14 Tips for Buying Used Cars in Manitoba

November 22nd, 2018 by

Buying a Used Car in Manitoba


When you’re thinking about buying a used car in Manitoba, you’re usually thinking that financially it’s a smart move. You’re right. Used car buying today can result in getting a great value in today’s market.


Cars are better-made today and last a lot longer than they used to. Automakers have tweaked their manufacturing capabilities over the last few years. Used car buyers today can get a good deal with a car that’s reliable and better constructed than most new cars were as recently as a decade or two ago. They will stay on the road just as long, and when properly taken care of, it can easily show over 300,000 km and just be beginning its second life.


Your insurance costs will also be lower, and the cost of theft and collision insurance can be dropped entirely after a few years to save you even more. A used car generally will have a longer useful life, cost less, and have already gone through the depreciation process. Also, most experts agree that buying a two-year-old car and driving it as long as possible is generally the most cost-effective way to own a car.


Another reason used car buying is so attractive today is that car makers no longer completely redesign their models every year. Buying a car that’s several years old no longer carries the stigma of looking much older today than new cars. Many used cars not only look almost the same as a new one but can be in nearly the same condition, if not better than the latest version.


Companies like Carfax and AutoCheck can help you decide on the car you want by providing vehicle history reports on thousands of cars. These reports give you essential data about whether the car has changed hands, been involved in an accident, or has had repairs.


In Manitoba, you might want to consider purchasing a used car from an established car dealer rather than a private seller. This is because car dealers in Manitoba must be licensed and are held to a higher standard than private sellers. Car dealerships are required by law to explain to you the facts about the history and condition of the car you’re considering.


A dealer can also offer you an extended warranty. If there’s ever a problem after your purchase, a licensed dealer is usually more likely to work with you to correct a problem than a private seller would.


Whether you’re considering buying from a dealership or a private seller,
Here are 14 key points you should consider:


1) Do your research

Take the time to think about what you actually want from the car you are planning to buy. How many people will be riding in it on average, should it be compact or full-size, or are there features you need to have and others that you can live without?


Next, research which cars fit your description and the price range they fall into. Using Edmund’s or the Kelley Blue Book will give you exact prices on thousands of cars. This will let you know which cars fit or are close to your initial description and whether the prices are within your budget.


Look through classified ads and on the internet to get as much information as possible about current car deals. Print out this information from the different locations, and then carry it with you when you visit their locations. This way you’ll have a good idea of what’s available and what the prices should be when you encounter similar cars in your local area.


2) Set a budget

Don’t allow a salesman to convince you to widen your budget so you can get what you think is the perfect vehicle. By setting a price range you can live with you’ll narrow your search and be able to negotiate a selling price you’re comfortable paying. When you are talking with a seller, be as firm as possible with the budget you have in mind and don’t let them know your target price until they make you an offer.


You do not reveal you’re true target price until their offer is on the table, it gives you considerably more power to negotiate the deal you want. Always remember that your budget should also include some extra funds.  This will allow you to have a mechanical inspection and pay for any small repairs that might turn out to be necessary.


3) Locate good used cars

Go on the internet and search the online classifieds, or walk through used car lots in your local area. Look to see what’s available and the prices that are being advertised. Online services like Craigslist, AutoTrader, AutoList, CarMax, and many others will be helpful. Most used car lots also will have the cars they feel will sell the fastest from their inventory posted online. There will also be countless used car lots around the country where you can look over hundreds of different models and types of cars.


4) Narrow your criteria

In general, choose models that are known for their durability and dependability. Check their ratings with reliable services over the internet. Cars that hold their value and have low maintenance and insurance costs should be considered first. That is unless your specific desires for particular attributes outweigh these considerations.


Narrow your search down to several models that meet your needs and are within your budget. Think about how you plan on using the car. If you’ll be taking the family with you most of the time, you will need it to have enough room for everyone to ride comfortably. There should always be ample cargo space for everyone. And, if safety is a prime consideration, check the internet for crash test results and accident avoidance capabilities. These numbers can help to keep you from being involved in a crash in the first place.


Make a list of features you consider you must have if at all possible. Add in features that you might merely like to have, but could avoid if everything else about the car fills the bill. As you move forward, choose the top three or four target car models and then consider each one in more detail.


5) Price the cars

Before you inspect the cars you’re considering, check the internet for estimates of the market value for each car you’ll be looking at. Consider the condition, mileage and all the options that listed. Once you have a price in mind, if you want to make a deal, you will have the pricing information available to negotiate with the seller. And always remember the old adage, “if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is”.


6) Contact the seller

A quick chat with the seller will answer many questions and save you a great deal of time. First, verify that the information you read in the advertisement is accurate.


  • Ask the owner if they are the first owner
  • Does he have service records
  • A clear title
  • And if there is any other important information you should know about that was not in the ad.


Ask if the car has been inspected by a mechanic recently, can you take it for a test drive, and how did they come up with the asking price.


7) Check the vehicle history report

Run a vehicle history report on the cars you’re interested in. Using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can get a detailed report of the car’s history. Carfax, AutoCheck and other services can provide this for you at no cost. Make sure the car has a clean title and has not been in any serious accidents. It should not have been “totalled” by the insurance company. If so, the car may have some hidden problems and a salvage title will reduce the car’s resale value by a large amount.


8) Inspect the car

Always use a used car inspection checklist or have the car inspected by a mechanic or someone else you trust. They will know what to look for and can make an honest appraisal about whether the car appears to be a good value for you. You can make a basic visual check yourself of the engine, tires, body and most of the frame. But a qualified mechanic can examine the car much further and in more detail.


He can look under the car and run some basic engine and driving tests to determine whether the car is in good shape or may need work later on. It’s not a good idea to trust the seller when they insist there are no mechanical defects or major issues. The seller’s interests are in selling the car and having you own it instead of them.


9) Test drive the car

Perhaps the most important aspect of purchasing a used car is to take a test drive in it to see how it drives. Test the car in as many different situations as possible. Drive on the highway, up and over hills, and anywhere else you can find to see if the car is as comfortable as you like and drives like you expect it should.


10) Negotiate the best price

Start low but not so low that you’re not anywhere in the ballpark. Make an offer that’s on the low side but will still be enticing to the seller. Then improve your offer slowly until the two of you come to an agreement. Make sure you’re talking about the price to drive the car away, including all taxes and fees, instead of simply the sales price of the car.


11) Walk away if you’re unsure

Don’t be too eager to buy the vehicle that same day. When you’re in a hurry to buy a car, you can find yourself accepting an offer that you may not eventually be comfortable with. Or, there might be unforeseen problems that come up in the future. No matter how good a deal might appear, don’t hesitate to continue shopping around. Don’t find yourself pressured into purchasing a vehicle that might not be the right choice for you in the long run.


12) Financing options

If you aren’t going to pay for the car with cash and are considering a car loan, consider all your options including the dealership. Dealerships have some of the best auto loan rates but if your not satisfied check the rate at your local credit union or your bank. Get rate quotes from several different places. Then talk with each potential lender about the type of cars and price range you’re interested in purchasing.


Financing a car through a dealership also has its benefits including great rates, open ended loans, and they don’t request collateral like local banks and credit unions. If you miss a payment no one will be coming looking to collect your TV or wifes vehicle.


13) Close the deal

Whether you’re on a car lot or buying from one of your neighbors, you must handle the payment and paperwork correctly. Add the car to your insurance policy before taking actual ownership of the car, and pay with cash or a cashier’s check. Be sure to get the title and have the seller sign it exactly as the name appears on the title. Check the official registration for more information.


In the event, you’re buying from a private party and there’s still a loan on the car, call the bank and find out how they want from you to close out the deal. Offer to meet the seller in a branch office of the bank and then sign all the papers there.


Even if you are pre-approved with your bank to pay for the car, make sure the dealer’s finance manager isn’t able to beat the terms of your loan. It never hurts to see if you can get a better interest rate or lower monthly payments when everything else is equal.


14) Review the contract carefully

It’s best that you take all the time you need to make sure you have reviewed everything in the contract. Never be pressured to sign just because it’s getting late or for any other reason. Once the sales contract is officially signed, the car is yours.


Viking Motors

By the way, you can take the worry out of buying your next used car by checking with our used car team at Viking Motors. Each one of our Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles is meticulously looked over by a factory trained mechanic to make sure it’s in perfect condition. We go over every detail to assure you of quality and trouble-free ownership.


Exchange privilege

We guarantee you will be completely satisfied with your Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle. If for any reason you’re not, you can exchange it within the first 30 days or 2,500 kilometers, whichever comes first.

Viking Motors, Arborg’s premier source for both new vehicles and high-quality used vehicles. Contact Us today and let our professional sales team get you into a great new or pre-owned vehicle today.