Buying A Used Car In Ottawa

Buying A Used Car In Ottawa


After years of expert service and maintenance from Gary’s Automotive, your old car has finally kicked the bucket. You’ve counted on us over the years, now Gary’s is here with some helpful advice on buying a used car in Ottawa. Should you buy used or should you buy new? What should you look for when buying used? Lets get started.

Buying A Used Car In Ottawa – New vs Used

One of the first things you need to figure out when buying a car in Ottawa is if you’re in the market for a new vehicle or something used. Buying new or used is a hot topic in the automotive community, with pros and cons for both sides. Buying a new vehicle may give you more peace of mind and allow for you to get the exact model you want, however buying used can save you a lot more money and can sometimes result in getting an almost new vehicle for well under the manufacturer’s price. Though buying used  requires more time and research,  it can be worth the effort.

Why Buy Used?

One of the top reasons for buying a used car in Ottawa is the price. The rates at which vehicles depreciate (lose their original value due to age, wear, and other factors) is quite large. Buying used saves you paying that depreciation. For example, a 2008 Ford Focus originally sold for $14,000-$16,000 may be sold for as little as $2,000. The car may be in perfect working order with very few kilometres and little cosmetic damage and the age of a vehicle will also have an effect on the insurance rate, meaning a used older car can save you more.

Tips For Buying A Used Car In Ottawa

Buying a used car in Ottawa can be daunting as you won’t have the same help you would at a traditional dealership. It falls on you to know exactly what you’re looking for and how to navigate the maze of used cars available today.

The first thing you want to know is your budget. Set a realistic budget and hold yourself firm to it. Depending on what you’re in the market for, your budget will vary. For a daily commuter you may want the newest possible model for your price, but if you’re looking for a classic collectors vehicle then you’ll be looking for an older model in your budget. This budget also applies to things like fuel economy and repairs. A big off-road beast may be in your budget, but if you’re buying a vehicle to drive back and forth to work, you’ll spend much more in gas than you need to. If you can save $1000 on a vehicle, but find out it needs over $5000 in repairs, then you’re still out $4000. Factor in how you drive, where you’re driving, and how much you’re willing to spend on repairs.
Once you’ve narrowed down where you’re driving and what you want to spend you’ll be left with a good idea of the car you want. Now comes the part with a lot of leg work – the countless hours of researching. A Porsche 911 is a dream car for many, so seeing one for $10,000 seems like an absolute steal.  That is, until you learn of the very small bearing in the 1999 – 2004 model’s engine that was prone to drying out, causing sudden engine failure that would not only endanger those driving, but would also require a re-built engine. Knowing a common issue in vehicles (such as Volkswagen and electrical, or Mazda and rust) can help you sort out the obvious lemons from the diamonds in the rough.
A good place to begin this research is on online user forums. Finding forums where users have created a community for a specific make and model can quickly help you identify the major pros and cons of your vehicle. They will also help you determine if factoring in a repair can still result in savings. Talking about our Porsche, you can own a 2004 Porsche 911 for around $30-$40,000. Yes the engine is a ticking time bomb, but with a repair totaling roughly $4000, you still save immensely over the new 911’s ticket price of over $135,000. Before you finally decide the perfect balance of what you want to spend and on what model, do some research into what the average price is. Your perfect car may only be worth $6000 in your mind, but if the average sales price of your car is $9000, you may have to look for a lower trim or accept some minor cosmetic damage.

Buying A Used Car In Ottawa – Now What?

You’ve got your perfect car, and you know that there are some available in your budget. Now what do you do? Having a trustworthy mechanic should be your first step before you start test driving. Many dealerships are OK with an extended test drive and having a third party mechanic review the vehicle. If they aren’t, there may be something in vehicle’s history that they don’t want exposed. When you get in your vehicle, have it inspected by a reliable mechanic. While the vehicle may feel good to drive, it’s possible that there will be hidden mechanical issues that could go at any time (like the grenade in our Porsche engine.) At Gary’s Automotive, we offer pre-purchase safety checks so you can feel confident in purchasing your used vehicle in Ottawa.

You’ve got the perfect car, in budget, and it passes your mechanic’s inspections. At this point, you’re an expert in buying a used car in Ottawa. The final steps to consider are the seller. Was the person overly ready to knock large amounts off the price? Were they looking to make a quick sale? Turning over a car quickly could be a sign of trying to unload a bad product. Most importantly, if at any point something just doesn’t sit right with you, don’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t get too attached to a vehicle until you’ve actually made your purchase.

Buying A Used Car In Ottawa – Be Smart, Be Savvy, And Save!

Looking for a reliable mechanic for ongoing vehicle service? Then you’ve come to the right place. Gary’s Automotive is there from your first test drive to you last ride. You can count on our qualified experts to keep your car running in perfect condition!


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