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Used Cars Ontario

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With used car prices at all-time highs, buying a used car in Ontario can feel overwhelming for many buyers. Used car inventory is limited and prices keep rising across popular models and brands. However, with some research and preparation, you can still find a quality used car at a fair price in Ontario.

This guide covers everything you need to know, from assessing vehicle condition and test driving, to financing and the best used models for your needs. We’ll outline top tips for finding used car deals, what to watch for when buying privately, and the most reliable used cars on the market today in Ontario. Whether searching for your first car or a family-friendly SUV, use this comprehensive overview to make an informed used car purchase you can feel confident about.

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Benefits Used Cars

Buying a used car offers several advantages over purchasing a brand new vehicle. Here are some of the top benefits of going with a pre-owned model:

 

Save Money

The most obvious perk of buying used is the lower price tag. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price paid for a new vehicle in 2022 was around $48,000. Comparatively, the typical used car price falls between $20,000-$25,000. You can get a solid, reliable used car for far less than a new one.

 

Still Get a Quality Vehicle

Don’t think that buying used means you have to sacrifice on quality. There are plenty of pre-owned vehicles in excellent condition with many years of life left. Well-maintained used cars will have lower mileage and fewer signs of wear. With a thorough inspection, you can feel confident in the car’s reliability.

 

Certified Pre-Owned Programs

Many automakers now offer certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. These involve a rigorous inspection process and extended warranty coverage. Certified used cars give buyers peace of mind knowing the vehicle has been vetted to meet strict criteria. CPO models cost a bit more but deliver added assurances.

 

Used Car Inventory in Ontario

There are several places to find a wide selection of used cars for sale in Ontario. Here are some of the top options:

 

Major Dealerships

Most major car brands have dealerships in the Ontario area that offer a large inventory of used vehicles. This includes dealers like Toyota Ontario, Honda Ontario, Nissan Ontario, Ford Ontario, etc. The advantage of shopping at big dealers is you get to see many makes and models all in one place. Certified pre-owned vehicles will often come with extended warranty coverage too.

 

Independent Used Car Lots

Along with franchise dealers, there are independent used car lots throughout Ontario that specialize in pre-owned vehicles. These small car lots sometimes offer cheaper prices since they have lower overhead. However, their inventory is usually smaller and focused on common models. Reputable independent dealers will provide vehicle history reports.

 

Online Listings

Websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and Autotrader are go-to sources for finding used cars for sale by owner or from smaller dealers. Searching online classifieds allows you to cast a wide net and potentially find the exact car you want. Be sure to thoroughly vet any vehicle and seller you find this way.

 

Pricing Used Vehicles

When it comes to pricing used vehicles, there are a few key factors that come into play. The main considerations are the vehicle’s age, mileage, condition, features and demand. Used car prices also tend to depreciate over time, so newer used cars with lower mileage will typically cost more than older models with higher mileage.

The average used car price in Ontario is around $20,000, but prices can range quite a bit depending on the make, model, year and other factors mentioned above. Luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes will be priced higher, while more common brands like Toyota and Honda tend to be more affordable. SUVs and trucks also tend to have higher used car prices compared to sedans.

When negotiating the price of a used car, it helps to research the fair market value ahead of time using pricing guides like the Canadian Black Book. This gives you a good baseline to start negotiating from. You’ll generally have more room to negotiate on private-party sales than at dealer lots. It also helps to get pre-approved financing, so you know your budget ahead of time.

Some key negotiation tips include:

 

  • Pointing out flaws or issues with the vehicle to request a lower price.
  • Comparing prices of similar vehicles in your area.
  • Making a lower counteroffer if their asking price is too high.
  • Being willing to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price.
  • Asking if they can include any extras like new tires or a warranty.

 

By following these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to negotiating a great used car deal in Ontario that fits your budget.

 

Financing Options

When purchasing a used vehicle, you have several options for financing:

 

Dealer Financing

Many dealerships offer financing through partnerships with banks and lenders. This makes the financing process convenient since it can be handled directly through the dealer. Dealer financing typically offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan terms. The dealer will handle all the paperwork and loan application on your behalf.

 

Bank Loans

Banks and credit unions also provide loans for used car purchases. The benefit of a bank loan is you can shop around for the best rates. Banks will also often approve higher loan amounts compared to dealer financing. The downside is the loan process takes more time and paperwork on your end. You’ll need to submit a loan application and supporting documents directly to the bank.

 

Leasing

Leasing a used car is also an option to consider. The benefits of leasing include lower monthly payments, vehicle warranties, and the option to upgrade more frequently. The downside is leases have strict mileage limits and you won’t own the vehicle at the end of the term. Leasing used cars also tends to have higher rates compared to new vehicles.

When exploring financing options, it’s recommended to get pre-approved through your bank or credit union first. This gives you negotiating leverage when working with dealership financing. Having a pre-approved rate also allows you to compare offers and choose the best loan terms.

 

What to Look For in a Used Car

When shopping for a used car, there are several key things you’ll want to examine closely:

 

Mileage

Mileage is one of the most important factors in determining a used car’s value and reliability. In general, the lower the mileage the better. Under 100,000 km is ideal for most models. However, beware of cars with extremely low mileage for their age, as this can indicate the odometer was rolled back or the car has sat unused for long periods. Aim for the average yearly kilometres based on the car’s age.

 

Service Records

Service records prove that required maintenance and scheduled servicing was performed. This helps give you peace of mind that the previous owner took good care of the vehicle. At a minimum, ensure there is documentation for oil changes. Even better is a full log of all services, repairs, and major maintenance.

 

Accident History

Always get a vehicle history report to check for accidents, insurance claims, or title issues. Accidents can cause lasting damage, so it’s important to know if the car was in a collision. Avoid vehicles with major accident damage, and be wary if the report shows repeated minor incidents.

Inspect the car thoroughly yourself for signs of bodywork repairs. Look for uneven panel gaps, mismatched paint colors, overspray, or replaced parts that don’t quite fit right. Test drive the car and pay attention to any noises, vibrations or handling issues that could indicate crash damage.

 

Test Driving

Test driving a used car is one of the most important steps in determining if the vehicle is right for you. Here are some key things to check during a test drive:

 

  • Engine performance – Does the engine start up easily and accelerate smoothly? Listen for any unusual noises.
  • Steering and handling – Make sure the steering wheel doesn’t vibrate and the vehicle drives straight and takes corners well.
  • Brakes – Apply the brakes at various speeds and make sure they stop the car evenly and effectively.
  • Gears – Shift through all the gears while driving to ensure the transmission operates properly.
  • Comfort – Adjust the seats and steering wheel to find a comfortable driving position. Check seat comfort and leg room.
  • Controls – Test all buttons, knobs, lights, wipers, radio and AC to make sure they work correctly.
  • Suspension – Drive over bumps and imperfections to assess the ride quality and noise.
  • Visibility – Check side mirrors, rearview mirror and sightlines for any potential blind spots.

 

Take your time when test driving and don’t rush. Pay attention to how the vehicle performs and handles overall. A thorough test drive can help avoid buying a used car that may need costly repairs down the road.

 

Certified Pre-Owned

One great option when buying a used car in Ontario is to look for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. CPO cars go through rigorous inspections by the manufacturer and often come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

Most major automakers like Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc. offer CPO programs. To qualify, a vehicle must be fairly recent (generally 5-6 years old or newer), have low mileage, no accidents reported, and pass the certification inspection.

CPO cars cost more than regular used vehicles, but you get benefits like a factory-backed warranty, roadside assistance, loaner car privileges, and special financing rates. For example, Toyota offers a 160-point inspection and 7-year/100k mile powertrain warranty on its CPO cars.

The CPO certification gives buyers confidence in the vehicle’s condition and maintenance history. Dealers also run vehicle history reports and take care of any needed reconditioning before sale. While a tad more expensive, CPO can be worthwhile for the added peace of mind.

 

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a major factor for many used car buyers in Ontario. With gas prices fluctuating, getting a vehicle with good gas mileage can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on fuel costs. Hybrid vehicles in particular provide excellent fuel economy while reducing environmental impact.

Used hybrid cars from Toyota and Honda are popular choices in the Ontario market. The Toyota Prius is renowned for achieving 50+ mpg in city driving, while the Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid models also get 40+ mpg. These used hybrids represent major fuel savings over traditional gas-only vehicles.

Diesel-powered used cars and trucks are another fuel-efficient option to consider. Brands like Volkswagen and Chevrolet offer diesel options that can achieve 30% better mileage over their gas counterparts. The high torque of diesel engines also makes them well-suited for truck and SUV applications. Just be aware that diesel fuel often costs more per gallon than regular gasoline.

When evaluating regular gas-powered used cars, take note of the EPA estimated miles per gallon (mpg) rating. Compact and midsize sedans tend to be the most fuel-efficient, with models capable of 30+ mpg highway driving. Bigger SUVs and trucks usually get lower mpg, but can still vary widely in efficiency. Prioritizing fuel economy will pay dividends over the life of your used vehicle.

 

Safety Features

When shopping for used cars in Ontario, don’t overlook the importance of safety. While used vehicles may not have all the latest tech found in newer models, there are still key safety features to look for.

Pay attention to crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vehicles rated “Good” in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests from the IIHS or 5 stars overall from NHTSA provide the highest levels of protection.

Look for important active safety features like anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control. These systems help drivers maintain control in emergency situations. More advanced systems like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring are great to have as well if you can find them on a used vehicle.

When test driving, make sure things like headlights, brake lights, turn signals, seat belts, and tires are in good working order. Opt for newer model used cars that meet the latest safety standards when possible. Driving a car with modern safety gear can give you peace of mind on the road.

 

Luxury Brands

For those looking for a more premium used car buying experience in Ontario, luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Acura offer sophisticated styling, top-notch interiors and advanced technology. Here’s an overview of what each luxury make offers in the used market:

BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine lives up to its motto with exhilarating performance and handling. Used BMW models like the 3 Series, 5 Series and X5 deliver an unforgettable driving experience along with upscale cabins. Make sure to look for well-maintained examples.

Mercedes-Benz – With a dedication to cutting-edge innovation and occupant protection, Mercedes offers used buyers the pinnacle of luxury and safety. The elegant S-Class sedan, versatile GL-Class SUV and sleek C-Class are excellent used options.

Lexus – Toyota’s luxury division is synonymous with silky smooth drivetrains, meticulous craftsmanship and Japanese reliability. The RX crossover, GS sedan and IS sport models are smart used Lexus buys.

Acura – As Honda’s upscale badge, Acura presents buyers with a sporty and tech-savvy selection of used luxury vehicles. The TLX sports sedan, RDX crossover and MDX SUV all deliver excitement, comfort and value.

While luxury used vehicles command a premium over mainstream brands, their refinement, prestige and performance make them highly coveted by used car shoppers in Ontario. When maintained properly, they offer years of luxurious and reliable transportation.

 

Midsize Sedans

Midsize sedans are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for the right balance of affordability, practicality, and comfort. Models like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion offer great value on the used market. Here’s an overview of the top options:

The Honda Accord is renowned for its reliability, handling, and interior space. Even after several years and high mileage, it should keep running smoothly with basic maintenance. Features like a roomy cabin and fold-down rear seats make it practical for families. Expect a used Accord to hold value relatively well.

Toyota Camrys also have a stellar reputation for dependability. They offer a smooth, quiet ride and get excellent fuel economy. Interior space is generous, especially in the backseat. The V6 engine delivers brisk acceleration while four-cylinder models prioritize efficiency. Well-equipped Camrys are available at affordable used prices.

The Nissan Altima provides athletic handling and an upscale interior on a budget. Recent models come loaded with technology like a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Shoppers can find CVT-equipped Altimas with great gas mileage or V6 versions with some punch.

Ford Fusions bring style and ample features at reasonable prices. This midsize sedan has solid driving dynamics and a choice of four-cylinder or V6 engines. An expansive trunk and fold-flat rear seats make the Fusion practical. Key options like SYNC infotainment and active safety gear are common on used models.

Overall, midsize sedans from these top brands are smart purchases on the used market. They deliver space, performance, tech, and value that appeal to many Ontario drivers. Focusing your search on Accords, Camrys, Altimas, and Fusions is a great way to find a reliable and budget-friendly used car.

 

Small Cars

Small cars are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for good gas mileage and ease of parking. Models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus dominate the used small car market. Here’s an overview of each:

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is one of the most reliable small cars on the road. Civics hold their value well and are inexpensive to maintain. Some of the older models can have high mileage and still run smoothly. The Civic offers responsive handling and delivers excellent fuel economy. Hatchback, sedan, and coupe body styles provide options.

Toyota Corolla

Known for quality and durability, the Toyota Corolla is a smart choice for used car buyers. Corollas have proven very dependable over the years. They offer a comfortable ride and come equipped with many standard safety features. The Corolla provides excellent fuel efficiency. Sedan, hatchback, and wagon body styles are available.

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra delivers good looks and solid performance. Elantras hold their value relatively well and are inexpensive to maintain. They provide a comfortable ride and many standard tech features. The Elantra gets excellent gas mileage. Sedan and hatchback models offer versatility.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus has nimble handling and provides a fun driving experience. Focuses hold their value decently and are fairly affordable to repair. Hatchback and sedan models offer cargo flexibility. The Focus offers good fuel efficiency. Reliability has improved in recent years.

For an affordable, efficient used car, Ontario buyers would be wise to consider a Civic, Corolla, Elantra or Focus. Their reputation for dependability makes them sound used purchases.

 

SUVs

SUVs are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for versatility, cargo space, and family-friendly features. Top options like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Traverse offer the right combination of reliability, affordability, and practicality.

The Honda CR-V is one of the best compact SUVs on the market. It has impressive interior space, great fuel economy, and Honda’s reputation for reliability. Used CR-Vs tend to hold their value very well.

The Toyota RAV4 is another top seller, known for its durability, safety ratings, and comfortable ride. Shoppers can find used RAV4s priced very competitively.

For a slightly larger SUV, the Ford Escape is a smart choice. It drives smoothly, gets decent gas mileage, and has versatile cargo configurations. The Chevrolet Traverse is an excellent full-size SUV for families, with three rows of seating and plenty of cargo room. Used Traverses offer a lot of value for the money.

No matter your budget or needs, there are great used SUV options available in the Ontario area. Test driving models like the CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and Traverse will help buyers find the right balance of size, features, and price.

 

Trucks

Some of the most popular used trucks in Ontario are the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and RAM 1500. These full-size pickups consistently rank among the top-selling vehicles in Canada thanks to their versatility, capability, and availability of features.

The F-150 delivers best-in-class towing and payload capacities as well as a comfortable ride and modern tech features. Used F-150 models are plentiful, and you can often find lightly used examples from the past few model years. Look for the EcoBoost turbocharged V6 engines for improved fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The Silverado 1500 impresses with its smooth ride and quiet cabin. Opt for the 5.3L V8 engine for robust power for towing and hauling. Higher trim levels add more premium features like leather upholstery, a Bose audio system, and heated/ventilated front seats.

The RAM 1500 stands out with its coil-spring rear suspension for a smoother ride compared to leaf-spring competitors. The optional 5.7L HEMI V8 provides brisk acceleration. RAM also offers many upscale features on higher trims like a 12-inch touchscreen display, premium audio, and adaptive cruise control.

When shopping for a used truck in Ontario, be sure to inspect the bed for dents and scratches, check the hitch setup, and look under the hood for engine issues. Test drive it with some weight in the bed to evaluate its towing abilities. Also look for updated driver-assist safety technologies on newer models. Overall, shoppers have no shortage of quality full-size trucks to choose from in the used market.

 

Minivans

Minivans are popular family vehicles known for their spacious interiors and versatile seating configurations. Three of the most common minivans on the used market in Ontario are the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Honda Odyssey is consistently one of the top-rated minivans thanks to its car-like handling, family-friendly features, and proven reliability. The Odyssey comes well equipped even on base models, and higher trims add amenities like an in-cabin rear entertainment system, leather seats, navigation, and a rear-view camera. Shoppers can find used Odysseys priced from the mid-teens for older high-mileage models up to the mid $30Ks for recent model years in good condition.

Toyota Sienna is another minivan shoppers should have on their list. Like most Toyotas, the Sienna is known for excellent build quality and durability. The Sienna offers a smooth, comfortable ride and has earned high safety scores. Base models come well equipped, while higher trims feature extras like dual sunroofs and built-in vacuum cleaners. Used Siennas typically run from the low teens for older models up to around $30,000 for late model examples.

The Dodge Grand Caravan fills the budget end of the minivan market. While it may lack some of the refinement of pricier competitors, the Grand Caravan offers value with a basic feature set and user-friendly functionality. Grand Caravans are common on used lots with prices ranging from just a few thousand for early 2000s’ models up to around $18,000 for newer low-mileage versions.

When shopping for a used minivan in Ontario, it pays to cast a wide net across multiple models to find the best combination of condition, features, and price. Test driving your top choices is the best way to determine which minivan is the right fit for your family.

 

Best Used Cars

When buying a used car in Ontario, it’s helpful to know which models tend to be the most reliable and hold their value over time. Here’s a look at some of the top used cars by segment and model year:

 

Small Cars

  • Toyota Corolla (2014-2018)
  • Honda Civic (2015-2019)
  • Hyundai Elantra (2017-2019)

 

Midsize Sedans

  • Toyota Camry (2015-2018)
  • Honda Accord (2016-2019)
  • Subaru Legacy (2015-2019)

 

SUVs

  • Toyota RAV4 (2016-2019)
  • Honda CR-V (2015-2018)
  • Subaru Forester (2014-2018)

 

Trucks

  • Toyota Tacoma (2015-2019)
  • Ford F-150 (2014-2018)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2014-2018)

 

These vehicles tend to hold their value well, have good reliability ratings, and have reasonable repair and maintenance costs for their segment. Focusing your used car search on these makes and model years can help find a great deal.

 

Buying Privatley

While buying a used vehicle from a dealership comes with protections, you can often get a better deal purchasing directly from an individual. However, there are risks you need to be aware of. When buying privately, make sure to take the following steps:

Check the paperwork – Request the vehicle’s title, registration, service records, and accident history. Confirm the VIN number on the paperwork matches that on the vehicle. Review maintenance records to get an idea of how well the vehicle was cared for.

Take a test drive – Insist on driving the vehicle, and bring it to highway speeds and on different road surfaces. Listen for any unusual noises or sensations that could indicate issues.

Get an inspection – Have a mechanic you trust do a pre-purchase inspection. They can check for problems you may miss on a test drive and assess if the vehicle was well maintained. This will cost around $100 but can save you from buying a lemon.

Check for liens – Make sure there are no liens or loans on the vehicle before purchasing by requesting a lien check from the DMV. Otherwise, you could be responsible for payments.

Handle payment carefully – It’s best to make payment only once the paperwork is signed over. If wiring money, use escrow services to ensure the title is transferred before releasing payment.

By following these tips when buying a used vehicle from an individual, you can feel confident you are making a smart purchase and avoiding the pitfalls. Just be sure to be vigilant during the process.

 

Conclusion

In summary, buying a used car in Ontario has many benefits over purchasing new. By considering factors such as pricing, financing, inspection, test drives and desired features, you’re sure to find a high-quality used vehicle that fits your needs and budget. Some of the most popular used models in Ontario are from brands like Honda, Toyota, Ford and Nissan, which offer reliability, fuel efficiency and affordability.

When shopping for used, be sure to get a vehicle history report to check for any issues. Work with reputable dealerships that provide certified pre-owned options to get added peace of mind. Take the car for an extensive test drive and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase. Buying privately can provide cost savings but comes with more risk.

Overall, with the right research and diligence, you can find an excellent used car in Ontario and get more value for your money. Take your time, set a budget, test drive multiple options and you’ll end up with a great ride you can enjoy for years to come.

Questions About Used Cars in Ontario

Some of the most popular used car dealers in Ontario include AutoTrader.ca, Carfax Canada, Vehicles.ca, Clutch.ca, and Unhaggle. These dealers have large inventories of used cars from various brands and models. They thoroughly inspect and certify the used vehicles before selling. Many also offer history reports and extended warranty options. When shopping for used cars in Ontario, these reputable dealers are a great place to start.

The best way to find used cars for sale by owner in Ontario is through online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. You can search by location, make, model, year, price and other filters to find private sellers offering used vehicles for sale. Autotrader.ca and Craigslist.ca also have special sections for cars and trucks being sold by their owners without a middleman dealer. When contacting sellers directly, be sure to ask for maintenance records, accident history, and verify ownership before purchasing.

To register a used car purchased in Ontario, you need the vehicle’s proof of ownership (title or registration), proof of insurance, bill of sale, safety standards certificate, lien release (if applicable), and applicable sales taxes paid. Out-of-province vehicles also require records like import papers at the time of registration. Ensure all documentation is complete before finalizing your used car purchase to avoid issues during the registration process at a Service Ontario location.

The best way to verify a used car’s accident history in Ontario is by ordering a Carproof or Carfax report before purchase. These detailed vehicle history reports will show any reported collisions, extent of damage, location, if airbags were deployed, and more. You can order a report online by VIN or license plate number. Another option is to take the car to an independent mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. They can do a thorough check for any signs of repaired accident damage not reported elsewhere.

Ontario’s lemon laws protect consumers if they unknowingly purchase a used vehicle that turns out to be defective beyond normal wear and tear. Under the law, buyers can request compensation or a replacement vehicle if repeated repair attempts for the same major defect have failed. Lemon law protection applies to used cars, trucks and SUVs purchased from a registered dealer in Ontario that are under 5 years old and have less than 75,000 km. Exceptions exist for certain issues, so check Ontario’s lemon law criteria before pursuing action against a dealer.

Two ways to verify that a used vehicle you’re considering has not been written off or stolen in Ontario are:

 

  1. Order a Carproof or Carfax report which shows detailed Canadian history including total loss records, lien records, theft determinations and more.

 

  1. Do a used vehicle information package (UVIP) search on Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation website. It will tell you if a car has been branded as irreparable, rebuilt or salvage.

 

Doing both these checks before purchase can save you from buying a used car with a shady past.

Common fees to budget for when buying a used car in Ontario include the HST tax, licensing fee, registration fee, dealer documentation fee, safety certification fee and tire tax disposal fee if new tires are included. Additional costs may include an extended car warranty, added accessories or required repairs. Having your financing pre-approved also gives you an accurate idea of monthly payments. Being prepared for these costs allows you to budget better and avoid surprises during the used car buying process.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, many used car dealers in Ontario are offering virtual test drives and home deliveries when you are interested in a vehicle. You can ask for a live video walkaround, request photos of the interior, exterior, controls, wheels and odometer to get a good look. If permitted in your area, most dealers will also arrange for no-contact test drives by thoroughly disinfecting the vehicle before and after. Make sure to ask about their specific test drive policies during COVID when contacting the used car seller.

Important questions to ask the used car seller in Ontario include:

 

– How many previous owners were there and do you have maintenance records?

– Has the vehicle ever been in an accident or had major repairs?

– Is there any existing damage or mechanical issues I should know about?

– Are winter tires included with the used vehicle?

– Why are you selling this particular used car?

– Can I take the car for an independent inspection or extended test drive?

 

Asking plenty of questions upfront will help you determine if it’s a reliable used car or potentially problematic. Don’t hesitate to walk away if you don’t get satisfactory answers.

The average cost of basic used car insurance in Ontario is about $1,500 per year or $125 per month according to 2020 stats from the Insurance Bureau of Canada. However, rates vary greatly based on factors like your location, driving record, age, selected coverage and the year/make/model of used vehicle. Getting quotes from multiple insurance providers is highly recommended, as Ontario used car insurance rates can range from as low as $900 annually all the way up to $5,000 or more for high-risk drivers.

When evaluating a used car yourself in Ontario, start by examining the exterior for consistent body panel gaps, paint condition, rust spots and damage. Look under the car for leaks and check tire wear. Move to the interior and test all controls, electronics, seat adjustments and open every compartment. Ensure the engine starts easily cold, listen for odd noises and take an extensive test drive on highways and local roads. Bringing along an OBD scanner to check for error codes can also help identify mechanical issues during a used car inspection.

The most reliable brands and models for used cars in Ontario are typically Toyota, Honda and Subaru based on expert recommendations and consumer reliability ratings. In particular, the Toyota Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Honda Civic, CR-V and Subaru Legacy, Forester and Outback are top picks. These vehicles have proven records of durability, safety and retaining their resale value over high mileages when well maintained. Choosing reliable used car brands reduces the risk of expensive repairs down the road.

Winter weather and road salt use significantly impacts used car prices in Ontario. Prices tend to dip 5-10% lower in winter months. Why? Vehicles have increased wear-and-tear on parts like brakes and chassis from cold operation. Body and frame corrosion is also accelerated from salted winter roads. If shopping in winter, be diligent about checking mechanical components and the undercarriage for excessive rust. Consider having a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection before buying a used car exposed to multiple Ontario winters.

Smart negotiation tactics can help you score an excellent deal on a used car in Ontario. Research the vehicle’s market value on sites like Unhaggle and CarCostCanada which show fair price ranges based on features and location. Arrange your own financing beforehand so you can focus negotiations on the out-the-door price. Be ready to walk away rather than overpay. Time your purchase right to get winter discounts. Leveraging competition between multiple dealerships for your business can also motivate better used car pricing.

The easiest way to find certified pre-owned (CPO) used vehicles in Ontario is shopping on manufacturer dealership websites and inventory, like Audi, BMW, Toyota, Honda, etc. Every major automaker offers CPO used cars that undergo rigorous multi-point inspections and reconditioning. Perks can include extended warranty coverage, roadside assistance, financing deals and assurance that any necessary repairs were completed. While CPO used cars cost a bit more upfront, they provide added consumer protection and peace of mind.

The typical age range for used cars offering the best overall value in the Ontario market is between 3 to 8 years old according to most experts. Newer used cars under 3 years often don’t provide substantial discounts yet compared to brand new models. Anything over 8 years will likely feel outdated, start needing repairs and have older safety ratings. Shoppers seeking modern features while minimizing rapid first-year depreciation get the optimal used car value from this recommended 3-to-8-year-old age range.

Major factors that can significantly reduce the valuation and resale price of used cars in Ontario include accident history, multiple previous owners and excessively high mileage. Having even minor accident damage can drop asking price by thousands. Short term ownership hints at potential problems down the road. Mileage over 200,000 km often requires price reductions as well for needed repairs and reduced remaining lifespan of components before needing replacement. Savvy used car shoppers in Ontario leverage these factors to negotiate better deals.

Eco-conscious used car shoppers in Ontario can find many reliable hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric pre-owned options these days. Popular models include the Toyota Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4 Hybrid, Ford Fusion Energi PHEV, Chevy Volt plug-in, Nissan Leaf EV, and Tesla Model S. Demand for green vehicles means their resale value retention outperforms conventional gas models. With the variety now available used, going electric no longer means compromising on affordability or practicality.

While base models provide the most value when buying used, upgraded packages and options do result in higher resale pricing in Ontario. All-wheel drive can add $1500+ to the average used car or truck. Technology packages with advanced safety features often command $1000+ premiums. Heated seats and upgraded audio may be worth $500 extra. High-end additions like leather, sunroofs and navigation boost value too but depreciate faster. Carefully weigh how much those options are truly worth to you when negotiating used vehicle prices.

 

Benefits Used Cars

Buying a used car offers several advantages over purchasing a brand new vehicle. Here are some of the top benefits of going with a pre-owned model:

 

Save Money

The most obvious perk of buying used is the lower price tag. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price paid for a new vehicle in 2022 was around $48,000. Comparatively, the typical used car price falls between $20,000-$25,000. You can get a solid, reliable used car for far less than a new one.

 

Still Get a Quality Vehicle

Don’t think that buying used means you have to sacrifice on quality. There are plenty of pre-owned vehicles in excellent condition with many years of life left. Well-maintained used cars will have lower mileage and fewer signs of wear. With a thorough inspection, you can feel confident in the car’s reliability.

 

Certified Pre-Owned Programs

Many automakers now offer certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. These involve a rigorous inspection process and extended warranty coverage. Certified used cars give buyers peace of mind knowing the vehicle has been vetted to meet strict criteria. CPO models cost a bit more but deliver added assurances.

 

Used Car Inventory in Ontario

There are several places to find a wide selection of used cars for sale in Ontario. Here are some of the top options:

 

Major Dealerships

Most major car brands have dealerships in the Ontario area that offer a large inventory of used vehicles. This includes dealers like Toyota Ontario, Honda Ontario, Nissan Ontario, Ford Ontario, etc. The advantage of shopping at big dealers is you get to see many makes and models all in one place. Certified pre-owned vehicles will often come with extended warranty coverage too.

 

Independent Used Car Lots

Along with franchise dealers, there are independent used car lots throughout Ontario that specialize in pre-owned vehicles. These small car lots sometimes offer cheaper prices since they have lower overhead. However, their inventory is usually smaller and focused on common models. Reputable independent dealers will provide vehicle history reports.

 

Online Listings

Websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and Autotrader are go-to sources for finding used cars for sale by owner or from smaller dealers. Searching online classifieds allows you to cast a wide net and potentially find the exact car you want. Be sure to thoroughly vet any vehicle and seller you find this way.

 

Pricing Used Vehicles

When it comes to pricing used vehicles, there are a few key factors that come into play. The main considerations are the vehicle’s age, mileage, condition, features and demand. Used car prices also tend to depreciate over time, so newer used cars with lower mileage will typically cost more than older models with higher mileage.

The average used car price in Ontario is around $20,000, but prices can range quite a bit depending on the make, model, year and other factors mentioned above. Luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes will be priced higher, while more common brands like Toyota and Honda tend to be more affordable. SUVs and trucks also tend to have higher used car prices compared to sedans.

When negotiating the price of a used car, it helps to research the fair market value ahead of time using pricing guides like the Canadian Black Book. This gives you a good baseline to start negotiating from. You’ll generally have more room to negotiate on private-party sales than at dealer lots. It also helps to get pre-approved financing, so you know your budget ahead of time.

Some key negotiation tips include:

 

  • Pointing out flaws or issues with the vehicle to request a lower price.
  • Comparing prices of similar vehicles in your area.
  • Making a lower counteroffer if their asking price is too high.
  • Being willing to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price.
  • Asking if they can include any extras like new tires or a warranty.

 

By following these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to negotiating a great used car deal in Ontario that fits your budget.

 

Financing Options

When purchasing a used vehicle, you have several options for financing:

 

Dealer Financing

Many dealerships offer financing through partnerships with banks and lenders. This makes the financing process convenient since it can be handled directly through the dealer. Dealer financing typically offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan terms. The dealer will handle all the paperwork and loan application on your behalf.

 

Bank Loans

Banks and credit unions also provide loans for used car purchases. The benefit of a bank loan is you can shop around for the best rates. Banks will also often approve higher loan amounts compared to dealer financing. The downside is the loan process takes more time and paperwork on your end. You’ll need to submit a loan application and supporting documents directly to the bank.

 

Leasing

Leasing a used car is also an option to consider. The benefits of leasing include lower monthly payments, vehicle warranties, and the option to upgrade more frequently. The downside is leases have strict mileage limits and you won’t own the vehicle at the end of the term. Leasing used cars also tends to have higher rates compared to new vehicles.

When exploring financing options, it’s recommended to get pre-approved through your bank or credit union first. This gives you negotiating leverage when working with dealership financing. Having a pre-approved rate also allows you to compare offers and choose the best loan terms.

 

What to Look For in a Used Car

When shopping for a used car, there are several key things you’ll want to examine closely:

 

Mileage

Mileage is one of the most important factors in determining a used car’s value and reliability. In general, the lower the mileage the better. Under 100,000 km is ideal for most models. However, beware of cars with extremely low mileage for their age, as this can indicate the odometer was rolled back or the car has sat unused for long periods. Aim for the average yearly kilometres based on the car’s age.

 

Service Records

Service records prove that required maintenance and scheduled servicing was performed. This helps give you peace of mind that the previous owner took good care of the vehicle. At a minimum, ensure there is documentation for oil changes. Even better is a full log of all services, repairs, and major maintenance.

 

Accident History

Always get a vehicle history report to check for accidents, insurance claims, or title issues. Accidents can cause lasting damage, so it’s important to know if the car was in a collision. Avoid vehicles with major accident damage, and be wary if the report shows repeated minor incidents.

Inspect the car thoroughly yourself for signs of bodywork repairs. Look for uneven panel gaps, mismatched paint colors, overspray, or replaced parts that don’t quite fit right. Test drive the car and pay attention to any noises, vibrations or handling issues that could indicate crash damage.

 

Test Driving

Test driving a used car is one of the most important steps in determining if the vehicle is right for you. Here are some key things to check during a test drive:

 

  • Engine performance – Does the engine start up easily and accelerate smoothly? Listen for any unusual noises.
  • Steering and handling – Make sure the steering wheel doesn’t vibrate and the vehicle drives straight and takes corners well.
  • Brakes – Apply the brakes at various speeds and make sure they stop the car evenly and effectively.
  • Gears – Shift through all the gears while driving to ensure the transmission operates properly.
  • Comfort – Adjust the seats and steering wheel to find a comfortable driving position. Check seat comfort and leg room.
  • Controls – Test all buttons, knobs, lights, wipers, radio and AC to make sure they work correctly.
  • Suspension – Drive over bumps and imperfections to assess the ride quality and noise.
  • Visibility – Check side mirrors, rearview mirror and sightlines for any potential blind spots.

 

Take your time when test driving and don’t rush. Pay attention to how the vehicle performs and handles overall. A thorough test drive can help avoid buying a used car that may need costly repairs down the road.

 

Certified Pre-Owned

One great option when buying a used car in Ontario is to look for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. CPO cars go through rigorous inspections by the manufacturer and often come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

Most major automakers like Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc. offer CPO programs. To qualify, a vehicle must be fairly recent (generally 5-6 years old or newer), have low mileage, no accidents reported, and pass the certification inspection.

CPO cars cost more than regular used vehicles, but you get benefits like a factory-backed warranty, roadside assistance, loaner car privileges, and special financing rates. For example, Toyota offers a 160-point inspection and 7-year/100k mile powertrain warranty on its CPO cars.

The CPO certification gives buyers confidence in the vehicle’s condition and maintenance history. Dealers also run vehicle history reports and take care of any needed reconditioning before sale. While a tad more expensive, CPO can be worthwhile for the added peace of mind.

 

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a major factor for many used car buyers in Ontario. With gas prices fluctuating, getting a vehicle with good gas mileage can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on fuel costs. Hybrid vehicles in particular provide excellent fuel economy while reducing environmental impact.

Used hybrid cars from Toyota and Honda are popular choices in the Ontario market. The Toyota Prius is renowned for achieving 50+ mpg in city driving, while the Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid models also get 40+ mpg. These used hybrids represent major fuel savings over traditional gas-only vehicles.

Diesel-powered used cars and trucks are another fuel-efficient option to consider. Brands like Volkswagen and Chevrolet offer diesel options that can achieve 30% better mileage over their gas counterparts. The high torque of diesel engines also makes them well-suited for truck and SUV applications. Just be aware that diesel fuel often costs more per gallon than regular gasoline.

When evaluating regular gas-powered used cars, take note of the EPA estimated miles per gallon (mpg) rating. Compact and midsize sedans tend to be the most fuel-efficient, with models capable of 30+ mpg highway driving. Bigger SUVs and trucks usually get lower mpg, but can still vary widely in efficiency. Prioritizing fuel economy will pay dividends over the life of your used vehicle.

 

Safety Features

When shopping for used cars in Ontario, don’t overlook the importance of safety. While used vehicles may not have all the latest tech found in newer models, there are still key safety features to look for.

Pay attention to crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vehicles rated “Good” in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests from the IIHS or 5 stars overall from NHTSA provide the highest levels of protection.

Look for important active safety features like anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control. These systems help drivers maintain control in emergency situations. More advanced systems like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring are great to have as well if you can find them on a used vehicle.

When test driving, make sure things like headlights, brake lights, turn signals, seat belts, and tires are in good working order. Opt for newer model used cars that meet the latest safety standards when possible. Driving a car with modern safety gear can give you peace of mind on the road.

 

Luxury Brands

For those looking for a more premium used car buying experience in Ontario, luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Acura offer sophisticated styling, top-notch interiors and advanced technology. Here’s an overview of what each luxury make offers in the used market:

BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine lives up to its motto with exhilarating performance and handling. Used BMW models like the 3 Series, 5 Series and X5 deliver an unforgettable driving experience along with upscale cabins. Make sure to look for well-maintained examples.

Mercedes-Benz – With a dedication to cutting-edge innovation and occupant protection, Mercedes offers used buyers the pinnacle of luxury and safety. The elegant S-Class sedan, versatile GL-Class SUV and sleek C-Class are excellent used options.

Lexus – Toyota’s luxury division is synonymous with silky smooth drivetrains, meticulous craftsmanship and Japanese reliability. The RX crossover, GS sedan and IS sport models are smart used Lexus buys.

Acura – As Honda’s upscale badge, Acura presents buyers with a sporty and tech-savvy selection of used luxury vehicles. The TLX sports sedan, RDX crossover and MDX SUV all deliver excitement, comfort and value.

While luxury used vehicles command a premium over mainstream brands, their refinement, prestige and performance make them highly coveted by used car shoppers in Ontario. When maintained properly, they offer years of luxurious and reliable transportation.

 

Midsize Sedans

Midsize sedans are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for the right balance of affordability, practicality, and comfort. Models like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion offer great value on the used market. Here’s an overview of the top options:

The Honda Accord is renowned for its reliability, handling, and interior space. Even after several years and high mileage, it should keep running smoothly with basic maintenance. Features like a roomy cabin and fold-down rear seats make it practical for families. Expect a used Accord to hold value relatively well.

Toyota Camrys also have a stellar reputation for dependability. They offer a smooth, quiet ride and get excellent fuel economy. Interior space is generous, especially in the backseat. The V6 engine delivers brisk acceleration while four-cylinder models prioritize efficiency. Well-equipped Camrys are available at affordable used prices.

The Nissan Altima provides athletic handling and an upscale interior on a budget. Recent models come loaded with technology like a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Shoppers can find CVT-equipped Altimas with great gas mileage or V6 versions with some punch.

Ford Fusions bring style and ample features at reasonable prices. This midsize sedan has solid driving dynamics and a choice of four-cylinder or V6 engines. An expansive trunk and fold-flat rear seats make the Fusion practical. Key options like SYNC infotainment and active safety gear are common on used models.

Overall, midsize sedans from these top brands are smart purchases on the used market. They deliver space, performance, tech, and value that appeal to many Ontario drivers. Focusing your search on Accords, Camrys, Altimas, and Fusions is a great way to find a reliable and budget-friendly used car.

 

Small Cars

Small cars are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for good gas mileage and ease of parking. Models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus dominate the used small car market. Here’s an overview of each:

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is one of the most reliable small cars on the road. Civics hold their value well and are inexpensive to maintain. Some of the older models can have high mileage and still run smoothly. The Civic offers responsive handling and delivers excellent fuel economy. Hatchback, sedan, and coupe body styles provide options.

Toyota Corolla

Known for quality and durability, the Toyota Corolla is a smart choice for used car buyers. Corollas have proven very dependable over the years. They offer a comfortable ride and come equipped with many standard safety features. The Corolla provides excellent fuel efficiency. Sedan, hatchback, and wagon body styles are available.

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra delivers good looks and solid performance. Elantras hold their value relatively well and are inexpensive to maintain. They provide a comfortable ride and many standard tech features. The Elantra gets excellent gas mileage. Sedan and hatchback models offer versatility.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus has nimble handling and provides a fun driving experience. Focuses hold their value decently and are fairly affordable to repair. Hatchback and sedan models offer cargo flexibility. The Focus offers good fuel efficiency. Reliability has improved in recent years.

For an affordable, efficient used car, Ontario buyers would be wise to consider a Civic, Corolla, Elantra or Focus. Their reputation for dependability makes them sound used purchases.

 

SUVs

SUVs are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for versatility, cargo space, and family-friendly features. Top options like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Traverse offer the right combination of reliability, affordability, and practicality.

The Honda CR-V is one of the best compact SUVs on the market. It has impressive interior space, great fuel economy, and Honda’s reputation for reliability. Used CR-Vs tend to hold their value very well.

The Toyota RAV4 is another top seller, known for its durability, safety ratings, and comfortable ride. Shoppers can find used RAV4s priced very competitively.

For a slightly larger SUV, the Ford Escape is a smart choice. It drives smoothly, gets decent gas mileage, and has versatile cargo configurations. The Chevrolet Traverse is an excellent full-size SUV for families, with three rows of seating and plenty of cargo room. Used Traverses offer a lot of value for the money.

No matter your budget or needs, there are great used SUV options available in the Ontario area. Test driving models like the CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and Traverse will help buyers find the right balance of size, features, and price.

 

Trucks

Some of the most popular used trucks in Ontario are the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and RAM 1500. These full-size pickups consistently rank among the top-selling vehicles in Canada thanks to their versatility, capability, and availability of features.

The F-150 delivers best-in-class towing and payload capacities as well as a comfortable ride and modern tech features. Used F-150 models are plentiful, and you can often find lightly used examples from the past few model years. Look for the EcoBoost turbocharged V6 engines for improved fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The Silverado 1500 impresses with its smooth ride and quiet cabin. Opt for the 5.3L V8 engine for robust power for towing and hauling. Higher trim levels add more premium features like leather upholstery, a Bose audio system, and heated/ventilated front seats.

The RAM 1500 stands out with its coil-spring rear suspension for a smoother ride compared to leaf-spring competitors. The optional 5.7L HEMI V8 provides brisk acceleration. RAM also offers many upscale features on higher trims like a 12-inch touchscreen display, premium audio, and adaptive cruise control.

When shopping for a used truck in Ontario, be sure to inspect the bed for dents and scratches, check the hitch setup, and look under the hood for engine issues. Test drive it with some weight in the bed to evaluate its towing abilities. Also look for updated driver-assist safety technologies on newer models. Overall, shoppers have no shortage of quality full-size trucks to choose from in the used market.

 

Minivans

Minivans are popular family vehicles known for their spacious interiors and versatile seating configurations. Three of the most common minivans on the used market in Ontario are the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Honda Odyssey is consistently one of the top-rated minivans thanks to its car-like handling, family-friendly features, and proven reliability. The Odyssey comes well equipped even on base models, and higher trims add amenities like an in-cabin rear entertainment system, leather seats, navigation, and a rear-view camera. Shoppers can find used Odysseys priced from the mid-teens for older high-mileage models up to the mid $30Ks for recent model years in good condition.

Toyota Sienna is another minivan shoppers should have on their list. Like most Toyotas, the Sienna is known for excellent build quality and durability. The Sienna offers a smooth, comfortable ride and has earned high safety scores. Base models come well equipped, while higher trims feature extras like dual sunroofs and built-in vacuum cleaners. Used Siennas typically run from the low teens for older models up to around $30,000 for late model examples.

The Dodge Grand Caravan fills the budget end of the minivan market. While it may lack some of the refinement of pricier competitors, the Grand Caravan offers value with a basic feature set and user-friendly functionality. Grand Caravans are common on used lots with prices ranging from just a few thousand for early 2000s’ models up to around $18,000 for newer low-mileage versions.

When shopping for a used minivan in Ontario, it pays to cast a wide net across multiple models to find the best combination of condition, features, and price. Test driving your top choices is the best way to determine which minivan is the right fit for your family.

 

Best Used Cars

When buying a used car in Ontario, it’s helpful to know which models tend to be the most reliable and hold their value over time. Here’s a look at some of the top used cars by segment and model year:

 

Small Cars

  • Toyota Corolla (2014-2018)
  • Honda Civic (2015-2019)
  • Hyundai Elantra (2017-2019)

 

Midsize Sedans

  • Toyota Camry (2015-2018)
  • Honda Accord (2016-2019)
  • Subaru Legacy (2015-2019)

 

SUVs

  • Toyota RAV4 (2016-2019)
  • Honda CR-V (2015-2018)
  • Subaru Forester (2014-2018)

 

Trucks

  • Toyota Tacoma (2015-2019)
  • Ford F-150 (2014-2018)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2014-2018)

 

These vehicles tend to hold their value well, have good reliability ratings, and have reasonable repair and maintenance costs for their segment. Focusing your used car search on these makes and model years can help find a great deal.

 

Buying Privatley

While buying a used vehicle from a dealership comes with protections, you can often get a better deal purchasing directly from an individual. However, there are risks you need to be aware of. When buying privately, make sure to take the following steps:

Check the paperwork – Request the vehicle’s title, registration, service records, and accident history. Confirm the VIN number on the paperwork matches that on the vehicle. Review maintenance records to get an idea of how well the vehicle was cared for.

Take a test drive – Insist on driving the vehicle, and bring it to highway speeds and on different road surfaces. Listen for any unusual noises or sensations that could indicate issues.

Get an inspection – Have a mechanic you trust do a pre-purchase inspection. They can check for problems you may miss on a test drive and assess if the vehicle was well maintained. This will cost around $100 but can save you from buying a lemon.

Check for liens – Make sure there are no liens or loans on the vehicle before purchasing by requesting a lien check from the DMV. Otherwise, you could be responsible for payments.

Handle payment carefully – It’s best to make payment only once the paperwork is signed over. If wiring money, use escrow services to ensure the title is transferred before releasing payment.

By following these tips when buying a used vehicle from an individual, you can feel confident you are making a smart purchase and avoiding the pitfalls. Just be sure to be vigilant during the process.

 

Conclusion

In summary, buying a used car in Ontario has many benefits over purchasing new. By considering factors such as pricing, financing, inspection, test drives and desired features, you’re sure to find a high-quality used vehicle that fits your needs and budget. Some of the most popular used models in Ontario are from brands like Honda, Toyota, Ford and Nissan, which offer reliability, fuel efficiency and affordability.

When shopping for used, be sure to get a vehicle history report to check for any issues. Work with reputable dealerships that provide certified pre-owned options to get added peace of mind. Take the car for an extensive test drive and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase. Buying privately can provide cost savings but comes with more risk.

Overall, with the right research and diligence, you can find an excellent used car in Ontario and get more value for your money. Take your time, set a budget, test drive multiple options and you’ll end up with a great ride you can enjoy for years to come.

Questions About Used Cars in Ontario

Some of the most popular used car dealers in Ontario include AutoTrader.ca, Carfax Canada, Vehicles.ca, Clutch.ca, and Unhaggle. These dealers have large inventories of used cars from various brands and models. They thoroughly inspect and certify the used vehicles before selling. Many also offer history reports and extended warranty options. When shopping for used cars in Ontario, these reputable dealers are a great place to start.

The best way to find used cars for sale by owner in Ontario is through online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. You can search by location, make, model, year, price and other filters to find private sellers offering used vehicles for sale. Autotrader.ca and Craigslist.ca also have special sections for cars and trucks being sold by their owners without a middleman dealer. When contacting sellers directly, be sure to ask for maintenance records, accident history, and verify ownership before purchasing.

To register a used car purchased in Ontario, you need the vehicle’s proof of ownership (title or registration), proof of insurance, bill of sale, safety standards certificate, lien release (if applicable), and applicable sales taxes paid. Out-of-province vehicles also require records like import papers at the time of registration. Ensure all documentation is complete before finalizing your used car purchase to avoid issues during the registration process at a Service Ontario location.

The best way to verify a used car’s accident history in Ontario is by ordering a Carproof or Carfax report before purchase. These detailed vehicle history reports will show any reported collisions, extent of damage, location, if airbags were deployed, and more. You can order a report online by VIN or license plate number. Another option is to take the car to an independent mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. They can do a thorough check for any signs of repaired accident damage not reported elsewhere.

Ontario’s lemon laws protect consumers if they unknowingly purchase a used vehicle that turns out to be defective beyond normal wear and tear. Under the law, buyers can request compensation or a replacement vehicle if repeated repair attempts for the same major defect have failed. Lemon law protection applies to used cars, trucks and SUVs purchased from a registered dealer in Ontario that are under 5 years old and have less than 75,000 km. Exceptions exist for certain issues, so check Ontario’s lemon law criteria before pursuing action against a dealer.

Two ways to verify that a used vehicle you’re considering has not been written off or stolen in Ontario are:

 

  1. Order a Carproof or Carfax report which shows detailed Canadian history including total loss records, lien records, theft determinations and more.

 

  1. Do a used vehicle information package (UVIP) search on Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation website. It will tell you if a car has been branded as irreparable, rebuilt or salvage.

 

Doing both these checks before purchase can save you from buying a used car with a shady past.

Common fees to budget for when buying a used car in Ontario include the HST tax, licensing fee, registration fee, dealer documentation fee, safety certification fee and tire tax disposal fee if new tires are included. Additional costs may include an extended car warranty, added accessories or required repairs. Having your financing pre-approved also gives you an accurate idea of monthly payments. Being prepared for these costs allows you to budget better and avoid surprises during the used car buying process.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, many used car dealers in Ontario are offering virtual test drives and home deliveries when you are interested in a vehicle. You can ask for a live video walkaround, request photos of the interior, exterior, controls, wheels and odometer to get a good look. If permitted in your area, most dealers will also arrange for no-contact test drives by thoroughly disinfecting the vehicle before and after. Make sure to ask about their specific test drive policies during COVID when contacting the used car seller.

Important questions to ask the used car seller in Ontario include:

 

– How many previous owners were there and do you have maintenance records?

– Has the vehicle ever been in an accident or had major repairs?

– Is there any existing damage or mechanical issues I should know about?

– Are winter tires included with the used vehicle?

– Why are you selling this particular used car?

– Can I take the car for an independent inspection or extended test drive?

 

Asking plenty of questions upfront will help you determine if it’s a reliable used car or potentially problematic. Don’t hesitate to walk away if you don’t get satisfactory answers.

The average cost of basic used car insurance in Ontario is about $1,500 per year or $125 per month according to 2020 stats from the Insurance Bureau of Canada. However, rates vary greatly based on factors like your location, driving record, age, selected coverage and the year/make/model of used vehicle. Getting quotes from multiple insurance providers is highly recommended, as Ontario used car insurance rates can range from as low as $900 annually all the way up to $5,000 or more for high-risk drivers.

When evaluating a used car yourself in Ontario, start by examining the exterior for consistent body panel gaps, paint condition, rust spots and damage. Look under the car for leaks and check tire wear. Move to the interior and test all controls, electronics, seat adjustments and open every compartment. Ensure the engine starts easily cold, listen for odd noises and take an extensive test drive on highways and local roads. Bringing along an OBD scanner to check for error codes can also help identify mechanical issues during a used car inspection.

The most reliable brands and models for used cars in Ontario are typically Toyota, Honda and Subaru based on expert recommendations and consumer reliability ratings. In particular, the Toyota Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Honda Civic, CR-V and Subaru Legacy, Forester and Outback are top picks. These vehicles have proven records of durability, safety and retaining their resale value over high mileages when well maintained. Choosing reliable used car brands reduces the risk of expensive repairs down the road.

Winter weather and road salt use significantly impacts used car prices in Ontario. Prices tend to dip 5-10% lower in winter months. Why? Vehicles have increased wear-and-tear on parts like brakes and chassis from cold operation. Body and frame corrosion is also accelerated from salted winter roads. If shopping in winter, be diligent about checking mechanical components and the undercarriage for excessive rust. Consider having a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection before buying a used car exposed to multiple Ontario winters.

Smart negotiation tactics can help you score an excellent deal on a used car in Ontario. Research the vehicle’s market value on sites like Unhaggle and CarCostCanada which show fair price ranges based on features and location. Arrange your own financing beforehand so you can focus negotiations on the out-the-door price. Be ready to walk away rather than overpay. Time your purchase right to get winter discounts. Leveraging competition between multiple dealerships for your business can also motivate better used car pricing.

The easiest way to find certified pre-owned (CPO) used vehicles in Ontario is shopping on manufacturer dealership websites and inventory, like Audi, BMW, Toyota, Honda, etc. Every major automaker offers CPO used cars that undergo rigorous multi-point inspections and reconditioning. Perks can include extended warranty coverage, roadside assistance, financing deals and assurance that any necessary repairs were completed. While CPO used cars cost a bit more upfront, they provide added consumer protection and peace of mind.

The typical age range for used cars offering the best overall value in the Ontario market is between 3 to 8 years old according to most experts. Newer used cars under 3 years often don’t provide substantial discounts yet compared to brand new models. Anything over 8 years will likely feel outdated, start needing repairs and have older safety ratings. Shoppers seeking modern features while minimizing rapid first-year depreciation get the optimal used car value from this recommended 3-to-8-year-old age range.

Major factors that can significantly reduce the valuation and resale price of used cars in Ontario include accident history, multiple previous owners and excessively high mileage. Having even minor accident damage can drop asking price by thousands. Short term ownership hints at potential problems down the road. Mileage over 200,000 km often requires price reductions as well for needed repairs and reduced remaining lifespan of components before needing replacement. Savvy used car shoppers in Ontario leverage these factors to negotiate better deals.

Eco-conscious used car shoppers in Ontario can find many reliable hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric pre-owned options these days. Popular models include the Toyota Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4 Hybrid, Ford Fusion Energi PHEV, Chevy Volt plug-in, Nissan Leaf EV, and Tesla Model S. Demand for green vehicles means their resale value retention outperforms conventional gas models. With the variety now available used, going electric no longer means compromising on affordability or practicality.

While base models provide the most value when buying used, upgraded packages and options do result in higher resale pricing in Ontario. All-wheel drive can add $1500+ to the average used car or truck. Technology packages with advanced safety features often command $1000+ premiums. Heated seats and upgraded audio may be worth $500 extra. High-end additions like leather, sunroofs and navigation boost value too but depreciate faster. Carefully weigh how much those options are truly worth to you when negotiating used vehicle prices.

 

Benefits Used Cars

Buying a used car offers several advantages over purchasing a brand new vehicle. Here are some of the top benefits of going with a pre-owned model:

 

Save Money

The most obvious perk of buying used is the lower price tag. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price paid for a new vehicle in 2022 was around $48,000. Comparatively, the typical used car price falls between $20,000-$25,000. You can get a solid, reliable used car for far less than a new one.

 

Still Get a Quality Vehicle

Don’t think that buying used means you have to sacrifice on quality. There are plenty of pre-owned vehicles in excellent condition with many years of life left. Well-maintained used cars will have lower mileage and fewer signs of wear. With a thorough inspection, you can feel confident in the car’s reliability.

 

Certified Pre-Owned Programs

Many automakers now offer certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. These involve a rigorous inspection process and extended warranty coverage. Certified used cars give buyers peace of mind knowing the vehicle has been vetted to meet strict criteria. CPO models cost a bit more but deliver added assurances.

 

Used Car Inventory in Ontario

There are several places to find a wide selection of used cars for sale in Ontario. Here are some of the top options:

 

Major Dealerships

Most major car brands have dealerships in the Ontario area that offer a large inventory of used vehicles. This includes dealers like Toyota Ontario, Honda Ontario, Nissan Ontario, Ford Ontario, etc. The advantage of shopping at big dealers is you get to see many makes and models all in one place. Certified pre-owned vehicles will often come with extended warranty coverage too.

 

Independent Used Car Lots

Along with franchise dealers, there are independent used car lots throughout Ontario that specialize in pre-owned vehicles. These small car lots sometimes offer cheaper prices since they have lower overhead. However, their inventory is usually smaller and focused on common models. Reputable independent dealers will provide vehicle history reports.

 

Online Listings

Websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and Autotrader are go-to sources for finding used cars for sale by owner or from smaller dealers. Searching online classifieds allows you to cast a wide net and potentially find the exact car you want. Be sure to thoroughly vet any vehicle and seller you find this way.

 

Pricing Used Vehicles

When it comes to pricing used vehicles, there are a few key factors that come into play. The main considerations are the vehicle’s age, mileage, condition, features and demand. Used car prices also tend to depreciate over time, so newer used cars with lower mileage will typically cost more than older models with higher mileage.

The average used car price in Ontario is around $20,000, but prices can range quite a bit depending on the make, model, year and other factors mentioned above. Luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes will be priced higher, while more common brands like Toyota and Honda tend to be more affordable. SUVs and trucks also tend to have higher used car prices compared to sedans.

When negotiating the price of a used car, it helps to research the fair market value ahead of time using pricing guides like the Canadian Black Book. This gives you a good baseline to start negotiating from. You’ll generally have more room to negotiate on private-party sales than at dealer lots. It also helps to get pre-approved financing, so you know your budget ahead of time.

Some key negotiation tips include:

 

  • Pointing out flaws or issues with the vehicle to request a lower price.
  • Comparing prices of similar vehicles in your area.
  • Making a lower counteroffer if their asking price is too high.
  • Being willing to walk away if you can’t agree on a fair price.
  • Asking if they can include any extras like new tires or a warranty.

 

By following these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to negotiating a great used car deal in Ontario that fits your budget.

 

Financing Options

When purchasing a used vehicle, you have several options for financing:

 

Dealer Financing

Many dealerships offer financing through partnerships with banks and lenders. This makes the financing process convenient since it can be handled directly through the dealer. Dealer financing typically offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan terms. The dealer will handle all the paperwork and loan application on your behalf.

 

Bank Loans

Banks and credit unions also provide loans for used car purchases. The benefit of a bank loan is you can shop around for the best rates. Banks will also often approve higher loan amounts compared to dealer financing. The downside is the loan process takes more time and paperwork on your end. You’ll need to submit a loan application and supporting documents directly to the bank.

 

Leasing

Leasing a used car is also an option to consider. The benefits of leasing include lower monthly payments, vehicle warranties, and the option to upgrade more frequently. The downside is leases have strict mileage limits and you won’t own the vehicle at the end of the term. Leasing used cars also tends to have higher rates compared to new vehicles.

When exploring financing options, it’s recommended to get pre-approved through your bank or credit union first. This gives you negotiating leverage when working with dealership financing. Having a pre-approved rate also allows you to compare offers and choose the best loan terms.

 

What to Look For in a Used Car

When shopping for a used car, there are several key things you’ll want to examine closely:

 

Mileage

Mileage is one of the most important factors in determining a used car’s value and reliability. In general, the lower the mileage the better. Under 100,000 km is ideal for most models. However, beware of cars with extremely low mileage for their age, as this can indicate the odometer was rolled back or the car has sat unused for long periods. Aim for the average yearly kilometres based on the car’s age.

 

Service Records

Service records prove that required maintenance and scheduled servicing was performed. This helps give you peace of mind that the previous owner took good care of the vehicle. At a minimum, ensure there is documentation for oil changes. Even better is a full log of all services, repairs, and major maintenance.

 

Accident History

Always get a vehicle history report to check for accidents, insurance claims, or title issues. Accidents can cause lasting damage, so it’s important to know if the car was in a collision. Avoid vehicles with major accident damage, and be wary if the report shows repeated minor incidents.

Inspect the car thoroughly yourself for signs of bodywork repairs. Look for uneven panel gaps, mismatched paint colors, overspray, or replaced parts that don’t quite fit right. Test drive the car and pay attention to any noises, vibrations or handling issues that could indicate crash damage.

 

Test Driving

Test driving a used car is one of the most important steps in determining if the vehicle is right for you. Here are some key things to check during a test drive:

 

  • Engine performance – Does the engine start up easily and accelerate smoothly? Listen for any unusual noises.
  • Steering and handling – Make sure the steering wheel doesn’t vibrate and the vehicle drives straight and takes corners well.
  • Brakes – Apply the brakes at various speeds and make sure they stop the car evenly and effectively.
  • Gears – Shift through all the gears while driving to ensure the transmission operates properly.
  • Comfort – Adjust the seats and steering wheel to find a comfortable driving position. Check seat comfort and leg room.
  • Controls – Test all buttons, knobs, lights, wipers, radio and AC to make sure they work correctly.
  • Suspension – Drive over bumps and imperfections to assess the ride quality and noise.
  • Visibility – Check side mirrors, rearview mirror and sightlines for any potential blind spots.

 

Take your time when test driving and don’t rush. Pay attention to how the vehicle performs and handles overall. A thorough test drive can help avoid buying a used car that may need costly repairs down the road.

 

Certified Pre-Owned

One great option when buying a used car in Ontario is to look for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. CPO cars go through rigorous inspections by the manufacturer and often come with extended warranty coverage for added peace of mind.

Most major automakers like Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc. offer CPO programs. To qualify, a vehicle must be fairly recent (generally 5-6 years old or newer), have low mileage, no accidents reported, and pass the certification inspection.

CPO cars cost more than regular used vehicles, but you get benefits like a factory-backed warranty, roadside assistance, loaner car privileges, and special financing rates. For example, Toyota offers a 160-point inspection and 7-year/100k mile powertrain warranty on its CPO cars.

The CPO certification gives buyers confidence in the vehicle’s condition and maintenance history. Dealers also run vehicle history reports and take care of any needed reconditioning before sale. While a tad more expensive, CPO can be worthwhile for the added peace of mind.

 

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a major factor for many used car buyers in Ontario. With gas prices fluctuating, getting a vehicle with good gas mileage can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on fuel costs. Hybrid vehicles in particular provide excellent fuel economy while reducing environmental impact.

Used hybrid cars from Toyota and Honda are popular choices in the Ontario market. The Toyota Prius is renowned for achieving 50+ mpg in city driving, while the Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid models also get 40+ mpg. These used hybrids represent major fuel savings over traditional gas-only vehicles.

Diesel-powered used cars and trucks are another fuel-efficient option to consider. Brands like Volkswagen and Chevrolet offer diesel options that can achieve 30% better mileage over their gas counterparts. The high torque of diesel engines also makes them well-suited for truck and SUV applications. Just be aware that diesel fuel often costs more per gallon than regular gasoline.

When evaluating regular gas-powered used cars, take note of the EPA estimated miles per gallon (mpg) rating. Compact and midsize sedans tend to be the most fuel-efficient, with models capable of 30+ mpg highway driving. Bigger SUVs and trucks usually get lower mpg, but can still vary widely in efficiency. Prioritizing fuel economy will pay dividends over the life of your used vehicle.

 

Safety Features

When shopping for used cars in Ontario, don’t overlook the importance of safety. While used vehicles may not have all the latest tech found in newer models, there are still key safety features to look for.

Pay attention to crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vehicles rated “Good” in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests from the IIHS or 5 stars overall from NHTSA provide the highest levels of protection.

Look for important active safety features like anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control. These systems help drivers maintain control in emergency situations. More advanced systems like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring are great to have as well if you can find them on a used vehicle.

When test driving, make sure things like headlights, brake lights, turn signals, seat belts, and tires are in good working order. Opt for newer model used cars that meet the latest safety standards when possible. Driving a car with modern safety gear can give you peace of mind on the road.

 

Luxury Brands

For those looking for a more premium used car buying experience in Ontario, luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Acura offer sophisticated styling, top-notch interiors and advanced technology. Here’s an overview of what each luxury make offers in the used market:

BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine lives up to its motto with exhilarating performance and handling. Used BMW models like the 3 Series, 5 Series and X5 deliver an unforgettable driving experience along with upscale cabins. Make sure to look for well-maintained examples.

Mercedes-Benz – With a dedication to cutting-edge innovation and occupant protection, Mercedes offers used buyers the pinnacle of luxury and safety. The elegant S-Class sedan, versatile GL-Class SUV and sleek C-Class are excellent used options.

Lexus – Toyota’s luxury division is synonymous with silky smooth drivetrains, meticulous craftsmanship and Japanese reliability. The RX crossover, GS sedan and IS sport models are smart used Lexus buys.

Acura – As Honda’s upscale badge, Acura presents buyers with a sporty and tech-savvy selection of used luxury vehicles. The TLX sports sedan, RDX crossover and MDX SUV all deliver excitement, comfort and value.

While luxury used vehicles command a premium over mainstream brands, their refinement, prestige and performance make them highly coveted by used car shoppers in Ontario. When maintained properly, they offer years of luxurious and reliable transportation.

 

Midsize Sedans

Midsize sedans are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for the right balance of affordability, practicality, and comfort. Models like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion offer great value on the used market. Here’s an overview of the top options:

The Honda Accord is renowned for its reliability, handling, and interior space. Even after several years and high mileage, it should keep running smoothly with basic maintenance. Features like a roomy cabin and fold-down rear seats make it practical for families. Expect a used Accord to hold value relatively well.

Toyota Camrys also have a stellar reputation for dependability. They offer a smooth, quiet ride and get excellent fuel economy. Interior space is generous, especially in the backseat. The V6 engine delivers brisk acceleration while four-cylinder models prioritize efficiency. Well-equipped Camrys are available at affordable used prices.

The Nissan Altima provides athletic handling and an upscale interior on a budget. Recent models come loaded with technology like a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Shoppers can find CVT-equipped Altimas with great gas mileage or V6 versions with some punch.

Ford Fusions bring style and ample features at reasonable prices. This midsize sedan has solid driving dynamics and a choice of four-cylinder or V6 engines. An expansive trunk and fold-flat rear seats make the Fusion practical. Key options like SYNC infotainment and active safety gear are common on used models.

Overall, midsize sedans from these top brands are smart purchases on the used market. They deliver space, performance, tech, and value that appeal to many Ontario drivers. Focusing your search on Accords, Camrys, Altimas, and Fusions is a great way to find a reliable and budget-friendly used car.

 

Small Cars

Small cars are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for good gas mileage and ease of parking. Models like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus dominate the used small car market. Here’s an overview of each:

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is one of the most reliable small cars on the road. Civics hold their value well and are inexpensive to maintain. Some of the older models can have high mileage and still run smoothly. The Civic offers responsive handling and delivers excellent fuel economy. Hatchback, sedan, and coupe body styles provide options.

Toyota Corolla

Known for quality and durability, the Toyota Corolla is a smart choice for used car buyers. Corollas have proven very dependable over the years. They offer a comfortable ride and come equipped with many standard safety features. The Corolla provides excellent fuel efficiency. Sedan, hatchback, and wagon body styles are available.

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra delivers good looks and solid performance. Elantras hold their value relatively well and are inexpensive to maintain. They provide a comfortable ride and many standard tech features. The Elantra gets excellent gas mileage. Sedan and hatchback models offer versatility.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus has nimble handling and provides a fun driving experience. Focuses hold their value decently and are fairly affordable to repair. Hatchback and sedan models offer cargo flexibility. The Focus offers good fuel efficiency. Reliability has improved in recent years.

For an affordable, efficient used car, Ontario buyers would be wise to consider a Civic, Corolla, Elantra or Focus. Their reputation for dependability makes them sound used purchases.

 

SUVs

SUVs are a popular choice for used car buyers in Ontario looking for versatility, cargo space, and family-friendly features. Top options like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Traverse offer the right combination of reliability, affordability, and practicality.

The Honda CR-V is one of the best compact SUVs on the market. It has impressive interior space, great fuel economy, and Honda’s reputation for reliability. Used CR-Vs tend to hold their value very well.

The Toyota RAV4 is another top seller, known for its durability, safety ratings, and comfortable ride. Shoppers can find used RAV4s priced very competitively.

For a slightly larger SUV, the Ford Escape is a smart choice. It drives smoothly, gets decent gas mileage, and has versatile cargo configurations. The Chevrolet Traverse is an excellent full-size SUV for families, with three rows of seating and plenty of cargo room. Used Traverses offer a lot of value for the money.

No matter your budget or needs, there are great used SUV options available in the Ontario area. Test driving models like the CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and Traverse will help buyers find the right balance of size, features, and price.

 

Trucks

Some of the most popular used trucks in Ontario are the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and RAM 1500. These full-size pickups consistently rank among the top-selling vehicles in Canada thanks to their versatility, capability, and availability of features.

The F-150 delivers best-in-class towing and payload capacities as well as a comfortable ride and modern tech features. Used F-150 models are plentiful, and you can often find lightly used examples from the past few model years. Look for the EcoBoost turbocharged V6 engines for improved fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The Silverado 1500 impresses with its smooth ride and quiet cabin. Opt for the 5.3L V8 engine for robust power for towing and hauling. Higher trim levels add more premium features like leather upholstery, a Bose audio system, and heated/ventilated front seats.

The RAM 1500 stands out with its coil-spring rear suspension for a smoother ride compared to leaf-spring competitors. The optional 5.7L HEMI V8 provides brisk acceleration. RAM also offers many upscale features on higher trims like a 12-inch touchscreen display, premium audio, and adaptive cruise control.

When shopping for a used truck in Ontario, be sure to inspect the bed for dents and scratches, check the hitch setup, and look under the hood for engine issues. Test drive it with some weight in the bed to evaluate its towing abilities. Also look for updated driver-assist safety technologies on newer models. Overall, shoppers have no shortage of quality full-size trucks to choose from in the used market.

 

Minivans

Minivans are popular family vehicles known for their spacious interiors and versatile seating configurations. Three of the most common minivans on the used market in Ontario are the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Honda Odyssey is consistently one of the top-rated minivans thanks to its car-like handling, family-friendly features, and proven reliability. The Odyssey comes well equipped even on base models, and higher trims add amenities like an in-cabin rear entertainment system, leather seats, navigation, and a rear-view camera. Shoppers can find used Odysseys priced from the mid-teens for older high-mileage models up to the mid $30Ks for recent model years in good condition.

Toyota Sienna is another minivan shoppers should have on their list. Like most Toyotas, the Sienna is known for excellent build quality and durability. The Sienna offers a smooth, comfortable ride and has earned high safety scores. Base models come well equipped, while higher trims feature extras like dual sunroofs and built-in vacuum cleaners. Used Siennas typically run from the low teens for older models up to around $30,000 for late model examples.

The Dodge Grand Caravan fills the budget end of the minivan market. While it may lack some of the refinement of pricier competitors, the Grand Caravan offers value with a basic feature set and user-friendly functionality. Grand Caravans are common on used lots with prices ranging from just a few thousand for early 2000s’ models up to around $18,000 for newer low-mileage versions.

When shopping for a used minivan in Ontario, it pays to cast a wide net across multiple models to find the best combination of condition, features, and price. Test driving your top choices is the best way to determine which minivan is the right fit for your family.

 

Best Used Cars

When buying a used car in Ontario, it’s helpful to know which models tend to be the most reliable and hold their value over time. Here’s a look at some of the top used cars by segment and model year:

 

Small Cars

  • Toyota Corolla (2014-2018)
  • Honda Civic (2015-2019)
  • Hyundai Elantra (2017-2019)

 

Midsize Sedans

  • Toyota Camry (2015-2018)
  • Honda Accord (2016-2019)
  • Subaru Legacy (2015-2019)

 

SUVs

  • Toyota RAV4 (2016-2019)
  • Honda CR-V (2015-2018)
  • Subaru Forester (2014-2018)

 

Trucks

  • Toyota Tacoma (2015-2019)
  • Ford F-150 (2014-2018)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2014-2018)

 

These vehicles tend to hold their value well, have good reliability ratings, and have reasonable repair and maintenance costs for their segment. Focusing your used car search on these makes and model years can help find a great deal.

 

Buying Privatley

While buying a used vehicle from a dealership comes with protections, you can often get a better deal purchasing directly from an individual. However, there are risks you need to be aware of. When buying privately, make sure to take the following steps:

Check the paperwork – Request the vehicle’s title, registration, service records, and accident history. Confirm the VIN number on the paperwork matches that on the vehicle. Review maintenance records to get an idea of how well the vehicle was cared for.

Take a test drive – Insist on driving the vehicle, and bring it to highway speeds and on different road surfaces. Listen for any unusual noises or sensations that could indicate issues.

Get an inspection – Have a mechanic you trust do a pre-purchase inspection. They can check for problems you may miss on a test drive and assess if the vehicle was well maintained. This will cost around $100 but can save you from buying a lemon.

Check for liens – Make sure there are no liens or loans on the vehicle before purchasing by requesting a lien check from the DMV. Otherwise, you could be responsible for payments.

Handle payment carefully – It’s best to make payment only once the paperwork is signed over. If wiring money, use escrow services to ensure the title is transferred before releasing payment.

By following these tips when buying a used vehicle from an individual, you can feel confident you are making a smart purchase and avoiding the pitfalls. Just be sure to be vigilant during the process.

 

Conclusion

In summary, buying a used car in Ontario has many benefits over purchasing new. By considering factors such as pricing, financing, inspection, test drives and desired features, you’re sure to find a high-quality used vehicle that fits your needs and budget. Some of the most popular used models in Ontario are from brands like Honda, Toyota, Ford and Nissan, which offer reliability, fuel efficiency and affordability.

When shopping for used, be sure to get a vehicle history report to check for any issues. Work with reputable dealerships that provide certified pre-owned options to get added peace of mind. Take the car for an extensive test drive and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase. Buying privately can provide cost savings but comes with more risk.

Overall, with the right research and diligence, you can find an excellent used car in Ontario and get more value for your money. Take your time, set a budget, test drive multiple options and you’ll end up with a great ride you can enjoy for years to come.

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Questions About Used Cars in Ontario

Some of the most popular used car dealers in Ontario include AutoTrader.ca, Carfax Canada, Vehicles.ca, Clutch.ca, and Unhaggle. These dealers have large inventories of used cars from various brands and models. They thoroughly inspect and certify the used vehicles before selling. Many also offer history reports and extended warranty options. When shopping for used cars in Ontario, these reputable dealers are a great place to start.

The best way to find used cars for sale by owner in Ontario is through online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. You can search by location, make, model, year, price and other filters to find private sellers offering used vehicles for sale. Autotrader.ca and Craigslist.ca also have special sections for cars and trucks being sold by their owners without a middleman dealer. When contacting sellers directly, be sure to ask for maintenance records, accident history, and verify ownership before purchasing.

To register a used car purchased in Ontario, you need the vehicle’s proof of ownership (title or registration), proof of insurance, bill of sale, safety standards certificate, lien release (if applicable), and applicable sales taxes paid. Out-of-province vehicles also require records like import papers at the time of registration. Ensure all documentation is complete before finalizing your used car purchase to avoid issues during the registration process at a Service Ontario location.

The best way to verify a used car’s accident history in Ontario is by ordering a Carproof or Carfax report before purchase. These detailed vehicle history reports will show any reported collisions, extent of damage, location, if airbags were deployed, and more. You can order a report online by VIN or license plate number. Another option is to take the car to an independent mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. They can do a thorough check for any signs of repaired accident damage not reported elsewhere.

Ontario’s lemon laws protect consumers if they unknowingly purchase a used vehicle that turns out to be defective beyond normal wear and tear. Under the law, buyers can request compensation or a replacement vehicle if repeated repair attempts for the same major defect have failed. Lemon law protection applies to used cars, trucks and SUVs purchased from a registered dealer in Ontario that are under 5 years old and have less than 75,000 km. Exceptions exist for certain issues, so check Ontario’s lemon law criteria before pursuing action against a dealer.

Two ways to verify that a used vehicle you’re considering has not been written off or stolen in Ontario are:

 

  1. Order a Carproof or Carfax report which shows detailed Canadian history including total loss records, lien records, theft determinations and more.

 

  1. Do a used vehicle information package (UVIP) search on Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation website. It will tell you if a car has been branded as irreparable, rebuilt or salvage.

 

Doing both these checks before purchase can save you from buying a used car with a shady past.

Common fees to budget for when buying a used car in Ontario include the HST tax, licensing fee, registration fee, dealer documentation fee, safety certification fee and tire tax disposal fee if new tires are included. Additional costs may include an extended car warranty, added accessories or required repairs. Having your financing pre-approved also gives you an accurate idea of monthly payments. Being prepared for these costs allows you to budget better and avoid surprises during the used car buying process.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, many used car dealers in Ontario are offering virtual test drives and home deliveries when you are interested in a vehicle. You can ask for a live video walkaround, request photos of the interior, exterior, controls, wheels and odometer to get a good look. If permitted in your area, most dealers will also arrange for no-contact test drives by thoroughly disinfecting the vehicle before and after. Make sure to ask about their specific test drive policies during COVID when contacting the used car seller.

Important questions to ask the used car seller in Ontario include:

 

– How many previous owners were there and do you have maintenance records?

– Has the vehicle ever been in an accident or had major repairs?

– Is there any existing damage or mechanical issues I should know about?

– Are winter tires included with the used vehicle?

– Why are you selling this particular used car?

– Can I take the car for an independent inspection or extended test drive?

 

Asking plenty of questions upfront will help you determine if it’s a reliable used car or potentially problematic. Don’t hesitate to walk away if you don’t get satisfactory answers.

The average cost of basic used car insurance in Ontario is about $1,500 per year or $125 per month according to 2020 stats from the Insurance Bureau of Canada. However, rates vary greatly based on factors like your location, driving record, age, selected coverage and the year/make/model of used vehicle. Getting quotes from multiple insurance providers is highly recommended, as Ontario used car insurance rates can range from as low as $900 annually all the way up to $5,000 or more for high-risk drivers.

When evaluating a used car yourself in Ontario, start by examining the exterior for consistent body panel gaps, paint condition, rust spots and damage. Look under the car for leaks and check tire wear. Move to the interior and test all controls, electronics, seat adjustments and open every compartment. Ensure the engine starts easily cold, listen for odd noises and take an extensive test drive on highways and local roads. Bringing along an OBD scanner to check for error codes can also help identify mechanical issues during a used car inspection.

The most reliable brands and models for used cars in Ontario are typically Toyota, Honda and Subaru based on expert recommendations and consumer reliability ratings. In particular, the Toyota Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Honda Civic, CR-V and Subaru Legacy, Forester and Outback are top picks. These vehicles have proven records of durability, safety and retaining their resale value over high mileages when well maintained. Choosing reliable used car brands reduces the risk of expensive repairs down the road.

Winter weather and road salt use significantly impacts used car prices in Ontario. Prices tend to dip 5-10% lower in winter months. Why? Vehicles have increased wear-and-tear on parts like brakes and chassis from cold operation. Body and frame corrosion is also accelerated from salted winter roads. If shopping in winter, be diligent about checking mechanical components and the undercarriage for excessive rust. Consider having a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection before buying a used car exposed to multiple Ontario winters.

Smart negotiation tactics can help you score an excellent deal on a used car in Ontario. Research the vehicle’s market value on sites like Unhaggle and CarCostCanada which show fair price ranges based on features and location. Arrange your own financing beforehand so you can focus negotiations on the out-the-door price. Be ready to walk away rather than overpay. Time your purchase right to get winter discounts. Leveraging competition between multiple dealerships for your business can also motivate better used car pricing.

The easiest way to find certified pre-owned (CPO) used vehicles in Ontario is shopping on manufacturer dealership websites and inventory, like Audi, BMW, Toyota, Honda, etc. Every major automaker offers CPO used cars that undergo rigorous multi-point inspections and reconditioning. Perks can include extended warranty coverage, roadside assistance, financing deals and assurance that any necessary repairs were completed. While CPO used cars cost a bit more upfront, they provide added consumer protection and peace of mind.

The typical age range for used cars offering the best overall value in the Ontario market is between 3 to 8 years old according to most experts. Newer used cars under 3 years often don’t provide substantial discounts yet compared to brand new models. Anything over 8 years will likely feel outdated, start needing repairs and have older safety ratings. Shoppers seeking modern features while minimizing rapid first-year depreciation get the optimal used car value from this recommended 3-to-8-year-old age range.

Major factors that can significantly reduce the valuation and resale price of used cars in Ontario include accident history, multiple previous owners and excessively high mileage. Having even minor accident damage can drop asking price by thousands. Short term ownership hints at potential problems down the road. Mileage over 200,000 km often requires price reductions as well for needed repairs and reduced remaining lifespan of components before needing replacement. Savvy used car shoppers in Ontario leverage these factors to negotiate better deals.

Eco-conscious used car shoppers in Ontario can find many reliable hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric pre-owned options these days. Popular models include the Toyota Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4 Hybrid, Ford Fusion Energi PHEV, Chevy Volt plug-in, Nissan Leaf EV, and Tesla Model S. Demand for green vehicles means their resale value retention outperforms conventional gas models. With the variety now available used, going electric no longer means compromising on affordability or practicality.

While base models provide the most value when buying used, upgraded packages and options do result in higher resale pricing in Ontario. All-wheel drive can add $1500+ to the average used car or truck. Technology packages with advanced safety features often command $1000+ premiums. Heated seats and upgraded audio may be worth $500 extra. High-end additions like leather, sunroofs and navigation boost value too but depreciate faster. Carefully weigh how much those options are truly worth to you when negotiating used vehicle prices.

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