Tips for Buying a Used Car in Alberta
Due to the recent global vehicle shortage that’s taken place over the past few years, more and more drivers are finding it difficult to buy a new car.
Because of this, used cars are becoming more popular in provinces across the country, including many regions of Alberta.
If you’re currently planning on buying a used car in Alberta, the last thing you want to do is rush your decision.
Making a hasty, uninformed decision can lead to a wide variety of issues down the line.
That’s why we’ve put together this useful list of tips for buying a used car in Alberta — continue reading to learn more!
Seven tips for buying a used car in Alberta
Do you want to learn how to buy a used car in Alberta like a pro? Be sure to use the following tips:
Tip #1 — Assess your wants and needs
If you’re thinking about buying a used vehicle in Alberta, the first thing that you need to do is assess your wants and needs.
Taking the time to assess your wants and needs makes it easier to make a practical decision and ensures that your next purchase meets all of your expectations.
For instance, if you want something stylish but need more space for your growing family, you can look for a used luxury SUV or crossover. This is a basic example of how you can get the best of both worlds (wants and needs) while buying a used vehicle in Alberta.
Tip #2 — Set a realistic budget for yourself
Setting a budget gives you a sense of what you can spend without reallocating funds from other aspects of your life. For instance, you don’t want to have to sacrifice other essentials in order to make your car payments on time!
Most experts recommend spending no more than 20% of your gross annual income on your car (each year).
Additionally, drivers need to consider more than just the face value of the used vehicle. Drivers should also take the following expenses into account while setting a budget for a used car:
- Repairs and general maintenance
- Car insurance payments
Tip #3 — Shop with private sellers and at dealerships
Buying a used car in Alberta at a dealership or from a private seller both come with their own sets of benefits.
Some of the benefits of buying a used car in Alberta from a dealership include:
- Wide selection of vehicles at various price points
- Many used car dealerships in Alberta offer a warranty
- Get expert advice from a salesperson that has first-hand experience with various models
Some of the benefits of buying a used car from a private seller in Alberta include:
- Generally lower price point (especially if you know the seller)
- More room to negotiate the price
- Can find unique models that are not available at used car dealerships
Tip #4 — Always test drive a used vehicle before committing to a purchase
Test driving a used vehicle doesn’t just give you the chance to get a feel for the ride; it also gives you the opportunity to assess the condition of the vehicle. A used car may look like it’s in good condition from the outside; however, it’s an entirely different story once it hits the road.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the following issues while test driving a used vehicle:
- Loud noises
- Unresponsive brakes, steering wheel, etc.
- Condition of windows, side mirrors, interior mirrors, etc.
- Presence of unwanted odours (smoke, pet odour, etc.)
- Warnings or “lights” on the dashboard
To get an authentic feel for the car, we suggest test driving it in an area that is similar to your daily commute or rides around town. Doing this will give you a sense of how the vehicle will perform on a day-to-day basis.
Tip #5 — Familiarize yourself with the provincial inspection requirements
In Alberta, drivers need to get their recently-purchased used vehicle inspected under the following circumstances:
The vehicle was written off — If the vehicle was deemed a “write off” or “total loss” by an insurance company, it would need a salvage inspection.
The vehicle was purchased from another province — If the vehicle was purchased from another province and has never been registered in Alberta, it will need an Out of Province Vehicle inspection.
Tip #6 — Buy a used car like a pro
After taking care of the tasks mentioned above, one of the last things that you need to do is purchase the vehicle!
Once you’ve made the necessary payments, be sure to get a copy of the proof of purchase from the seller (i.e. a bill of sale). You need a copy of the proof of purchase (along with a number of other documents) in order to register a vehicle in Alberta.
Tip #7 — Compare car insurance quotes with a reputable brokerage
As you likely know, if you’re buying a used car in Alberta insurance is legally required. This is more than enough of a reason for drivers to invest in a policy. However, car insurance also protects drivers from a wide array of unforeseen events that happen on and off of the road (depending on your level of coverage).
Whether you’re a new driver that recently bought their first vehicle, or are simply having trouble finding competitive quotes, don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable insurance brokerage like Surex.
Save up to 25% on car insurance when you shop with Surex
At Surex, we work with a number of the top-rated car insurance providers in Canada in order to provide drivers (like you!) with some of the most competitive quotes in the industry.
Instead of pushing products from a single company, we can tailor your quotes based on your needs, wants and budget.
Best of all, our team of advisors (our preferred title for insurance brokers) works fast — within ten short minutes, we can provide you with a variety of quotes from some of Alberta’s top-rated car insurance companies.
While you’re comparing quotes, don’t forget to ask your Surex insurance advisor about how you can save up to 25% when you bundle multiple policies with one of our carriers!