Buying a Pre-owned Car in BC? 5 Things You Must Check

The process of buying a preowned car in BC can be quite daunting! First, you search through Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for good deals, then you must find the time to see the car and hope that it is going to be the right car at the right price.

A good purchase would be a well-maintained car that lasts a lifetime. A bad purchase could mean months and years of hell bringing the car back and forth to the repair shop; not to mention the amount of repair cost it’s gonna accumulate.  As a smart consumer, it is best to do your due diligence and avoid taking the wrong car home.

If you are an expert in cars and mechanics, you just might be knowledgeable enough to know how to pick them. Good on you and best of luck with your selection. For the rest of us, this may not come as easy. Instead of just relying on your best judgment, you might bring a friend with you to check out the cars with you and call it a day. But let’s be honest, even your buddy might not be that familiar with all the ins and outs of a functioning vehicle. 

The purchase of a car means putting down thousands of dollars. This is your hard-earned money. Shouldn’t your decision be based on more than just second-guessing? If you want to go home with the best and safest pre-owned vehicle possible, Here are 4 things you should check before making the purchase:

Who is selling the car?

Is the car being sold by someone directly off Craigslist or is it a dealership offering the deal? This could make a huge difference in your decision. A person selling directly may not be aware of all the safety considerations of the car and may not be completely honest about a car’s history. They may just want to tell you all the good points of the car in the hope that you would move forward with doing the exchange.

Purchasing a preowned vehicle from a licensed dealership offers enhanced protection for your purchase. In BC, every licensed dealership is governed and regulated by a non-profit organization called Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA). Not only do they HAVE to disclose all the problems and issues a car has prior to selling it to you, but they must also ensure that every vehicle is safe for public use before allowing a person to take the car off the lot.

What does this mean to you? It means that you can be assured that your purchase from a licensed dealer is protected by law and that you are walking away with an actual vehicle that will function and operate as promised.

What is the reputation of the dealership?

Having said the above, you should also consider the reputation and size of the dealership. Even though smaller dealerships are generally great at offering great selections of preowned vehicles, the selection process can often be greater when you visit a bigger branded dealership.

What does Carfax Canada say about the vehicle?

Once your choices are down to a few vehicles, don’t just test drive the car and decide. You need the full history of the car to know the health condition of the vehicle. This is what Carfax report is for. Carfax Canada is the only service that provides consumers with Canadian insurance and accident claims data, as well as U.S.history, unfixed safety recalls. It is a birds-eye-view of the history of a vehicle.

This report should be provided and reviewed before even checking out the physical car to save you time. If it shows that there is a history of accidents, you might just want to check out a different car altogether. 

How does the price compare on

Finally, another important factor is the value of the vehicle.  It should reflect the market prices as well as the condition and mileage of the vehicle.  You can simply visit a preowned car website such as to get an idea of the price range that the car is being sold at around town.

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