Car Deal Canada

Car Deal Canada

Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton

Photo of a Used Car Dealership

The used car market in Edmonton, Alberta is active, with over 17,000 new and used vehicles sold each month across the province according to the Alberta Economic Dashboard. With rising interest rates impacting the affordability of new vehicles, more buyers in the Edmonton area are turning to used cars and trucks. Used vehicle sales at dealerships offer several advantages compared to purchasing from a private seller:

 

  • Larger selection and inventory to choose from
  • Certified pre-owned vehicles that have been inspected and reconditioned
  • Warranties, extended coverage and financing options
  • Recourse if issues arise down the road

 

When searching for the right used car dealership in Edmonton, it’s important to look for a reputable business with a good selection of inventory. This guide covers what to look for in a top dealership, recommendations for dealers in the Edmonton area, the types of used vehicles available, and tips for getting the best possible deal.

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Deciding on Dealership vs Private Seller

When shopping for a used vehicle, you have two main options. buying from a dealership or buying privately from the current owner. There are several key advantages to purchasing your used car from a dealership:

More options and selection at dealerships – Dealerships have extensive used car inventories with a wide variety of makes, models, years, colors, trims, prices and more to choose from. You can find exactly what you want more easily.

Certified pre-owned vehicles offered – Many dealers exclusively sell certified pre-owned (CPO) used cars that undergo rigorous inspections and reconditioning. CPO cars come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind. CPO vehicles are likely to be more reliable.

Warranties and service plans – Reputable dealers often include warranties with their used cars or offer optional extended warranty plans to cover repairs. This protects you from expensive surprises down the road.

Financing assistance – Dealerships have financing specialists to help you get approved for a car loan in Edmonton. They offer a streamlined process with competitive rates. Private sellers typically only accept cash or bank financing.

Test drives and inspections – Dealers allow test drives and have their used cars inspected by technicians. With a private sale, it may be difficult to test drive and you must get any inspections done yourself.

Less risk than private sales – There is more legal protection when buying from a licensed dealership. With a private sale, there is a greater risk of buying a lemon with no recourse.

 

What to Look for in a Good Used Car Dealership

With so many used car dealerships to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for to find a reputable and high-quality dealership. According to Characteristics of a Reputable Used Car Dealer, some key things to consider include:

Large selection and inventory – A good used car dealership will have a wide variety of makes, models, years, prices, and vehicle types to choose from. This gives you more options to find the right car for your needs and budget.

Certified pre-owned vehicles – Many dealerships offer certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles that have undergone thorough inspections and reconditioning. CPO cars come with extended warranties for added peace of mind.

Vehicle inspections and reconditioning – The dealer should put every used car through a comprehensive inspection and reconditioning process before selling it. This helps ensure the vehicles are safe and reliable.

Warranties and extended coverage – Reputable dealers will provide warranties to cover major systems beyond the initial purchase. Extended warranties give you protection in case issues arise down the road.

Financing options – A good dealership will offer flexible financing options to make purchasing more affordable, including special financing rates and terms.

Good online reviews – Check third-party sites like Google and Yelp to see what past customers have said. Positive reviews indicate honest business practices and satisfied customers.

 

The Best Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton

Edmonton has many excellent used car dealerships to choose from. Based on reputation, selection, and service, here are some of the top options in the city.

 

780 Cars

Address: 20804 Stony Plain Rd Unit #2, Edmonton, AB T5S 2C3

Phone Number: 1-780-426-2222

About: 780 Cars has a great selection of used vehicles across all makes and models. They have over 200 vehicles in stock at their Northside dealership. 780 Cars specializes in vehicles priced under $15,000 and offers a wide variety of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. They stand out for their vast selection, reasonable prices, and financing options.

 

 

House of Cars

Address: 6103 91 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 6V6

Phone Number: 1-780-328-4704

About: House of Cars is a family-owned and operated used car dealer in West Edmonton. They have been in business for over 20 years and have built a reputation for quality pre-owned vehicles and excellent customer service. House of Cars has a service center on-site to inspect and recondition all vehicles before sale.

 

Redline Motors

Address: 14421 Mark Messier Trail, Edmonton, AB T6V 1H4

Phone Number: 1-780-455-5919

About: Redline Motors has a wide selection of trucks, sports cars, SUVs and luxury vehicles. They specialize in performance and modified vehicles. Redline is known for their sports cars and luxury brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. All their vehicles come with a comprehensive vehicle inspection report.

 

Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC

Address: 10727 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2B1

Phone Number: 1-780-439-0071

About: Don Wheaton is one of the largest Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealers in Alberta. Their Chevrolet used car center has a great selection of certified pre-owned Chevy vehicles. They also have a good inventory of used trucks, SUVs, vans and crossovers from brands like GMC, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge and Ford.

 

Northside Mitsubishi

Address: 9670 125a Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5G 3E5

Phone Number: 1-780-479-5700

About: Northside Mitsubishi is known for its selection of used Mitsubishi cars and SUVs. They thoroughly inspect and recondition all their pre-owned vehicles. Northside Mitsubishi has competitive prices and also offers vehicle financing options.

 

Alberta Truck & Auto

Address: 14211 Mark Messier Trail, Edmonton, AB T6V 1H4

Phone Number: 1-780-453-3325

About: Alberta Truck & Auto Liquidators has one of the largest inventories of light-duty trucks in Western Canada. They have a huge selection of trucks, cargo vans, SUVs and AWD vehicles. Many of their trucks are ex-government fleet vehicles. They offer very competitive pricing.

 

Types of Vehicles Offered

Edmonton used car dealerships offer a wide variety of vehicle types and models to suit different budgets and needs. When it comes to cars, you’ll find everything from affordable compact cars to luxury sedans and sports cars. Many dealers also offer hybrid and electric vehicles as more environmentally friendly options.

 

Some popular used car models available include:
– Economy cars like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra
– Midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima
– Luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi, and Cadillac models
– Electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S
– Hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq

 

For buyers looking for trucks, SUVs, and vans, dealerships offer both domestic and imported models such as:

Pickup trucks from Ford, RAM, GMC, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, etc.
– SUVs from brands like Ford, Jeep, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc.
– Passenger vans including Dodge Caravans, Chrysler Pacificas, and more
– Cargo vans and work vans for commercial use

 

With Edmonton’s cold winters, trucks, SUVs and AWD vehicles tend to be popular options. Overall, shoppers can find a diverse selection of vehicle types and models to choose from at local used dealerships.

 

Getting the Best Deal

Getting a great deal on a used car in Edmonton takes some preparation and research. Here are some tips to negotiate the best price:

Start by checking prices online on sites like AutoTrader and Kijiji to gauge the market value for the make, model, year, mileage and condition you’re looking for. This gives you a good baseline for negotiations.

Consider pursuing certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These come with extended warranties, rigorous inspections and reconditioning. While CPO vehicles cost a bit more, they provide peace of mind. See this guide on CPO benefits.

Don’t be afraid to ask about special offers, rebates or incentives that may be available. Dealerships often run promotions, so inquire about any savings you may qualify for.

When negotiating, stay respectful and avoid confrontation. Come armed with competitive pricing information, be willing to walk away if needed, and remain patient.

If you need financing, consider securing pre-approval from your bank or credit union first. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position if the dealership tries to steer you toward their financing options.

Consider the value you could get by trading in your old vehicle. But research trade-in values first online through Black Book Canada or Canadian Black Book to ensure you get a fair offer.

Finally, weigh the long-term costs of maintenance and repairs. Consider certified pre-owned or vehicles still under factory warranty to minimize surprises down the road.

 

Test Driving and Inspecting Vehicles

Test driving is one of the most important parts of shopping for a used vehicle. You’ll want to take an extended test drive of at least 15-20 minutes to assess how the vehicle performs at different speeds, on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic. Take the car on routes that mimic your regular driving.

According to experts at U.S. News & World Report, you should also take the used car to an independent mechanic you trust to have it inspected before purchase. They will check for issues that might not be obvious on a test drive, such as transmission problems, worn brakes, leaks, and damage from accidents or floods.

When test driving, make sure to assess the vehicle inside and out. Check for accident damage like misaligned panels or doors, scratches, overspray, and aftermarket parts. Look for wear and tear on the tires, interior, controls, and fluid levels. Kelley Blue Book recommends having a used car checklist to methodically inspect everything.

Review the vehicle’s maintenance records if possible. Well-maintained cars will have regular oil changes, inspections, and other preventative maintenance documented. This can give you peace of mind about the vehicle’s history.

 

Checking Prices and Value

When buying a used car, it’s important to research the market value and check prices from multiple sources to negotiate a fair deal. Here are some tips for evaluating used car prices in Edmonton:

Compare listings online – Search classifieds sites like Autotrader, Kijiji and Craigslist to compare similar vehicles by make, model, year and mileage. This gives you an idea of the going market rate.

Use pricing guides like Black Book – Resources like the Kelley Blue Book and Black Book can estimate used car values based on mileage and options. This helps narrow your target price range.

Factor in features and mileage – Prices vary based on extra features like leather seats, sunroof or upgraded stereo. Higher mileage usually means lower prices. Take these details into account when comparing.

Negotiate a fair price – Research gives you more leverage to negotiate with the dealer. Make sure to leave room to bargain on the list price.

Avoid overpaying – Have a maximum budget and be prepared to walk away if prices exceed your range. Patience often pays off with a better deal.

 

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicles

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are late-model used cars that have been inspected, reconditioned and come with an extended warranty beyond the original new car warranty. CPO cars tend to be less than 5 years old with relatively low mileage. They undergo rigorous inspections by the dealership or manufacturer and only vehicles meeting certain criteria can be certified.

Some things checked include:

  • Vehicle History
  • Mechanical components
  • Interior and exterior condition
  • Road testing

 

Once certified, the cars come with extended warranties, typically 1 year/20,000 km or more, as well as roadside assistance and other benefits. Certified used cars tend to cost a bit more than non-certified vehicles but provide more peace of mind. The certification process gives buyers more confidence in the vehicle’s quality and condition. Considering a CPO used car in Edmonton is a good option for buyers who want lower risk and don’t mind paying a premium for the warranty and dealer assurances.

 

Financing Tips

Getting approved for auto financing and finding the best loan terms requires some preparation and research. Here are some tips for securing the best financing on your used vehicle purchase:

Check your credit score – Your credit score will impact the loan terms and interest rate you qualify for. Get a copy of your credit report and check for any errors. A score above 700 will get you the best rates.

Get pre-approved financing – Many dealerships work with lenders to offer on-site financing. But you’ll likely get better terms if you secure pre-approved financing from your bank, credit union or other lender before you start shopping.

Compare loan terms and interest rates – Compare the financing terms different lenders can offer and pay attention to key factors like the interest rate, down payment required, and length of the loan term.

Calculate monthly payments – Make sure the monthly payment aligns with your budget. Use an auto loan calculator to estimate payments based on the vehicle price, down payment, interest rate and loan term.

Understand fees – Ask about any fees like processing fees or prepayment penalties. Limiting fees can reduce the overall cost of your loan.

Securing competitive financing before you start negotiating on a vehicle can give you leverage and put you in a better position to get the best overall deal. Having financing already lined up shows the dealer you are a serious buyer.

 

Trading In Your Current Vehicle

If you currently own a vehicle, trading it in can be a convenient way to lower the cost of your used car purchase. There are a few things to keep in mind when trading in:

First, research the trade-in value of your current vehicle. Look up its make, model, year, mileage, and condition on sites like Canadian Black Book to get an estimate of what it’s worth. You can also get quotes from multiple dealers, like Toyota Northwest Edmonton and Mercedes-Benz Edmonton West, to compare offers.

Consider whether selling your vehicle privately may net you more money. Trading in at a dealership is more convenient, but private-party sales typically result in a higher sale price. Weigh the pros and cons of each option for your situation.

If trading in, have your vehicle detailed and all maintenance records available. This will help maximize your trade-in value. Be prepared to negotiate to get the best offer.

Factoring in the trade-in can help lower the out-of-pocket cost of your used car purchase. With some research and negotiation, trading in your current vehicle can be a smooth process.

 

Considering Long-Term Costs

When buying a used vehicle, it’s important to look beyond just the sale price and consider the long-term costs of owning the car. This includes factors like:

InsuranceCar insurance in Alberta costs will vary based on the driver, vehicle, and coverage limits, but expect to budget $100-300 per month for insurance on a used car. Opting for a used sedan versus a sports car can help keep insurance costs lower.

Gas – Fuel efficiency varies greatly between vehicles. Choosing a model known for good gas mileage can save hundreds per year in fuel costs. Review the fuel economy ratings to estimate annual gas costs. For example, a vehicle rated at 30 mpg will cost around $1,500 in gas per year, assuming 15,000 miles driven and $3.50/gallon.

Repairs – Repair costs become more common as a vehicle ages. Research typical repair costs and common issues for any used model you’re considering. Opting for a reliable brand known for fewer repairs can help minimize this expense. Setting aside $500-1000 per year provides a buffer for repair costs.

When evaluating options, consider total long-term costs, not just the upfront purchase price. Opting for a more reliable model with good gas mileage can minimize the costs of owning the vehicle for years to come. Also, choosing an affordable financing term reduces interest charges over the loan period. Review all these cost factors as you select a used vehicle to fit not just your budget today, but your budget for years of ownership.

 

Where to Start Your Search

When looking for a used car in Edmonton, most people begin their search online. Websites like Reddit, AutoTrader, and Kijiji offer listings of used vehicles for sale across the city. Browsing through these online classifieds allows you to get a sense of pricing, features, makes and models available. You can also look up the vehicle history and specifications.

Another good place to start your search is on dealership websites. Major used car dealers in Edmonton like House of Cars and 780 Cars have large online inventories you can browse through. Dealership sites allow you to see detailed information on each vehicle along with financing options. Many also offer virtual tours and custom searches to find exactly what you want.

Once you’ve narrowed down some options online, it’s important to schedule test drives. Test driving lets you get a real feel for the vehicle’s performance and condition. Assess noise, steering, acceleration and braking. Test drives also allow you to inspect the vehicle thoroughly and ask the seller questions in person. Take your time test driving from both dealerships and private sellers to make the best decision.

 

Closing Thoughts

In summary, choosing the right used car dealership in Edmonton can help you find a great used vehicle at a fair price. Taking the time to research dealerships, inspect vehicles thoroughly, negotiate prices, and secure financing can lead to real savings and satisfaction with one of your largest purchases. Based on factors like selection, pricing, reputation and service, some of the top used dealerships in Edmonton include 780 Cars, House of Cars, Redline Motors, Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC, Northside Mitsubishi, and Alberta Truck & Auto Liquidators.

To get started in your search, browse dealer websites to see current inventory and compare pricing. Stop into a few dealerships in person to get a feel for their customer service and professionalism. Take any potential vehicles for an extensive test drive and inspection. And don’t be afraid to negotiate respectfully to get the best possible deal. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can have confidence in finding a great used vehicle in Edmonton.

 

Next Steps

Once you’ve narrowed down the dealerships and vehicles you’re interested in, it’s time to take action and get ready to visit the lots. Here are some key next steps to take:

 

Make a List

Make a list of the specific makes, models, years, mileage, and price ranges you’re looking for. This will help guide your search and make the process more efficient when visiting dealerships.

 

Get Financing

Secure financing in advance through your bank, credit union, or lenders so you know what kind of rates and terms you qualify for. This gives you negotiating leverage when dealers offer financing.

 

Test Drive

Test drive your top choices thoroughly. Take them on the highway, over bumps, brake hard, and turn sharply to assess comfort, performance, noise, and handling. A test drive can make or break a vehicle purchase.

Questions About Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton?

Buying from a dealership offers several key advantages over a private seller:

Wider selection and inventory – Dealerships have extensive used car inventories with various makes, models, years, prices and options to choose from. This makes finding the ideal vehicle easier.

Certified pre-owned vehicles – Many dealers exclusively sell CPO used cars that undergo rigorous inspections and reconditioning. CPO vehicles come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

Warranties – Reputable dealers often include warranties with their used cars or offer optional extended warranty plans to cover repairs down the road. This protects you from expensive surprises.

Financing assistance – Dealerships have financing specialists to help you get approved for competitive interest rates on a car loan or lease. Private sellers typically only accept cash or bank financing.

Test drives – Dealers allow test drives and have their used cars inspected by technicians. With private sales, test drives may be difficult and you must arrange any inspections.

Legal protection – There is more recourse when buying from a licensed dealership versus a private seller. You have less risk of purchasing a lemon with no options.

When choosing a quality used car dealership in Edmonton, here are some key things to look for:

Large selection and inventory – A good dealer will have a wide variety of makes, models, years and prices to choose from. This provides more options to find the right vehicle.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles – Many dealers offer CPO cars that undergo thorough inspections and reconditioning. CPO vehicles have extended warranty coverage.

Vehicle inspections – The dealer should inspect and recondition every used car before sale. This helps ensure the vehicles are safe and reliable.

Warranties – Reputable dealers provide warranties to cover major systems beyond initial purchase. This gives you protection in case of breakdowns.

Financing options – A quality dealer will offer flexible financing rates and terms to make purchasing more affordable.

Positive online reviews – Check Google, Facebook, and elsewhere to see satisfied customer feedback. This indicates honest business practices.

Some of the top options in Edmonton based on reputation, selection, and service include:

780 Cars – Great selection of vehicles under $15,000. Vast inventory of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans.

House of Cars – Family-owned dealer with 20+ years experience. Offers quality pre-owned vehicles and great service.

Redline Motors – Specializes in performance and luxury vehicles like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Known for sports cars.

Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC – Large inventory of trucks, SUVs and certified pre-owned Chevrolets.

Northside Mitsubishi – Great selection of used Mitsubishi cars and SUVs. Competitive pricing.

Alberta Truck & Auto – Huge selection of light-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Many are ex-government fleet.

Edmonton dealerships offer a wide variety of used vehicle types and models including:

Sedans – Affordable compacts to luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.

Trucks – All major truck brands including Ford F-150, RAM 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, etc.

SUVs – Small, midsize and full-size SUVs from brands like Ford, Toyota, Honda, Jeep, etc.

Vans – Minivans like Dodge Caravan, full-size work vans, 15-passenger vans, and more.

Hybrids/EVs – Models like Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, etc.

Luxury vehicles – Range Rovers, Porsches, Audis, Cadillacs, etc.

Performance cars – Mustangs, Corvettes, BMW M models, etc.

With Edmonton’s climate, trucks, SUVs and AWD vehicles tend to be especially popular options.

Tips for negotiating the best used car price include:

  • Research prices online for the make, model, year and mileage you want. This provides a baseline for comparison.
  • Consider certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles which cost more but provide peace of mind.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about current promotions, rebates or incentives that may be available.
  • Remain respectful and be willing to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price. Avoid confrontation.
  • If financing, secure pre-approval from your bank or credit union first to gain leverage.
  • Research trade-in values if you have a current vehicle, using Black Book Canada or Canadian Black Book.
  • Weigh long-term costs like insurance, gas and repairs when evaluating options and pricing.

When test driving used cars in Edmonton:

  • Take an extended 15-20+ minute test drive including highways, hills and stop-and-go traffic.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic you trust to check for issues.
  • Assess noise, steering, acceleration, braking and handling. Listen for odd sounds.
  • Check for accident damage, paint flaws, uneven panel gaps, worn upholstery, etc.
  • Review maintenance records if possible to understand the vehicle history.
  • Make sure all features and controls function properly during the test drive.
  • Bring a checklist to methodically inspect everything including tires, fluids, lights, electronics, etc.
  • Drive similar routes to your regular driving to evaluate real world performance.

To evaluate used car prices:

  • Compare listings on Autotrader, Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for pricing.
  • Use tools like Kelley Blue Book and Black Book to estimate value based on mileage and options.
  • Factor in extra features like leather seats, navigation or moonroof that can increase value.
  • Higher mileage typically equates to a lower price.
  • Negotiate a fair price using competitive pricing research for leverage.
  • Avoid overpaying by sticking to a maximum budget and being willing to walk away if needed.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are:

  • Late-model used cars, generally less than 5 years old.
  • Inspected and reconditioned to meet manufacturer criteria.
  • Covered by extended warranty beyond the original new car warranty, typically 1+ year.
  • Offered for sale as “certified” by the dealer or manufacturer after passing inspection.
  • Tend to cost more than non-certified used vehicles.
  • Provide added peace of mind with the certification process and warranty coverage.

 

Considering a CPO used vehicle in Edmonton can reduce risk for buyers willing to pay a premium.

Used car financing tips:

  • Check your credit score, as higher scores get better interest rates.
  • Get pre-approved financing from your bank or credit union before shopping.
  • Compare loan terms and interest rates from competing lenders.
  • Calculate the monthly payment to ensure it fits your budget.
  • Understand all fees like processing charges that can increase costs.
  • Having financing already lined up shows dealers you’re serious and gives negotiating leverage.
  • Avoid extending loan terms excessively to lower payments, as this increases interest costs over time.

Considerations for trading in your current vehicle:

  • Research the trade-in value using Black Book Canada and get quotes from dealers.
  • Weigh whether selling privately may fetch a higher price than a dealer trade-in.
  • Have your vehicle detailed with maintenance records to maximize trade-in value.
  • Be prepared to negotiate the dealership’s initial offer on your trade-in.
  • Trading in can lower your out-of-pocket costs but may not get you top dollar.
  • Convenience of trading in versus higher price from a private party sale.

Along with the purchase price, consider ongoing costs like:

Insurance – Budget $100-300 per month for used car insurance. Rates vary by driver, vehicle, etc.

Gas – Compare fuel economy ratings. Good gas mileage saves hundreds yearly.

Repairs – Research typical repair costs and issues for any model you’re considering. Routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.

Registration renewal fees and taxes

Depreciation – All vehicles lose value over time.

Choose a model that retains value well. Review total cost of ownership over your planned ownership period, not just purchase price.

Good places to start include:

  • Online classifieds like AutoTrader, Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Browse prices, models, options, etc.
  • Dealership websites to view large certified pre-owned inventories, with detailed vehicle information.
  • Used car dealer websites like House of Cars, Redline Motors and 780 Cars to search inventory.
  • Once you narrow down choices, schedule test drives for any vehicles you’re interested in.
  • Test drive both from dealers and private sellers to get a feel for the vehicles.
  • Take a methodical approach to inspect each vehicle inside and out during test drives.

Next steps:

  1. Make a list of the specific makes, models, years, prices and mileage you’re looking for to guide your search.
  2. Get pre-approved financing so you know the rates and terms you qualify for.
  3. Take extended test drives of at least 15-20 minutes to thoroughly assess each vehicle.
  4. Have a trusted mechanic inspect any vehicles before purchase to identify issues.
  5. Ask sellers detailed questions about the vehicle history and condition during test drives.
  6. Compare multiple vehicles against your list to determine the best option.
  7. Negotiate pricing and financing terms to get the best possible deal.

Key questions to ask:

  • How long have you owned the vehicle? Are you the original owner?
  • What is the usage history? Was it a personal vehicle, fleet vehicle, rental car, etc?
  • Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
  • Why are you selling the vehicle?
  • What is the maintenance history? Are records available?
  • Have any major repairs or reconditioning been done?
  • Is there any existing damage or issues I should know about?
  • Are there any warranties or return policies?
  • Can I take the vehicle for an independent inspection?
  • Can you provide a vehicle history report?

On test drives, look for:

  • Smooth acceleration and braking without hesitation, noises, vibrations, etc.
  • Responsive, precise steering and handling around turns and bends.
  • Strong engine power without knocking sounds under acceleration.
  • Transmission shifting smoothly between gears.
  • Good visibility and blind spot coverage.
  • Functioning control buttons/knobs for lights, wipers, radio, seat adjustments, etc.
  • Air conditioning and heat functioning properly.
  • Comfortable seats and ride quality over bumps.
  • Minimal interior noise and rattles from the engine, suspension, etc.
  • Any warning lights illuminated on the dashboard.

Inspect for issues like:

  • Uneven tire tread wear which may indicate alignment or suspension problems.
  • Leaks under the car which could signify oil leaks, coolant leaks or transmission issues.
  • Rust, paint flaws, misaligned panels or doors that may hint at prior accident repairs.
  • Seat stains, carpet flaws and excessive wear which could mean high mileage or poor care.
  • Scored brake rotors and thin brake pads pointing to needed brake repairs.
  • Milky oil that could mean a blown head gasket or coolant mixing with oil.
  • Issues shifting or hesitation accelerating possibly stemming from transmission problems.
  • Fluid levels lower than recommended indicating potential leaks or lack of maintenance.

Important documents to obtain:

  • Vehicle history report (Carfax, CarProof, etc.) to check for accidents, liens, odometer rollbacks, etc.
  • Maintenance records detailing the service history.
  • Ownership documentation proving who the current legal owner is.
  • Warranty documentation on any existing factory or extended warranties.
  • Recent safety/emissions inspection certificate if required by your province.
  • Bill of sale itemizing the sale price, vehicle details, terms, seller information, etc.
  • Financing and loan documentation if purchasing through dealer financing.
  • Insurance documentation so you can transfer or obtain coverage.
  • Copy of the owner’s manual, spare keys, code for keyless entry etc.

CPO used car facts:

  • Late-model, generally under 5 years old. Lower mileage.
  • Must pass the automaker’s certification inspection covering all components.
  • Extended warranty included, averaging greater than 1 year/20,000 km for additional peace of mind.
  • Reconditioning and repairs done to meet standards before certification.
  • Vehicle history report required to check for accidents, frame damage, etc.
  • Special financing rates may be offered on CPO models.
  • CPO used cars tend to cost more than non-certified equivalents.
  • CPO adds more consumer protection, inspections, warranties, and assurances of quality.

Tips to maximize your trade-in value:

  • Have the vehicle detailed inside and out so it looks its best.
  • Complete any overdue maintenance like an oil change beforehand.
  • Gather all service records to demonstrate diligent maintenance.
  • Remove all personal items and restore it to stock condition removing any aftermarket modifications.
  • Research trade-in values on Black Book Canada and get quotes from multiple dealers.
  • Obtain a recent safety inspection certificate if required in your province.
  • Be upfront about any existing mechanical issues or damage. Hiding problems will be discovered at trade-in.
  • Negotiate! Don’t automatically accept the dealer’s initial offer.

Be aware of fees like:

  • Documentation or admin fees can range from $100-$800 and are essentially profit for the dealer. These can sometimes be negotiated down or removed.
  • Certification fees if you opt for a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. This covers the inspection and certification process costs.
  • Title and registration fees which can include transfer fees when the title is signed over to you.
  • Tax on the sale price, which varies by province. GST or HST are common.
  • Finance fees if using dealer financing. Ask for details on the rate and any points being charged.
  • Extended warranty fees if purchasing added coverage. Be sure to understand what’s included and the length/amount of coverage.
  • Avoid any undeserved junk or advertising fees they try to tack on. Get all fees in writing before signing.

Common used car warranties include:

Certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty – Typically extends at least 1 year/20,000 km beyond the factory warranty on late-model used vehicles.

Remaining factory warranty – Any existing time or mileage is transferred to the new owner. Covers the original powertrain warranty term.

Third-party extended warranty – Added coverage for 1-3 years purchased through the dealer or warranty company. Varies in length and scope.

Powertrain warranty – Some dealers offer short included warranties that only cover the engine, transmission, drivetrain, etc. Typically 30-90 days. – As-is

No warranty at all – Once sold, repairs are the new owner’s responsibility. More common on older, high mileage vehicles.

Lemon law protection – Provides recourse in some provinces if the vehicle fails inspection within a short window of purchase.

DIY inspect a used car:

  • Start with a walkaround checking for body damage, paint flaws, uneven gaps, mismatched panels and overspray that may indicate repairs.
  • Look under the car for leaks, rust and damage.
  • Inspect tires for adequate tread depth and evenly worn tread.
  • Check all lights, electronics and features inside and out. Test drive all functions.
  • Review the owner’s manual and confirm scheduled maintenance was completed on time.
  • Examine brake pads and rotors for excessive wear. Calipers and hoses should not leak.
  • Check all fluid levels including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid and power steering.
  • Assess the exhaust system and listen for any leaks or rattling that could mean issues. 

 

Deciding on Dealership vs Private Seller

When shopping for a used vehicle, you have two main options. buying from a dealership or buying privately from the current owner. There are several key advantages to purchasing your used car from a dealership:

More options and selection at dealerships – Dealerships have extensive used car inventories with a wide variety of makes, models, years, colors, trims, prices and more to choose from. You can find exactly what you want more easily.

Certified pre-owned vehicles offered – Many dealers exclusively sell certified pre-owned (CPO) used cars that undergo rigorous inspections and reconditioning. CPO cars come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind. CPO vehicles are likely to be more reliable.

Warranties and service plans – Reputable dealers often include warranties with their used cars or offer optional extended warranty plans to cover repairs. This protects you from expensive surprises down the road.

Financing assistance – Dealerships have financing specialists to help you get approved for a car loan in Edmonton. They offer a streamlined process with competitive rates. Private sellers typically only accept cash or bank financing.

Test drives and inspections – Dealers allow test drives and have their used cars inspected by technicians. With a private sale, it may be difficult to test drive and you must get any inspections done yourself.

Less risk than private sales – There is more legal protection when buying from a licensed dealership. With a private sale, there is a greater risk of buying a lemon with no recourse.

 

What to Look for in a Good Used Car Dealership

With so many used car dealerships to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for to find a reputable and high-quality dealership. According to Characteristics of a Reputable Used Car Dealer, some key things to consider include:

Large selection and inventory – A good used car dealership will have a wide variety of makes, models, years, prices, and vehicle types to choose from. This gives you more options to find the right car for your needs and budget.

Certified pre-owned vehicles – Many dealerships offer certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles that have undergone thorough inspections and reconditioning. CPO cars come with extended warranties for added peace of mind.

Vehicle inspections and reconditioning – The dealer should put every used car through a comprehensive inspection and reconditioning process before selling it. This helps ensure the vehicles are safe and reliable.

Warranties and extended coverage – Reputable dealers will provide warranties to cover major systems beyond the initial purchase. Extended warranties give you protection in case issues arise down the road.

Financing options – A good dealership will offer flexible financing options to make purchasing more affordable, including special financing rates and terms.

Good online reviews – Check third-party sites like Google and Yelp to see what past customers have said. Positive reviews indicate honest business practices and satisfied customers.

 

The Best Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton

Edmonton has many excellent used car dealerships to choose from. Based on reputation, selection, and service, here are some of the top options in the city.

 

780 Cars

Address: 20804 Stony Plain Rd Unit #2, Edmonton, AB T5S 2C3

Phone Number: 1-780-426-2222

About: 780 Cars has a great selection of used vehicles across all makes and models. They have over 200 vehicles in stock at their Northside dealership. 780 Cars specializes in vehicles priced under $15,000 and offers a wide variety of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. They stand out for their vast selection, reasonable prices, and financing options.

 

 

House of Cars

Address: 6103 91 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 6V6

Phone Number: 1-780-328-4704

About: House of Cars is a family-owned and operated used car dealer in West Edmonton. They have been in business for over 20 years and have built a reputation for quality pre-owned vehicles and excellent customer service. House of Cars has a service center on-site to inspect and recondition all vehicles before sale.

 

Redline Motors

Address: 14421 Mark Messier Trail, Edmonton, AB T6V 1H4

Phone Number: 1-780-455-5919

About: Redline Motors has a wide selection of trucks, sports cars, SUVs and luxury vehicles. They specialize in performance and modified vehicles. Redline is known for their sports cars and luxury brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. All their vehicles come with a comprehensive vehicle inspection report.

 

Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC

Address: 10727 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2B1

Phone Number: 1-780-439-0071

About: Don Wheaton is one of the largest Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealers in Alberta. Their Chevrolet used car center has a great selection of certified pre-owned Chevy vehicles. They also have a good inventory of used trucks, SUVs, vans and crossovers from brands like GMC, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge and Ford.

 

Northside Mitsubishi

Address: 9670 125a Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5G 3E5

Phone Number: 1-780-479-5700

About: Northside Mitsubishi is known for its selection of used Mitsubishi cars and SUVs. They thoroughly inspect and recondition all their pre-owned vehicles. Northside Mitsubishi has competitive prices and also offers vehicle financing options.

 

Alberta Truck & Auto

Address: 14211 Mark Messier Trail, Edmonton, AB T6V 1H4

Phone Number: 1-780-453-3325

About: Alberta Truck & Auto Liquidators has one of the largest inventories of light-duty trucks in Western Canada. They have a huge selection of trucks, cargo vans, SUVs and AWD vehicles. Many of their trucks are ex-government fleet vehicles. They offer very competitive pricing.

 

Types of Vehicles Offered

Edmonton used car dealerships offer a wide variety of vehicle types and models to suit different budgets and needs. When it comes to cars, you’ll find everything from affordable compact cars to luxury sedans and sports cars. Many dealers also offer hybrid and electric vehicles as more environmentally friendly options.

 

Some popular used car models available include:
– Economy cars like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra
– Midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima
– Luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi, and Cadillac models
– Electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S
– Hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq

 

For buyers looking for trucks, SUVs, and vans, dealerships offer both domestic and imported models such as:

Pickup trucks from Ford, RAM, GMC, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, etc.
– SUVs from brands like Ford, Jeep, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc.
– Passenger vans including Dodge Caravans, Chrysler Pacificas, and more
– Cargo vans and work vans for commercial use

 

With Edmonton’s cold winters, trucks, SUVs and AWD vehicles tend to be popular options. Overall, shoppers can find a diverse selection of vehicle types and models to choose from at local used dealerships.

 

Getting the Best Deal

Getting a great deal on a used car in Edmonton takes some preparation and research. Here are some tips to negotiate the best price:

Start by checking prices online on sites like AutoTrader and Kijiji to gauge the market value for the make, model, year, mileage and condition you’re looking for. This gives you a good baseline for negotiations.

Consider pursuing certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These come with extended warranties, rigorous inspections and reconditioning. While CPO vehicles cost a bit more, they provide peace of mind. See this guide on CPO benefits.

Don’t be afraid to ask about special offers, rebates or incentives that may be available. Dealerships often run promotions, so inquire about any savings you may qualify for.

When negotiating, stay respectful and avoid confrontation. Come armed with competitive pricing information, be willing to walk away if needed, and remain patient.

If you need financing, consider securing pre-approval from your bank or credit union first. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position if the dealership tries to steer you toward their financing options.

Consider the value you could get by trading in your old vehicle. But research trade-in values first online through Black Book Canada or Canadian Black Book to ensure you get a fair offer.

Finally, weigh the long-term costs of maintenance and repairs. Consider certified pre-owned or vehicles still under factory warranty to minimize surprises down the road.

 

Test Driving and Inspecting Vehicles

Test driving is one of the most important parts of shopping for a used vehicle. You’ll want to take an extended test drive of at least 15-20 minutes to assess how the vehicle performs at different speeds, on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic. Take the car on routes that mimic your regular driving.

According to experts at U.S. News & World Report, you should also take the used car to an independent mechanic you trust to have it inspected before purchase. They will check for issues that might not be obvious on a test drive, such as transmission problems, worn brakes, leaks, and damage from accidents or floods.

When test driving, make sure to assess the vehicle inside and out. Check for accident damage like misaligned panels or doors, scratches, overspray, and aftermarket parts. Look for wear and tear on the tires, interior, controls, and fluid levels. Kelley Blue Book recommends having a used car checklist to methodically inspect everything.

Review the vehicle’s maintenance records if possible. Well-maintained cars will have regular oil changes, inspections, and other preventative maintenance documented. This can give you peace of mind about the vehicle’s history.

 

Checking Prices and Value

When buying a used car, it’s important to research the market value and check prices from multiple sources to negotiate a fair deal. Here are some tips for evaluating used car prices in Edmonton:

Compare listings online – Search classifieds sites like Autotrader, Kijiji and Craigslist to compare similar vehicles by make, model, year and mileage. This gives you an idea of the going market rate.

Use pricing guides like Black Book – Resources like the Kelley Blue Book and Black Book can estimate used car values based on mileage and options. This helps narrow your target price range.

Factor in features and mileage – Prices vary based on extra features like leather seats, sunroof or upgraded stereo. Higher mileage usually means lower prices. Take these details into account when comparing.

Negotiate a fair price – Research gives you more leverage to negotiate with the dealer. Make sure to leave room to bargain on the list price.

Avoid overpaying – Have a maximum budget and be prepared to walk away if prices exceed your range. Patience often pays off with a better deal.

 

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicles

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are late-model used cars that have been inspected, reconditioned and come with an extended warranty beyond the original new car warranty. CPO cars tend to be less than 5 years old with relatively low mileage. They undergo rigorous inspections by the dealership or manufacturer and only vehicles meeting certain criteria can be certified.

Some things checked include:

  • Vehicle History
  • Mechanical components
  • Interior and exterior condition
  • Road testing

 

Once certified, the cars come with extended warranties, typically 1 year/20,000 km or more, as well as roadside assistance and other benefits. Certified used cars tend to cost a bit more than non-certified vehicles but provide more peace of mind. The certification process gives buyers more confidence in the vehicle’s quality and condition. Considering a CPO used car in Edmonton is a good option for buyers who want lower risk and don’t mind paying a premium for the warranty and dealer assurances.

 

Financing Tips

Getting approved for auto financing and finding the best loan terms requires some preparation and research. Here are some tips for securing the best financing on your used vehicle purchase:

Check your credit score – Your credit score will impact the loan terms and interest rate you qualify for. Get a copy of your credit report and check for any errors. A score above 700 will get you the best rates.

Get pre-approved financing – Many dealerships work with lenders to offer on-site financing. But you’ll likely get better terms if you secure pre-approved financing from your bank, credit union or other lender before you start shopping.

Compare loan terms and interest rates – Compare the financing terms different lenders can offer and pay attention to key factors like the interest rate, down payment required, and length of the loan term.

Calculate monthly payments – Make sure the monthly payment aligns with your budget. Use an auto loan calculator to estimate payments based on the vehicle price, down payment, interest rate and loan term.

Understand fees – Ask about any fees like processing fees or prepayment penalties. Limiting fees can reduce the overall cost of your loan.

Securing competitive financing before you start negotiating on a vehicle can give you leverage and put you in a better position to get the best overall deal. Having financing already lined up shows the dealer you are a serious buyer.

 

Trading In Your Current Vehicle

If you currently own a vehicle, trading it in can be a convenient way to lower the cost of your used car purchase. There are a few things to keep in mind when trading in:

First, research the trade-in value of your current vehicle. Look up its make, model, year, mileage, and condition on sites like Canadian Black Book to get an estimate of what it’s worth. You can also get quotes from multiple dealers, like Toyota Northwest Edmonton and Mercedes-Benz Edmonton West, to compare offers.

Consider whether selling your vehicle privately may net you more money. Trading in at a dealership is more convenient, but private-party sales typically result in a higher sale price. Weigh the pros and cons of each option for your situation.

If trading in, have your vehicle detailed and all maintenance records available. This will help maximize your trade-in value. Be prepared to negotiate to get the best offer.

Factoring in the trade-in can help lower the out-of-pocket cost of your used car purchase. With some research and negotiation, trading in your current vehicle can be a smooth process.

 

Considering Long-Term Costs

When buying a used vehicle, it’s important to look beyond just the sale price and consider the long-term costs of owning the car. This includes factors like:

InsuranceCar insurance in Alberta costs will vary based on the driver, vehicle, and coverage limits, but expect to budget $100-300 per month for insurance on a used car. Opting for a used sedan versus a sports car can help keep insurance costs lower.

Gas – Fuel efficiency varies greatly between vehicles. Choosing a model known for good gas mileage can save hundreds per year in fuel costs. Review the fuel economy ratings to estimate annual gas costs. For example, a vehicle rated at 30 mpg will cost around $1,500 in gas per year, assuming 15,000 miles driven and $3.50/gallon.

Repairs – Repair costs become more common as a vehicle ages. Research typical repair costs and common issues for any used model you’re considering. Opting for a reliable brand known for fewer repairs can help minimize this expense. Setting aside $500-1000 per year provides a buffer for repair costs.

When evaluating options, consider total long-term costs, not just the upfront purchase price. Opting for a more reliable model with good gas mileage can minimize the costs of owning the vehicle for years to come. Also, choosing an affordable financing term reduces interest charges over the loan period. Review all these cost factors as you select a used vehicle to fit not just your budget today, but your budget for years of ownership.

 

Where to Start Your Search

When looking for a used car in Edmonton, most people begin their search online. Websites like Reddit, AutoTrader, and Kijiji offer listings of used vehicles for sale across the city. Browsing through these online classifieds allows you to get a sense of pricing, features, makes and models available. You can also look up the vehicle history and specifications.

Another good place to start your search is on dealership websites. Major used car dealers in Edmonton like House of Cars and 780 Cars have large online inventories you can browse through. Dealership sites allow you to see detailed information on each vehicle along with financing options. Many also offer virtual tours and custom searches to find exactly what you want.

Once you’ve narrowed down some options online, it’s important to schedule test drives. Test driving lets you get a real feel for the vehicle’s performance and condition. Assess noise, steering, acceleration and braking. Test drives also allow you to inspect the vehicle thoroughly and ask the seller questions in person. Take your time test driving from both dealerships and private sellers to make the best decision.

 

Closing Thoughts

In summary, choosing the right used car dealership in Edmonton can help you find a great used vehicle at a fair price. Taking the time to research dealerships, inspect vehicles thoroughly, negotiate prices, and secure financing can lead to real savings and satisfaction with one of your largest purchases. Based on factors like selection, pricing, reputation and service, some of the top used dealerships in Edmonton include 780 Cars, House of Cars, Redline Motors, Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC, Northside Mitsubishi, and Alberta Truck & Auto Liquidators.

To get started in your search, browse dealer websites to see current inventory and compare pricing. Stop into a few dealerships in person to get a feel for their customer service and professionalism. Take any potential vehicles for an extensive test drive and inspection. And don’t be afraid to negotiate respectfully to get the best possible deal. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can have confidence in finding a great used vehicle in Edmonton.

 

Next Steps

Once you’ve narrowed down the dealerships and vehicles you’re interested in, it’s time to take action and get ready to visit the lots. Here are some key next steps to take:

 

Make a List

Make a list of the specific makes, models, years, mileage, and price ranges you’re looking for. This will help guide your search and make the process more efficient when visiting dealerships.

 

Get Financing

Secure financing in advance through your bank, credit union, or lenders so you know what kind of rates and terms you qualify for. This gives you negotiating leverage when dealers offer financing.

 

Test Drive

Test drive your top choices thoroughly. Take them on the highway, over bumps, brake hard, and turn sharply to assess comfort, performance, noise, and handling. A test drive can make or break a vehicle purchase.

Questions About Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton?

Buying from a dealership offers several key advantages over a private seller:

Wider selection and inventory – Dealerships have extensive used car inventories with various makes, models, years, prices and options to choose from. This makes finding the ideal vehicle easier.

Certified pre-owned vehicles – Many dealers exclusively sell CPO used cars that undergo rigorous inspections and reconditioning. CPO vehicles come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

Warranties – Reputable dealers often include warranties with their used cars or offer optional extended warranty plans to cover repairs down the road. This protects you from expensive surprises.

Financing assistance – Dealerships have financing specialists to help you get approved for competitive interest rates on a car loan or lease. Private sellers typically only accept cash or bank financing.

Test drives – Dealers allow test drives and have their used cars inspected by technicians. With private sales, test drives may be difficult and you must arrange any inspections.

Legal protection – There is more recourse when buying from a licensed dealership versus a private seller. You have less risk of purchasing a lemon with no options.

When choosing a quality used car dealership in Edmonton, here are some key things to look for:

Large selection and inventory – A good dealer will have a wide variety of makes, models, years and prices to choose from. This provides more options to find the right vehicle.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles – Many dealers offer CPO cars that undergo thorough inspections and reconditioning. CPO vehicles have extended warranty coverage.

Vehicle inspections – The dealer should inspect and recondition every used car before sale. This helps ensure the vehicles are safe and reliable.

Warranties – Reputable dealers provide warranties to cover major systems beyond initial purchase. This gives you protection in case of breakdowns.

Financing options – A quality dealer will offer flexible financing rates and terms to make purchasing more affordable.

Positive online reviews – Check Google, Facebook, and elsewhere to see satisfied customer feedback. This indicates honest business practices.

Some of the top options in Edmonton based on reputation, selection, and service include:

780 Cars – Great selection of vehicles under $15,000. Vast inventory of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans.

House of Cars – Family-owned dealer with 20+ years experience. Offers quality pre-owned vehicles and great service.

Redline Motors – Specializes in performance and luxury vehicles like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Known for sports cars.

Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC – Large inventory of trucks, SUVs and certified pre-owned Chevrolets.

Northside Mitsubishi – Great selection of used Mitsubishi cars and SUVs. Competitive pricing.

Alberta Truck & Auto – Huge selection of light-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Many are ex-government fleet.

Edmonton dealerships offer a wide variety of used vehicle types and models including:

Sedans – Affordable compacts to luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.

Trucks – All major truck brands including Ford F-150, RAM 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, etc.

SUVs – Small, midsize and full-size SUVs from brands like Ford, Toyota, Honda, Jeep, etc.

Vans – Minivans like Dodge Caravan, full-size work vans, 15-passenger vans, and more.

Hybrids/EVs – Models like Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, etc.

Luxury vehicles – Range Rovers, Porsches, Audis, Cadillacs, etc.

Performance cars – Mustangs, Corvettes, BMW M models, etc.

With Edmonton’s climate, trucks, SUVs and AWD vehicles tend to be especially popular options.

Tips for negotiating the best used car price include:

  • Research prices online for the make, model, year and mileage you want. This provides a baseline for comparison.
  • Consider certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles which cost more but provide peace of mind.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about current promotions, rebates or incentives that may be available.
  • Remain respectful and be willing to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price. Avoid confrontation.
  • If financing, secure pre-approval from your bank or credit union first to gain leverage.
  • Research trade-in values if you have a current vehicle, using Black Book Canada or Canadian Black Book.
  • Weigh long-term costs like insurance, gas and repairs when evaluating options and pricing.

When test driving used cars in Edmonton:

  • Take an extended 15-20+ minute test drive including highways, hills and stop-and-go traffic.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic you trust to check for issues.
  • Assess noise, steering, acceleration, braking and handling. Listen for odd sounds.
  • Check for accident damage, paint flaws, uneven panel gaps, worn upholstery, etc.
  • Review maintenance records if possible to understand the vehicle history.
  • Make sure all features and controls function properly during the test drive.
  • Bring a checklist to methodically inspect everything including tires, fluids, lights, electronics, etc.
  • Drive similar routes to your regular driving to evaluate real world performance.

To evaluate used car prices:

  • Compare listings on Autotrader, Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for pricing.
  • Use tools like Kelley Blue Book and Black Book to estimate value based on mileage and options.
  • Factor in extra features like leather seats, navigation or moonroof that can increase value.
  • Higher mileage typically equates to a lower price.
  • Negotiate a fair price using competitive pricing research for leverage.
  • Avoid overpaying by sticking to a maximum budget and being willing to walk away if needed.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are:

  • Late-model used cars, generally less than 5 years old.
  • Inspected and reconditioned to meet manufacturer criteria.
  • Covered by extended warranty beyond the original new car warranty, typically 1+ year.
  • Offered for sale as “certified” by the dealer or manufacturer after passing inspection.
  • Tend to cost more than non-certified used vehicles.
  • Provide added peace of mind with the certification process and warranty coverage.

 

Considering a CPO used vehicle in Edmonton can reduce risk for buyers willing to pay a premium.

Used car financing tips:

  • Check your credit score, as higher scores get better interest rates.
  • Get pre-approved financing from your bank or credit union before shopping.
  • Compare loan terms and interest rates from competing lenders.
  • Calculate the monthly payment to ensure it fits your budget.
  • Understand all fees like processing charges that can increase costs.
  • Having financing already lined up shows dealers you’re serious and gives negotiating leverage.
  • Avoid extending loan terms excessively to lower payments, as this increases interest costs over time.

Considerations for trading in your current vehicle:

  • Research the trade-in value using Black Book Canada and get quotes from dealers.
  • Weigh whether selling privately may fetch a higher price than a dealer trade-in.
  • Have your vehicle detailed with maintenance records to maximize trade-in value.
  • Be prepared to negotiate the dealership’s initial offer on your trade-in.
  • Trading in can lower your out-of-pocket costs but may not get you top dollar.
  • Convenience of trading in versus higher price from a private party sale.

Along with the purchase price, consider ongoing costs like:

Insurance – Budget $100-300 per month for used car insurance. Rates vary by driver, vehicle, etc.

Gas – Compare fuel economy ratings. Good gas mileage saves hundreds yearly.

Repairs – Research typical repair costs and issues for any model you’re considering. Routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.

Registration renewal fees and taxes

Depreciation – All vehicles lose value over time.

Choose a model that retains value well. Review total cost of ownership over your planned ownership period, not just purchase price.

Good places to start include:

  • Online classifieds like AutoTrader, Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Browse prices, models, options, etc.
  • Dealership websites to view large certified pre-owned inventories, with detailed vehicle information.
  • Used car dealer websites like House of Cars, Redline Motors and 780 Cars to search inventory.
  • Once you narrow down choices, schedule test drives for any vehicles you’re interested in.
  • Test drive both from dealers and private sellers to get a feel for the vehicles.
  • Take a methodical approach to inspect each vehicle inside and out during test drives.

Next steps:

  1. Make a list of the specific makes, models, years, prices and mileage you’re looking for to guide your search.
  2. Get pre-approved financing so you know the rates and terms you qualify for.
  3. Take extended test drives of at least 15-20 minutes to thoroughly assess each vehicle.
  4. Have a trusted mechanic inspect any vehicles before purchase to identify issues.
  5. Ask sellers detailed questions about the vehicle history and condition during test drives.
  6. Compare multiple vehicles against your list to determine the best option.
  7. Negotiate pricing and financing terms to get the best possible deal.

Key questions to ask:

  • How long have you owned the vehicle? Are you the original owner?
  • What is the usage history? Was it a personal vehicle, fleet vehicle, rental car, etc?
  • Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
  • Why are you selling the vehicle?
  • What is the maintenance history? Are records available?
  • Have any major repairs or reconditioning been done?
  • Is there any existing damage or issues I should know about?
  • Are there any warranties or return policies?
  • Can I take the vehicle for an independent inspection?
  • Can you provide a vehicle history report?

On test drives, look for:

  • Smooth acceleration and braking without hesitation, noises, vibrations, etc.
  • Responsive, precise steering and handling around turns and bends.
  • Strong engine power without knocking sounds under acceleration.
  • Transmission shifting smoothly between gears.
  • Good visibility and blind spot coverage.
  • Functioning control buttons/knobs for lights, wipers, radio, seat adjustments, etc.
  • Air conditioning and heat functioning properly.
  • Comfortable seats and ride quality over bumps.
  • Minimal interior noise and rattles from the engine, suspension, etc.
  • Any warning lights illuminated on the dashboard.

Inspect for issues like:

  • Uneven tire tread wear which may indicate alignment or suspension problems.
  • Leaks under the car which could signify oil leaks, coolant leaks or transmission issues.
  • Rust, paint flaws, misaligned panels or doors that may hint at prior accident repairs.
  • Seat stains, carpet flaws and excessive wear which could mean high mileage or poor care.
  • Scored brake rotors and thin brake pads pointing to needed brake repairs.
  • Milky oil that could mean a blown head gasket or coolant mixing with oil.
  • Issues shifting or hesitation accelerating possibly stemming from transmission problems.
  • Fluid levels lower than recommended indicating potential leaks or lack of maintenance.

Important documents to obtain:

  • Vehicle history report (Carfax, CarProof, etc.) to check for accidents, liens, odometer rollbacks, etc.
  • Maintenance records detailing the service history.
  • Ownership documentation proving who the current legal owner is.
  • Warranty documentation on any existing factory or extended warranties.
  • Recent safety/emissions inspection certificate if required by your province.
  • Bill of sale itemizing the sale price, vehicle details, terms, seller information, etc.
  • Financing and loan documentation if purchasing through dealer financing.
  • Insurance documentation so you can transfer or obtain coverage.
  • Copy of the owner’s manual, spare keys, code for keyless entry etc.

CPO used car facts:

  • Late-model, generally under 5 years old. Lower mileage.
  • Must pass the automaker’s certification inspection covering all components.
  • Extended warranty included, averaging greater than 1 year/20,000 km for additional peace of mind.
  • Reconditioning and repairs done to meet standards before certification.
  • Vehicle history report required to check for accidents, frame damage, etc.
  • Special financing rates may be offered on CPO models.
  • CPO used cars tend to cost more than non-certified equivalents.
  • CPO adds more consumer protection, inspections, warranties, and assurances of quality.

Tips to maximize your trade-in value:

  • Have the vehicle detailed inside and out so it looks its best.
  • Complete any overdue maintenance like an oil change beforehand.
  • Gather all service records to demonstrate diligent maintenance.
  • Remove all personal items and restore it to stock condition removing any aftermarket modifications.
  • Research trade-in values on Black Book Canada and get quotes from multiple dealers.
  • Obtain a recent safety inspection certificate if required in your province.
  • Be upfront about any existing mechanical issues or damage. Hiding problems will be discovered at trade-in.
  • Negotiate! Don’t automatically accept the dealer’s initial offer.

Be aware of fees like:

  • Documentation or admin fees can range from $100-$800 and are essentially profit for the dealer. These can sometimes be negotiated down or removed.
  • Certification fees if you opt for a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. This covers the inspection and certification process costs.
  • Title and registration fees which can include transfer fees when the title is signed over to you.
  • Tax on the sale price, which varies by province. GST or HST are common.
  • Finance fees if using dealer financing. Ask for details on the rate and any points being charged.
  • Extended warranty fees if purchasing added coverage. Be sure to understand what’s included and the length/amount of coverage.
  • Avoid any undeserved junk or advertising fees they try to tack on. Get all fees in writing before signing.

Common used car warranties include:

Certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty – Typically extends at least 1 year/20,000 km beyond the factory warranty on late-model used vehicles.

Remaining factory warranty – Any existing time or mileage is transferred to the new owner. Covers the original powertrain warranty term.

Third-party extended warranty – Added coverage for 1-3 years purchased through the dealer or warranty company. Varies in length and scope.

Powertrain warranty – Some dealers offer short included warranties that only cover the engine, transmission, drivetrain, etc. Typically 30-90 days. – As-is

No warranty at all – Once sold, repairs are the new owner’s responsibility. More common on older, high mileage vehicles.

Lemon law protection – Provides recourse in some provinces if the vehicle fails inspection within a short window of purchase.

DIY inspect a used car:

  • Start with a walkaround checking for body damage, paint flaws, uneven gaps, mismatched panels and overspray that may indicate repairs.
  • Look under the car for leaks, rust and damage.
  • Inspect tires for adequate tread depth and evenly worn tread.
  • Check all lights, electronics and features inside and out. Test drive all functions.
  • Review the owner’s manual and confirm scheduled maintenance was completed on time.
  • Examine brake pads and rotors for excessive wear. Calipers and hoses should not leak.
  • Check all fluid levels including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid and power steering.
  • Assess the exhaust system and listen for any leaks or rattling that could mean issues. 

 

Deciding on Dealership vs Private Seller

When shopping for a used vehicle, you have two main options. buying from a dealership or buying privately from the current owner. There are several key advantages to purchasing your used car from a dealership:

More options and selection at dealerships – Dealerships have extensive used car inventories with a wide variety of makes, models, years, colors, trims, prices and more to choose from. You can find exactly what you want more easily.

Certified pre-owned vehicles offered – Many dealers exclusively sell certified pre-owned (CPO) used cars that undergo rigorous inspections and reconditioning. CPO cars come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind. CPO vehicles are likely to be more reliable.

Warranties and service plans – Reputable dealers often include warranties with their used cars or offer optional extended warranty plans to cover repairs. This protects you from expensive surprises down the road.

Financing assistance – Dealerships have financing specialists to help you get approved for a car loan in Edmonton. They offer a streamlined process with competitive rates. Private sellers typically only accept cash or bank financing.

Test drives and inspections – Dealers allow test drives and have their used cars inspected by technicians. With a private sale, it may be difficult to test drive and you must get any inspections done yourself.

Less risk than private sales – There is more legal protection when buying from a licensed dealership. With a private sale, there is a greater risk of buying a lemon with no recourse.

 

What to Look for in a Good Used Car Dealership

With so many used car dealerships to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for to find a reputable and high-quality dealership. According to Characteristics of a Reputable Used Car Dealer, some key things to consider include:

Large selection and inventory – A good used car dealership will have a wide variety of makes, models, years, prices, and vehicle types to choose from. This gives you more options to find the right car for your needs and budget.

Certified pre-owned vehicles – Many dealerships offer certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles that have undergone thorough inspections and reconditioning. CPO cars come with extended warranties for added peace of mind.

Vehicle inspections and reconditioning – The dealer should put every used car through a comprehensive inspection and reconditioning process before selling it. This helps ensure the vehicles are safe and reliable.

Warranties and extended coverage – Reputable dealers will provide warranties to cover major systems beyond the initial purchase. Extended warranties give you protection in case issues arise down the road.

Financing options – A good dealership will offer flexible financing options to make purchasing more affordable, including special financing rates and terms.

Good online reviews – Check third-party sites like Google and Yelp to see what past customers have said. Positive reviews indicate honest business practices and satisfied customers.

 

The Best Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton

Edmonton has many excellent used car dealerships to choose from. Based on reputation, selection, and service, here are some of the top options in the city.

 

780 Cars

Address: 20804 Stony Plain Rd Unit #2, Edmonton, AB T5S 2C3

Phone Number: 1-780-426-2222

About: 780 Cars has a great selection of used vehicles across all makes and models. They have over 200 vehicles in stock at their Northside dealership. 780 Cars specializes in vehicles priced under $15,000 and offers a wide variety of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. They stand out for their vast selection, reasonable prices, and financing options.

 

 

House of Cars

Address: 6103 91 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 6V6

Phone Number: 1-780-328-4704

About: House of Cars is a family-owned and operated used car dealer in West Edmonton. They have been in business for over 20 years and have built a reputation for quality pre-owned vehicles and excellent customer service. House of Cars has a service center on-site to inspect and recondition all vehicles before sale.

 

Redline Motors

Address: 14421 Mark Messier Trail, Edmonton, AB T6V 1H4

Phone Number: 1-780-455-5919

About: Redline Motors has a wide selection of trucks, sports cars, SUVs and luxury vehicles. They specialize in performance and modified vehicles. Redline is known for their sports cars and luxury brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. All their vehicles come with a comprehensive vehicle inspection report.

 

Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC

Address: 10727 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2B1

Phone Number: 1-780-439-0071

About: Don Wheaton is one of the largest Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealers in Alberta. Their Chevrolet used car center has a great selection of certified pre-owned Chevy vehicles. They also have a good inventory of used trucks, SUVs, vans and crossovers from brands like GMC, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge and Ford.

 

Northside Mitsubishi

Address: 9670 125a Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5G 3E5

Phone Number: 1-780-479-5700

About: Northside Mitsubishi is known for its selection of used Mitsubishi cars and SUVs. They thoroughly inspect and recondition all their pre-owned vehicles. Northside Mitsubishi has competitive prices and also offers vehicle financing options.

 

Alberta Truck & Auto

Address: 14211 Mark Messier Trail, Edmonton, AB T6V 1H4

Phone Number: 1-780-453-3325

About: Alberta Truck & Auto Liquidators has one of the largest inventories of light-duty trucks in Western Canada. They have a huge selection of trucks, cargo vans, SUVs and AWD vehicles. Many of their trucks are ex-government fleet vehicles. They offer very competitive pricing.

 

Types of Vehicles Offered

Edmonton used car dealerships offer a wide variety of vehicle types and models to suit different budgets and needs. When it comes to cars, you’ll find everything from affordable compact cars to luxury sedans and sports cars. Many dealers also offer hybrid and electric vehicles as more environmentally friendly options.

 

Some popular used car models available include:
– Economy cars like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra
– Midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima
– Luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi, and Cadillac models
– Electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S
– Hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq

 

For buyers looking for trucks, SUVs, and vans, dealerships offer both domestic and imported models such as:

Pickup trucks from Ford, RAM, GMC, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, etc.
– SUVs from brands like Ford, Jeep, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc.
– Passenger vans including Dodge Caravans, Chrysler Pacificas, and more
– Cargo vans and work vans for commercial use

 

With Edmonton’s cold winters, trucks, SUVs and AWD vehicles tend to be popular options. Overall, shoppers can find a diverse selection of vehicle types and models to choose from at local used dealerships.

 

Getting the Best Deal

Getting a great deal on a used car in Edmonton takes some preparation and research. Here are some tips to negotiate the best price:

Start by checking prices online on sites like AutoTrader and Kijiji to gauge the market value for the make, model, year, mileage and condition you’re looking for. This gives you a good baseline for negotiations.

Consider pursuing certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These come with extended warranties, rigorous inspections and reconditioning. While CPO vehicles cost a bit more, they provide peace of mind. See this guide on CPO benefits.

Don’t be afraid to ask about special offers, rebates or incentives that may be available. Dealerships often run promotions, so inquire about any savings you may qualify for.

When negotiating, stay respectful and avoid confrontation. Come armed with competitive pricing information, be willing to walk away if needed, and remain patient.

If you need financing, consider securing pre-approval from your bank or credit union first. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position if the dealership tries to steer you toward their financing options.

Consider the value you could get by trading in your old vehicle. But research trade-in values first online through Black Book Canada or Canadian Black Book to ensure you get a fair offer.

Finally, weigh the long-term costs of maintenance and repairs. Consider certified pre-owned or vehicles still under factory warranty to minimize surprises down the road.

 

Test Driving and Inspecting Vehicles

Test driving is one of the most important parts of shopping for a used vehicle. You’ll want to take an extended test drive of at least 15-20 minutes to assess how the vehicle performs at different speeds, on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic. Take the car on routes that mimic your regular driving.

According to experts at U.S. News & World Report, you should also take the used car to an independent mechanic you trust to have it inspected before purchase. They will check for issues that might not be obvious on a test drive, such as transmission problems, worn brakes, leaks, and damage from accidents or floods.

When test driving, make sure to assess the vehicle inside and out. Check for accident damage like misaligned panels or doors, scratches, overspray, and aftermarket parts. Look for wear and tear on the tires, interior, controls, and fluid levels. Kelley Blue Book recommends having a used car checklist to methodically inspect everything.

Review the vehicle’s maintenance records if possible. Well-maintained cars will have regular oil changes, inspections, and other preventative maintenance documented. This can give you peace of mind about the vehicle’s history.

 

Checking Prices and Value

When buying a used car, it’s important to research the market value and check prices from multiple sources to negotiate a fair deal. Here are some tips for evaluating used car prices in Edmonton:

Compare listings online – Search classifieds sites like Autotrader, Kijiji and Craigslist to compare similar vehicles by make, model, year and mileage. This gives you an idea of the going market rate.

Use pricing guides like Black Book – Resources like the Kelley Blue Book and Black Book can estimate used car values based on mileage and options. This helps narrow your target price range.

Factor in features and mileage – Prices vary based on extra features like leather seats, sunroof or upgraded stereo. Higher mileage usually means lower prices. Take these details into account when comparing.

Negotiate a fair price – Research gives you more leverage to negotiate with the dealer. Make sure to leave room to bargain on the list price.

Avoid overpaying – Have a maximum budget and be prepared to walk away if prices exceed your range. Patience often pays off with a better deal.

 

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicles

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are late-model used cars that have been inspected, reconditioned and come with an extended warranty beyond the original new car warranty. CPO cars tend to be less than 5 years old with relatively low mileage. They undergo rigorous inspections by the dealership or manufacturer and only vehicles meeting certain criteria can be certified.

Some things checked include:

  • Vehicle History
  • Mechanical components
  • Interior and exterior condition
  • Road testing

 

Once certified, the cars come with extended warranties, typically 1 year/20,000 km or more, as well as roadside assistance and other benefits. Certified used cars tend to cost a bit more than non-certified vehicles but provide more peace of mind. The certification process gives buyers more confidence in the vehicle’s quality and condition. Considering a CPO used car in Edmonton is a good option for buyers who want lower risk and don’t mind paying a premium for the warranty and dealer assurances.

 

Financing Tips

Getting approved for auto financing and finding the best loan terms requires some preparation and research. Here are some tips for securing the best financing on your used vehicle purchase:

Check your credit score – Your credit score will impact the loan terms and interest rate you qualify for. Get a copy of your credit report and check for any errors. A score above 700 will get you the best rates.

Get pre-approved financing – Many dealerships work with lenders to offer on-site financing. But you’ll likely get better terms if you secure pre-approved financing from your bank, credit union or other lender before you start shopping.

Compare loan terms and interest rates – Compare the financing terms different lenders can offer and pay attention to key factors like the interest rate, down payment required, and length of the loan term.

Calculate monthly payments – Make sure the monthly payment aligns with your budget. Use an auto loan calculator to estimate payments based on the vehicle price, down payment, interest rate and loan term.

Understand fees – Ask about any fees like processing fees or prepayment penalties. Limiting fees can reduce the overall cost of your loan.

Securing competitive financing before you start negotiating on a vehicle can give you leverage and put you in a better position to get the best overall deal. Having financing already lined up shows the dealer you are a serious buyer.

 

Trading In Your Current Vehicle

If you currently own a vehicle, trading it in can be a convenient way to lower the cost of your used car purchase. There are a few things to keep in mind when trading in:

First, research the trade-in value of your current vehicle. Look up its make, model, year, mileage, and condition on sites like Canadian Black Book to get an estimate of what it’s worth. You can also get quotes from multiple dealers, like Toyota Northwest Edmonton and Mercedes-Benz Edmonton West, to compare offers.

Consider whether selling your vehicle privately may net you more money. Trading in at a dealership is more convenient, but private-party sales typically result in a higher sale price. Weigh the pros and cons of each option for your situation.

If trading in, have your vehicle detailed and all maintenance records available. This will help maximize your trade-in value. Be prepared to negotiate to get the best offer.

Factoring in the trade-in can help lower the out-of-pocket cost of your used car purchase. With some research and negotiation, trading in your current vehicle can be a smooth process.

 

Considering Long-Term Costs

When buying a used vehicle, it’s important to look beyond just the sale price and consider the long-term costs of owning the car. This includes factors like:

InsuranceCar insurance in Alberta costs will vary based on the driver, vehicle, and coverage limits, but expect to budget $100-300 per month for insurance on a used car. Opting for a used sedan versus a sports car can help keep insurance costs lower.

Gas – Fuel efficiency varies greatly between vehicles. Choosing a model known for good gas mileage can save hundreds per year in fuel costs. Review the fuel economy ratings to estimate annual gas costs. For example, a vehicle rated at 30 mpg will cost around $1,500 in gas per year, assuming 15,000 miles driven and $3.50/gallon.

Repairs – Repair costs become more common as a vehicle ages. Research typical repair costs and common issues for any used model you’re considering. Opting for a reliable brand known for fewer repairs can help minimize this expense. Setting aside $500-1000 per year provides a buffer for repair costs.

When evaluating options, consider total long-term costs, not just the upfront purchase price. Opting for a more reliable model with good gas mileage can minimize the costs of owning the vehicle for years to come. Also, choosing an affordable financing term reduces interest charges over the loan period. Review all these cost factors as you select a used vehicle to fit not just your budget today, but your budget for years of ownership.

 

Where to Start Your Search

When looking for a used car in Edmonton, most people begin their search online. Websites like Reddit, AutoTrader, and Kijiji offer listings of used vehicles for sale across the city. Browsing through these online classifieds allows you to get a sense of pricing, features, makes and models available. You can also look up the vehicle history and specifications.

Another good place to start your search is on dealership websites. Major used car dealers in Edmonton like House of Cars and 780 Cars have large online inventories you can browse through. Dealership sites allow you to see detailed information on each vehicle along with financing options. Many also offer virtual tours and custom searches to find exactly what you want.

Once you’ve narrowed down some options online, it’s important to schedule test drives. Test driving lets you get a real feel for the vehicle’s performance and condition. Assess noise, steering, acceleration and braking. Test drives also allow you to inspect the vehicle thoroughly and ask the seller questions in person. Take your time test driving from both dealerships and private sellers to make the best decision.

 

Closing Thoughts

In summary, choosing the right used car dealership in Edmonton can help you find a great used vehicle at a fair price. Taking the time to research dealerships, inspect vehicles thoroughly, negotiate prices, and secure financing can lead to real savings and satisfaction with one of your largest purchases. Based on factors like selection, pricing, reputation and service, some of the top used dealerships in Edmonton include 780 Cars, House of Cars, Redline Motors, Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC, Northside Mitsubishi, and Alberta Truck & Auto Liquidators.

To get started in your search, browse dealer websites to see current inventory and compare pricing. Stop into a few dealerships in person to get a feel for their customer service and professionalism. Take any potential vehicles for an extensive test drive and inspection. And don’t be afraid to negotiate respectfully to get the best possible deal. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can have confidence in finding a great used vehicle in Edmonton.

 

Next Steps

Once you’ve narrowed down the dealerships and vehicles you’re interested in, it’s time to take action and get ready to visit the lots. Here are some key next steps to take:

 

Make a List

Make a list of the specific makes, models, years, mileage, and price ranges you’re looking for. This will help guide your search and make the process more efficient when visiting dealerships.

 

Get Financing

Secure financing in advance through your bank, credit union, or lenders so you know what kind of rates and terms you qualify for. This gives you negotiating leverage when dealers offer financing.

 

Test Drive

Test drive your top choices thoroughly. Take them on the highway, over bumps, brake hard, and turn sharply to assess comfort, performance, noise, and handling. A test drive can make or break a vehicle purchase.

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Questions About Used Car Dealerships in Edmonton?

Buying from a dealership offers several key advantages over a private seller:

Wider selection and inventory – Dealerships have extensive used car inventories with various makes, models, years, prices and options to choose from. This makes finding the ideal vehicle easier.

Certified pre-owned vehicles – Many dealers exclusively sell CPO used cars that undergo rigorous inspections and reconditioning. CPO vehicles come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

Warranties – Reputable dealers often include warranties with their used cars or offer optional extended warranty plans to cover repairs down the road. This protects you from expensive surprises.

Financing assistance – Dealerships have financing specialists to help you get approved for competitive interest rates on a car loan or lease. Private sellers typically only accept cash or bank financing.

Test drives – Dealers allow test drives and have their used cars inspected by technicians. With private sales, test drives may be difficult and you must arrange any inspections.

Legal protection – There is more recourse when buying from a licensed dealership versus a private seller. You have less risk of purchasing a lemon with no options.

When choosing a quality used car dealership in Edmonton, here are some key things to look for:

Large selection and inventory – A good dealer will have a wide variety of makes, models, years and prices to choose from. This provides more options to find the right vehicle.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles – Many dealers offer CPO cars that undergo thorough inspections and reconditioning. CPO vehicles have extended warranty coverage.

Vehicle inspections – The dealer should inspect and recondition every used car before sale. This helps ensure the vehicles are safe and reliable.

Warranties – Reputable dealers provide warranties to cover major systems beyond initial purchase. This gives you protection in case of breakdowns.

Financing options – A quality dealer will offer flexible financing rates and terms to make purchasing more affordable.

Positive online reviews – Check Google, Facebook, and elsewhere to see satisfied customer feedback. This indicates honest business practices.

Some of the top options in Edmonton based on reputation, selection, and service include:

780 Cars – Great selection of vehicles under $15,000. Vast inventory of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans.

House of Cars – Family-owned dealer with 20+ years experience. Offers quality pre-owned vehicles and great service.

Redline Motors – Specializes in performance and luxury vehicles like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Known for sports cars.

Don Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC – Large inventory of trucks, SUVs and certified pre-owned Chevrolets.

Northside Mitsubishi – Great selection of used Mitsubishi cars and SUVs. Competitive pricing.

Alberta Truck & Auto – Huge selection of light-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Many are ex-government fleet.

Edmonton dealerships offer a wide variety of used vehicle types and models including:

Sedans – Affordable compacts to luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.

Trucks – All major truck brands including Ford F-150, RAM 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, etc.

SUVs – Small, midsize and full-size SUVs from brands like Ford, Toyota, Honda, Jeep, etc.

Vans – Minivans like Dodge Caravan, full-size work vans, 15-passenger vans, and more.

Hybrids/EVs – Models like Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, etc.

Luxury vehicles – Range Rovers, Porsches, Audis, Cadillacs, etc.

Performance cars – Mustangs, Corvettes, BMW M models, etc.

With Edmonton’s climate, trucks, SUVs and AWD vehicles tend to be especially popular options.

Tips for negotiating the best used car price include:

  • Research prices online for the make, model, year and mileage you want. This provides a baseline for comparison.
  • Consider certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles which cost more but provide peace of mind.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about current promotions, rebates or incentives that may be available.
  • Remain respectful and be willing to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price. Avoid confrontation.
  • If financing, secure pre-approval from your bank or credit union first to gain leverage.
  • Research trade-in values if you have a current vehicle, using Black Book Canada or Canadian Black Book.
  • Weigh long-term costs like insurance, gas and repairs when evaluating options and pricing.

When test driving used cars in Edmonton:

  • Take an extended 15-20+ minute test drive including highways, hills and stop-and-go traffic.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic you trust to check for issues.
  • Assess noise, steering, acceleration, braking and handling. Listen for odd sounds.
  • Check for accident damage, paint flaws, uneven panel gaps, worn upholstery, etc.
  • Review maintenance records if possible to understand the vehicle history.
  • Make sure all features and controls function properly during the test drive.
  • Bring a checklist to methodically inspect everything including tires, fluids, lights, electronics, etc.
  • Drive similar routes to your regular driving to evaluate real world performance.

To evaluate used car prices:

  • Compare listings on Autotrader, Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for pricing.
  • Use tools like Kelley Blue Book and Black Book to estimate value based on mileage and options.
  • Factor in extra features like leather seats, navigation or moonroof that can increase value.
  • Higher mileage typically equates to a lower price.
  • Negotiate a fair price using competitive pricing research for leverage.
  • Avoid overpaying by sticking to a maximum budget and being willing to walk away if needed.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are:

  • Late-model used cars, generally less than 5 years old.
  • Inspected and reconditioned to meet manufacturer criteria.
  • Covered by extended warranty beyond the original new car warranty, typically 1+ year.
  • Offered for sale as “certified” by the dealer or manufacturer after passing inspection.
  • Tend to cost more than non-certified used vehicles.
  • Provide added peace of mind with the certification process and warranty coverage.

 

Considering a CPO used vehicle in Edmonton can reduce risk for buyers willing to pay a premium.

Used car financing tips:

  • Check your credit score, as higher scores get better interest rates.
  • Get pre-approved financing from your bank or credit union before shopping.
  • Compare loan terms and interest rates from competing lenders.
  • Calculate the monthly payment to ensure it fits your budget.
  • Understand all fees like processing charges that can increase costs.
  • Having financing already lined up shows dealers you’re serious and gives negotiating leverage.
  • Avoid extending loan terms excessively to lower payments, as this increases interest costs over time.

Considerations for trading in your current vehicle:

  • Research the trade-in value using Black Book Canada and get quotes from dealers.
  • Weigh whether selling privately may fetch a higher price than a dealer trade-in.
  • Have your vehicle detailed with maintenance records to maximize trade-in value.
  • Be prepared to negotiate the dealership’s initial offer on your trade-in.
  • Trading in can lower your out-of-pocket costs but may not get you top dollar.
  • Convenience of trading in versus higher price from a private party sale.

Along with the purchase price, consider ongoing costs like:

Insurance – Budget $100-300 per month for used car insurance. Rates vary by driver, vehicle, etc.

Gas – Compare fuel economy ratings. Good gas mileage saves hundreds yearly.

Repairs – Research typical repair costs and issues for any model you’re considering. Routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.

Registration renewal fees and taxes

Depreciation – All vehicles lose value over time.

Choose a model that retains value well. Review total cost of ownership over your planned ownership period, not just purchase price.

Good places to start include:

  • Online classifieds like AutoTrader, Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Browse prices, models, options, etc.
  • Dealership websites to view large certified pre-owned inventories, with detailed vehicle information.
  • Used car dealer websites like House of Cars, Redline Motors and 780 Cars to search inventory.
  • Once you narrow down choices, schedule test drives for any vehicles you’re interested in.
  • Test drive both from dealers and private sellers to get a feel for the vehicles.
  • Take a methodical approach to inspect each vehicle inside and out during test drives.

Next steps:

  1. Make a list of the specific makes, models, years, prices and mileage you’re looking for to guide your search.
  2. Get pre-approved financing so you know the rates and terms you qualify for.
  3. Take extended test drives of at least 15-20 minutes to thoroughly assess each vehicle.
  4. Have a trusted mechanic inspect any vehicles before purchase to identify issues.
  5. Ask sellers detailed questions about the vehicle history and condition during test drives.
  6. Compare multiple vehicles against your list to determine the best option.
  7. Negotiate pricing and financing terms to get the best possible deal.

Key questions to ask:

  • How long have you owned the vehicle? Are you the original owner?
  • What is the usage history? Was it a personal vehicle, fleet vehicle, rental car, etc?
  • Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
  • Why are you selling the vehicle?
  • What is the maintenance history? Are records available?
  • Have any major repairs or reconditioning been done?
  • Is there any existing damage or issues I should know about?
  • Are there any warranties or return policies?
  • Can I take the vehicle for an independent inspection?
  • Can you provide a vehicle history report?

On test drives, look for:

  • Smooth acceleration and braking without hesitation, noises, vibrations, etc.
  • Responsive, precise steering and handling around turns and bends.
  • Strong engine power without knocking sounds under acceleration.
  • Transmission shifting smoothly between gears.
  • Good visibility and blind spot coverage.
  • Functioning control buttons/knobs for lights, wipers, radio, seat adjustments, etc.
  • Air conditioning and heat functioning properly.
  • Comfortable seats and ride quality over bumps.
  • Minimal interior noise and rattles from the engine, suspension, etc.
  • Any warning lights illuminated on the dashboard.

Inspect for issues like:

  • Uneven tire tread wear which may indicate alignment or suspension problems.
  • Leaks under the car which could signify oil leaks, coolant leaks or transmission issues.
  • Rust, paint flaws, misaligned panels or doors that may hint at prior accident repairs.
  • Seat stains, carpet flaws and excessive wear which could mean high mileage or poor care.
  • Scored brake rotors and thin brake pads pointing to needed brake repairs.
  • Milky oil that could mean a blown head gasket or coolant mixing with oil.
  • Issues shifting or hesitation accelerating possibly stemming from transmission problems.
  • Fluid levels lower than recommended indicating potential leaks or lack of maintenance.

Important documents to obtain:

  • Vehicle history report (Carfax, CarProof, etc.) to check for accidents, liens, odometer rollbacks, etc.
  • Maintenance records detailing the service history.
  • Ownership documentation proving who the current legal owner is.
  • Warranty documentation on any existing factory or extended warranties.
  • Recent safety/emissions inspection certificate if required by your province.
  • Bill of sale itemizing the sale price, vehicle details, terms, seller information, etc.
  • Financing and loan documentation if purchasing through dealer financing.
  • Insurance documentation so you can transfer or obtain coverage.
  • Copy of the owner’s manual, spare keys, code for keyless entry etc.

CPO used car facts:

  • Late-model, generally under 5 years old. Lower mileage.
  • Must pass the automaker’s certification inspection covering all components.
  • Extended warranty included, averaging greater than 1 year/20,000 km for additional peace of mind.
  • Reconditioning and repairs done to meet standards before certification.
  • Vehicle history report required to check for accidents, frame damage, etc.
  • Special financing rates may be offered on CPO models.
  • CPO used cars tend to cost more than non-certified equivalents.
  • CPO adds more consumer protection, inspections, warranties, and assurances of quality.

Tips to maximize your trade-in value:

  • Have the vehicle detailed inside and out so it looks its best.
  • Complete any overdue maintenance like an oil change beforehand.
  • Gather all service records to demonstrate diligent maintenance.
  • Remove all personal items and restore it to stock condition removing any aftermarket modifications.
  • Research trade-in values on Black Book Canada and get quotes from multiple dealers.
  • Obtain a recent safety inspection certificate if required in your province.
  • Be upfront about any existing mechanical issues or damage. Hiding problems will be discovered at trade-in.
  • Negotiate! Don’t automatically accept the dealer’s initial offer.

Be aware of fees like:

  • Documentation or admin fees can range from $100-$800 and are essentially profit for the dealer. These can sometimes be negotiated down or removed.
  • Certification fees if you opt for a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. This covers the inspection and certification process costs.
  • Title and registration fees which can include transfer fees when the title is signed over to you.
  • Tax on the sale price, which varies by province. GST or HST are common.
  • Finance fees if using dealer financing. Ask for details on the rate and any points being charged.
  • Extended warranty fees if purchasing added coverage. Be sure to understand what’s included and the length/amount of coverage.
  • Avoid any undeserved junk or advertising fees they try to tack on. Get all fees in writing before signing.

Common used car warranties include:

Certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty – Typically extends at least 1 year/20,000 km beyond the factory warranty on late-model used vehicles.

Remaining factory warranty – Any existing time or mileage is transferred to the new owner. Covers the original powertrain warranty term.

Third-party extended warranty – Added coverage for 1-3 years purchased through the dealer or warranty company. Varies in length and scope.

Powertrain warranty – Some dealers offer short included warranties that only cover the engine, transmission, drivetrain, etc. Typically 30-90 days. – As-is

No warranty at all – Once sold, repairs are the new owner’s responsibility. More common on older, high mileage vehicles.

Lemon law protection – Provides recourse in some provinces if the vehicle fails inspection within a short window of purchase.

DIY inspect a used car:

  • Start with a walkaround checking for body damage, paint flaws, uneven gaps, mismatched panels and overspray that may indicate repairs.
  • Look under the car for leaks, rust and damage.
  • Inspect tires for adequate tread depth and evenly worn tread.
  • Check all lights, electronics and features inside and out. Test drive all functions.
  • Review the owner’s manual and confirm scheduled maintenance was completed on time.
  • Examine brake pads and rotors for excessive wear. Calipers and hoses should not leak.
  • Check all fluid levels including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid and power steering.
  • Assess the exhaust system and listen for any leaks or rattling that could mean issues. 

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