Toronto Used Car Dealers Car Buying Guide

With the high prices of new cars as well as their fast depreciation rate, many car consumers may prefer looking for used cars instead. Even though buying used cars is a sensible option, buyers need to be cautious in their choices.

Luxury used cars sold with hidden damage can become a costly problem to unsuspecting buyers. To avoid such risks here’s is a checklist to help you assess the condition and value before purchasing a vehicle from a used car dealer in Toronto which is a very hot market and the topic of discussion today.

Examine the Cars Interior and Exterior

Both the outside and the inside conditions of a car play a significant role in its value. Ensure that you do a thorough check of interior upholstery, along with the exterior repairs of the vehicle.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a vehicle that has been in a minor fender-bender. But you’ll need to ensure the exterior was repaired by a professional mechanic and the repairs are barely visible.

Always check the hood and assess the parts and engine. Rusted and dirty parts may be an indication that the car is hiding a problem.

Go for a Test Drive

It's essential to take the vehicle for test drives on highways and local roads. In different road settings, you will get an accurate report on how the car performs and responds.

On local roads, you need to examine how the vehicle responds and shifts to sharp turns. Additionally, you can get an idea on the brake’s condition, with stop-and-go driving circumstances.

A drive on the highway allows you to feel if the car engine runs smoothly. Always stay alert during the test drive. Ensure you notice every abnormal brake or engine noises, and whether all electronics are working well. Make sure the radio is off!

Perform a Leak Test

A car having leaking fluids is a red flag that needs repair. During your test drive, park the car on a parking lot or on a clean road. Let the vehicle run for one minute and look for any leaking substances after moving.

Black fluids may be an indication of leaking oil and green liquids for anti-freeze leaks. Pink substances indicate leakages in the transmission.

Have a Mechanic Inspect the Car

Most people make the mistake of not having a mechanic inspect the vehicle before purchasing a used car. The inspection costs by a professional are worth the price as they may prevent future repair expenses.

The mechanic will help you to discover hidden problems as well as assisting you in determining the actual car’s value. These professionals will also let you know if there’re possibilities of significant issues with the transmission or engine.

You also need to consider other details such as the average car price from different dealers, review on the vehicle model and the car history before purchasing. Check VIN decoder charts to ensure that the VIN information of the car matches the vehicle records and title.

Consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle as they offer a high level of quality assurance. Another crucial consideration is whether to purchase the car from an independent or a large dealership.

Large Dealership

A dealership is a great option especially if you’re looking for different car choices. It can also be overwhelming for many buyers as you’ll be looking for new cars rather than aiming at getting a fair price for the vehicle you want.

Pros of Large Dealership

Buying a used vehicle on a large dealership can have fewer risks. This is so because the dealership holds a high reputation and any counterfeit sale can impact the business negatively. Dealerships always keep certified cars. They’ll also offer warranties and guarantees upon purchase.


Used car prices at large dealerships tend to be higher. Sometimes they’re no negotiation opportunities. Also, you must deal with an agent who can get pushy as they rely on sales commissions.

Independent Sellers

Independent sellers are the best places to purchase used cars. Although it can be exhausting to search for them, their deal will save you money.


Many independent sellers use the blue book value when determining the car value. This assures you a fair price. Independent sellers offer affordable car deals. They also have more opportunities for the buyers to negotiate the price.

Independent vendors don’t use distraction or advertisements that can confuse you in the buying process. Also, you can gain from their low starting price. Although they’re selling the car, independent sellers are for the most part not pushy. This is an advantage for buyers compared in the dealership’s sale.


Some independent dealers don’t provide a warranty unless you pay for it. The purchase can also be risky since many sellers are not authorized – you need to do your homework on the dealer and make sure they are recognized by OMVIC and UCDA in Toronto.


Before purchasing a used car, analyze its test drive, leak tests, and the interior and exterior features. By examining the cons and pros of car dealers, you’ll be able to determine whether to make an independent or used car dealership purchase.

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