Whether your working with a dealership, or a private seller, you need to be confident in your purchase. The good news is -you’ve already taken the first step! Research is a very important part of any purchase. We are committed to providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Whether you purchase here, or elsewhere. We want you to make an informed decision!


Ask for a Carfax Report

A Carfax Canada Vehicle History Report provides you with important information when considering your next vehicle! A Carfax Report will tell you facts such as;  

  • how many owners the vehicles had

  • the previous registration status (ie. active, taxi, rebuilt)

  • registration locations, including out of province and U.S History

  • rental/auto auction records

  • accident claims

  • flood damage

  • hail damages

  • service history

  • odometer readings

  • if the vehicle is reported stolen

  • if the vehicle has an active lien on the title


This information is crucial. If the vehicle has an active lien, it needs to be removed prior to purchase. If the vehicle does not hold an active status, or was damaged, it may be worth less than the asking price. If it hasn’t been registered in your province, you could incur unexpected expenses in an effort to register the vehicle in your own province.


Get behind the wheel

You need to spend some time driving the car you are thinking of buying. A test drive allows you to have an idea of how the vehicle responds to you as a driver, check the visibility, make sure your car seat fits, and so on. You need to make sure you’re comfortable, and feel confident behind the wheel.


Get the vehicle inspected

A test drive is no substitute for an inspection. The vehicle needs to be certified by a licensed mechanic, not your mechanically inclined friend or Uncle. A certified mechanic will be able to pinpoint any existing conditions, and highlight potential issues. Although it’s an added cost, it could save you hundreds in the long run.

If you are purchasing from a dealership,  a fitness assessment should already be provided by the dealer. However, a second opinion never hurts.


Research the vehicle, and read reviews

The internet is a great resource for your car buying needs. Check out reviews for the make, model, and trim level of the car you are buying. Look for comparables, and check the average asking price in your area. Sites like Edmunds.com and AutoTrader.ca can be very useful in this area.


Check your paperwork

Whether you’re buying from a used car dealer or independently, it’s important to review the paperwork. Check the date on your mechanical fitness assessment, make sure it is current, and that the kilometer reading is not far off from what is currently on the vehicle.  There should be no blank spaces anywhere on the inspection, and it should have the signature and license number of the qualified mechanic.

If you are financing, there should be no blank spaces on the bill of sale, or finance agreement.  Use your judgement and be hesitant to sign an incomplete contract.

Make sure any and all agreements are in writing. Sometimes a dealer will promise to make repairs to a vehicle at a later date. Make sure these agreements are in writing, signed and dated, and that you receive a copy.


Check their license

If you are purchasing from a dealer, make sure they are licensed. Any dealership in Alberta must hold a valid license from the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (or A.M.V.I.C). These licenses expire yearly, so make sure you check the dates and address listed on the license.

All AMVIC-registered salespeople must have completed a course on the laws and regulations they are required to follow. AMVIC-licensed businesses have clear guidelines for the sale of vehicles. All designed to protect you as a consumer.


Ask about warranty

Find out if the vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, or if a third-party warranty is available.

In either case, find out what is covered, and how much is covered.  Many warranties require you to follow a service schedule. Make sure you discuss the details of that schedule.


Validate Ownership

This is particularly true if you’re dealing with an individual and not dealership. Make sure that whoever is selling the car to you is in fact the real owner. They should have current registration paperwork for the vehicle. Make sure the name on the registration matches the name on their driver’s license, and that the VIN on the car matches the registration.



Let’s be honest, no one pays sticker price for anything these days. Everything is negotiable, from phone plans to furniture. A vehicle is no exception - used or new.

Do your research! Cearly make your case as to why the seller should accept a lower price. For example, if you’ve seen the same car sitting on being advertised for weeks, the seller might be more inclined to accept your offer. If your inspection turned up something you’ll need to have repaired, be sure to point that out. Bring up anything that might justify accepting your offer.

It’s also important to be realistic in your expectations. If you’re budget is $10,000, try to stay within that general range.  For example, if you offer $10,000 on a $16,000 vehicle, you risk the chance of the seller not entertaining your offer at all. Typically you can expect anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars off. In any case, it is unlikely that the seller will accept half the asking price.



Shopping for a new vehicle can sometimes seem overwhelming. We are committed to providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Whether you purchase here, or elsewhere. We want to make the process as painless as possible!


Speak with a specialist today!