How To Shop for a Used CarFeb 12nd, 2015
Looking to Purchase a Used Car? Follow These Helpful Tips.
My first car purchase? I’m ashamed to say was based solely on two factors; “Oooo…it’s so cute!” and the follow-up “I can afford that!”. I spent the next two years holding the shifter in 5th gear so it wouldn’t slip back to 4th and listening to the previous owners’ Kenny Rogers CD that wouldn’t eject. The first time I was pulled over I was given the option of getting a ticket for speeding or a ticket for not knowing I was speeding because my speedometer was broken. I was the first person in my family to actually even get a license so I had no one there to tell me things like: don’t wax your car on a hot sunny day; automotive lessons learned the hard way.
Hoping to make myself feel better about my lack of car shopping savvy, I asked the Halton Honda used car specialists, Allan Mack and Will Kuipers for their first used car experiences. Allan remembers purchasing an Austin Maxi (?) in Britain and a couple of days later having all the oil rain out of it while on a day trip with the whole family. He had to fight tooth and nail, but he actually did get his money back from the dealer. Will remembers how he made the long trip from Orillia to Toronto to buy what looked to be a pristine Cutlass in an Autotrader ad, only to arrive and see the rippled other side that hadn’t been photographed.
Times have changed of course, and young shoppers have a multitude of automotive resources at their fingertips which is why used Hondas always seems to rise to the top of the list. But then you get hit with the next question: which Honda is right for me?
Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When Looking for a Preowned Car:
Dealership or Private Lot?
- First off and most importantly; shop at a reputable dealer. New-car dealerships are the best source for used cars, since they have first dibs on vehicles coming off of leases and trade-ins. Private lots buy their inventory at auction which is full of cars dealers have already passed on. OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) has done a great job of reducing the number of dodgy dealers in the province but it’s still a buyer-beware market. Buying from a dealership that’s well established in the community ensures that they’re here for the long term and only sell what they can stand behind 100%. After all they have a reputation to protect and not just a trailer they can move to another lot.
Research, Research, Research
- Narrow your search before you arrive for the test drive. What type of vehicle will fill your needs? You’ll look great pulling up to the nightclub in that CRZ but it’s not going to help you get your kids to soccer practice the next day! Think about what you love about your current car? What do you wish to have on your next car, that your current one doesn’t have?
Can You Drive it into the Future?
- Do you or any other drivers in the house tend to peek at your phone while driving? MAKE SURE YOUR NEXT CAR IS BLUETOOTH EQUIPPED! The ever so popular Civic introduced standard Bluetooth in the 2012 model year…and are now coming off of lease and hitting dealers’ preowned lots at bargain prices.
Make Sure the Vehicle is Inspected
- Not just an average MTO safety inspection, but an inspection of the complete vehicle preferably by a manufacturer trained technician that knows the specific make of the car and will be fully versed on any outstanding service bulletins or recalls related to your choice. Purchasing a HCUV (Honda Certified Used Vehicle) ensures that your purchase will have to pass a rigorous 100 point inspection, compared to the standard 36 point MTO certification. Only Genuine Honda parts are used for mandatory replacement items.
Beware of Aftermarket Warranties
- I wish I had known this one. Buying an extended warranty on a used vehicle is a wise choice and can save you thousands of dollars. Just make sure it’s the manufacturers’ own warranty and not one that will cut corners by using non Honda parts, require you to send in all your service records to keep it active or make you chase your claim money. Since all of the Honda Certified Used Vehicles have to pass that extensive inspection, Honda feels so confident they actually offer discounted warranty prices. This makes the small investment of extended warranty an easy choice when making a big investment on a car.
Before you start prowling the used car lots for your new chariot, equip yourself with the facts and call Allan or Will, our used car specialists, who will help you make a savvy decision. If I had, maybe I wouldn’t hate Kenny Rogers’ music quite so much!