly inspect any vehicle yourself or with a trustworthy mechanic
  • Test drive the vehicle under different conditions
  • Ask about any existing warranty or the possibility to purchase an extended warranty
  • Make sure all proper paperwork for ownership transfer is completed
  • Verify insurance coverage before driving the new vehicle off the lot

 

Taking the time upfront means you can feel confident you’re making a well-informed purchase. With research and patience, buying a used vehicle in NL can be smooth sailing.

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Common Questions About Buying a Used Car in Newfoundland and Labrador

Yes, you can buy a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador even if you are not a resident. However, there are some additional steps and costs to consider as a non-resident. You may need to pay duties and taxes when importing the vehicle. You will also need to register and insure the vehicle in NL to drive it legally. Consider working with a broker who can guide you through the process.

When buying a used car privately in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need a bill of sale, vehicle registration, valid safety certificate if applicable, lien search from the Registry of Deeds to confirm no liens on the vehicle, and identification from the seller proving ownership. You’ll also need to transfer registration which requires proof of insurance.

Buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador can be cheaper than other provinces due to lower prices and taxes. However, selection is more limited compared to larger provinces. Do your research as prices can vary greatly across regions. Consider import costs if buying out-of-province. Evaluate options in nearby provinces as well.

When registering a used car in NL, you’ll need to pay a vehicle registration fee, driver’s licence fee, inspection fee if required, and applicable taxes. Fees are calculated based on the vehicle’s age and weight. There is also a rebate program for vehicles 5 years or newer meeting fuel efficiency standards. Verify exact fees for your specific vehicle.

To check for liens or loans on a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need to get a lien search from the Registry of Deeds. This search will indicate if there are any outstanding loans or liens attached to the vehicle you are looking to buy. The fee is minimal and it protects you from unknowingly purchasing a vehicle still tied to financing.

When test driving a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, ask to see the ownership, service records, accident history, and remaining warranty coverage if applicable. Also ask questions like why are you selling, how long have you had it, has it been in any accidents, any major repairs, and are there any mechanical issues you’re aware of? Take it for an extensive test drive and have it inspected by an independent mechanic.

Yes, used car prices in Newfoundland and Labrador are negotiable in most cases, especially when buying privately. Research the make, model, year and average resale value ahead of time so you know a reasonable price range to begin negotiating in. Consider mileage, overall condition and reconditioning costs needed when making an offer as well. Ultimately offer a price you are comfortable with.

To transfer ownership when buying a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador, have the current owner sign the transfer/bill of sale section on the vehicle registration. Apply for registration transfer within 10 days by submitting the signed registration, proof of insurance, passing inspection certificate if needed, sales tax, fees and ID. You will get new registration in your name indicating transfer is complete.

Yes, you need to obtain a valid safety standards certificate when registering most used vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador, especially for models older than 5 years. Some exceptions include ATVs, motorcycles, trailers under a certain weight, and brand new vehicles. Inspections need to be done at approved authorized inspection centres within 30 days before registration.

Reliable used cars can be found in NL from reputable dealerships that certify their pre-owned inventory, at manufacturer dealers for CPO models, and through private sales with maintenance records. Resources like Carproof and Carfax vehicle history reports provide insight. Test drive extensively, get a third-party inspection, and check systems thoroughly before purchase.

 

Some of the best used car brands and models for Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate are Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Ford trucks, Jeeps, and other crossovers and SUVs with all-wheel drive. These reliable vehicles can handle cold weather, snow, rugged terrain, and coastal climates. Research options like the Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, Ford F-150, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Atlantic Buyers Program through Uni Select offers consumers significant savings off the sticker price on new and used cars across dealerships in Atlantic Canada so it can be worth exploring for used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador. You need to pay a $39 annual fee to access the discounted pricing with average savings of $2,000 or more possible.

When buying used cars in Newfoundland and Labrador from auctions, classifieds or online listings, be extra diligent as these vehicles are generally sold as-is. Carefully assess condition, mileage, history reports, necessary repairs, and pricing compared to similar vehicles. Ask extensive questions and have a trusted mechanic do an inspection before finalizing a purchase.

The best places to search used listings in NL are AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji Autos, Facebook Marketplace, dealership websites, CarGurus.ca, recar.ca, and UsedNL.com which focuses solely on local listings. Local classifieds, forums, community boards and auction sites may also have vehicles. Cast a wide net across multiple platforms when searching.

Used car financing options available in Newfoundland and Labrador include bank loans, manufacturer financing through dealerships, credit union loans, private lending companies, leasing, lines of credit, and in-house dealer financing. Compare rates and terms across multiple lenders. Consider length of loan term and down payment amount as that impacts monthly costs.

Yes, having a CAA membership can provide valuable coverage and perks when buying and owning a used car in Newfoundland and Labrador. Benefits include 24/7 emergency roadside assistance across the province, free battery service, exclusive discounts on parts, repairs and fuel, auto trip planning, and access to CAA auto buying tools and resources.

Purchasing an extended warranty from the dealer or third-party provider for additional coverage beyond the original factory warranty can give valuable peace of mind with used car ownership in Newfoundland and Labrador. Especially consider it for luxury vehicles, models with complex systems, any remaining manufacturer warranty under 5 years, and to avoid expensive repair bills.

Yes, rust is a common used vehicle purchase concern in NL as road salt and ocean air during winter months accelerates corrosion, especially on older models. Carefully inspect undercarriage, wheel wells, frames, and lower body panels for any visible rust or bubbling paint indicating rust underneath. Have a mechanic assess any questionable areas before finalizing your purchase.

If importing a used car into Newfoundland and Labrador from another province, ask the seller detailed questions on accident history, major repairs, existing damage, original purchase province, whether it was ever registered in NL before, outstanding loans, taxes and fees paid, and eligibility for passing safety inspection. Also clarify required import/ownership transfer process and costs.

Strategies for finding reliable, affordable used cars in NL include shopping older Toyota/Honda models, checking listings frequently, having flexibility on color/features, traveling to view vehicles in other regions, considering higher mileage vehicles that pass inspections, evaluating any repairs needed into offer prices, and getting pre-approved financing to improve negotiating power.

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