10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car in Canada


If you have no idea of what questions to ask when buying a used car, the exercise can be so intimidating. Asking relevant questions will help you find all the information you need to know about the car you’re about to buy. You want a car that fulfills your needs.

It’s so unfortunate that many potential car buyers usually don’t know the kind of car they want. In this guide, we’ll show you the questions to ask when buying a used car from a dealership. You’ll now be able to make informed decisions while shopping.

What Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

If it’s going to be your first time buying a car, you shouldn’t worry about anything. There are lots of resources that can help you learn about vehicles. We’ve also prepared a list of the best questions to ask when buying a used car to help you decide. Here they are.

1.    Why do you sell the car?

If you are buying a car from a private seller, you want to make sure that they are selling it for the right reasons. Some people might be selling their cars after experiencing many breakdowns. You’ll end up running down into the same issues when you buy the car.

Here could be some of the best reasons someone might want to sell their used car.

  • Car owner ready to upgrade to another car model
  • Car’s size no longer fulfills their lifestyle needs
  • Car owner planning to relocate to another country

2.    Have you updated or upgraded anything on the car?

Any update or upgrade could increase the value of the car you intend to buy. You need to be sure that you have enough money to cover all the upgrades.  Find out all the car details and updates to be aware of how much to add to the budget.

For instance, if the car owner just added new tires to the vehicle, you might have to pay a bit more money to cover the costs. To be sure about the updates, ask the seller to show you the receipts for the upgrades. You’ll also find the date for the upgrades.

3.    Who did you purchase the car from, and when?

This question will help you determine whether the car was purchased from another private seller or a dealership. Find out if the car was bought in another province or country. The seller should give you information regarding the car’s previous owners.

If the vehicle was bought through a dealership, ask for its maintenance records. Make sure you get the car owner’s address and name for security reasons. If the car was bought at auction, ensure a mechanic specializing in used cars has inspected it.

4.    What are the car’s condition and current mileage?

You’ll get to know all the issues the car has had in the past by asking this question. A genuine seller will even disclose the current problems with the car before selling it to you. Make sure you check all the flaws in the car’s appearance.

Another important thing to confirm is the car’s mileage. That is the number of miles the car has covered since manufacturing. A good car dealer will properly prepare the car for sale and verify if the recorded mileage is accurate.

5.    Has the car been involved in an accident before?

Ask the seller if the car has ever been involved in an accident before, whether it was a minor or major incident. If yes, ask about the car’s extent of damage and the costs involved in repairing the car. You shouldn’t worry about the minor scratches. However, think twice about a vehicle that was seriously crashed.

6.    Has the car been written off?

If a car sustains extensive damage after a crash, an insurer can decide to write it off or repair it. If written off, insuring the car again to get back on the road can be very costly unless you find affordable insurance coverage. Thanks to Surex for helping many car owners find the cheapest insurance in many Canadian cities, including Edmonton.

7.    Can you describe the car’s appearance?

If you are buying a used car from a private seller through classified ads, calling the seller will save both of you a lot of time. Ask the owner all the questions regarding the car, including its appearance. When meeting the car seller, you can compare the information you received over the phone with what you’ll find out.

8.    Did the car have regular oil changes?

You need to find out if the car had regular oil changes for better performance. Ask for the car’s maintenance records to see how the previous owner looked after the car. You will also get other important information, including tire changes and wheel alignments. Regular oil changes indicate that the owner took good care of the car.

9.    Can I take the car for a test drive, and for how long?

By taking a driving test, you’ll quickly evaluate how the car operates and whether it suits your lifestyle or not. Use this opportunity to check if there’s any other fault the seller did not mention, including unusual noises on the engine and steering wheel misalignments. Aim at taking the test drive for at least 30 minutes upon an agreement with the seller.

10. Can I take the car to my mechanic for inspection?

Taking the car to a mechanic you trust can help you get a more accurate picture of the used car’s condition. That way, you can tell if the car is safe, secure, and worth the amount of money you are about to spend. While hiring another mechanic to inspect the car can be costly, it will save you a lot of your money in the long run.

Final Words

Now that you know some of the good questions to ask when buying a used car, you can quickly choose a car that fits your lifestyle. You’ll gain detailed insights into the type of car you intend to buy, helping you make informed decisions.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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