Buying your first car in Canada will probably lead to a lot of questions and doubts: Is it safe to buy from an individual? What exactly is a Rebuilt Title? What should I focus on when buying a used car?
We talked to our friend, Oscar Vicencio, who is a Sales Consultant at Mainland Ford Surrey, and he gave us some great tips for buying your first car in Vancouver.
By law, the seller has to show you the Vehicle History Report, which outlines absolutely everything that has happened to the vehicle (services, accidents, registration, etc.).
The car dealership or distributor should show it to you without you even having to ask as it is your right as a buyer, so if they don’t give it to you, don’t forget that they are legally required to do so.
Normally, when you buy a car from another person, you need to search for this document online, using the car’s serial number. You can do this from a number of websites, including Carproof.com.
As far as I know, the cost of getting this document can vary, but the average is around CA $70.
Rebuilt vs. Clean
Have you noticed the different titles mentioned in car descriptions when you are browsing Craiglist’s? A car with a rebuilt title is not necessarily a bad thing; it just means that it was involved in at least one accident and the necessary repairs totaled more than 50% of the value of the vehicle.
These cars tend to be ‘much cheaper’ than other vehicles of the same model and year; however, remember that buying a car with a rebuilt title is a coin flip: you could end up with an excellent car or a serious headache.
Another disadvantage of buying a car with a rebuilt title is depreciation: when you come to sell it to buy another model, it will have depreciated significantly. Furthermore, you can’t trade it in at a car dealership when you want to buy a new one.
The reason for this is that a lot of car dealerships’ policies do NOT allow them to receive cars with a rebuilt title. So, if your plan is to use the car for a number of years, and if you are willing to take a few risks, then please don’t forget to review the car’s Vehicle History Report carefully.
On the other hand, cars with a ‘clean’ title have not undergone any major repairs, or they have never been involved in any collisions and/or have low mileage. Evidently, the cost is a little higher than a car with a rebuilt title; however, you do have peace of mind for you and your family.
Whatever you decide, our recommendation is a simple one: check the car’s Vehicle History Report carefully prior to making a decision.
Vehicles Registered in Other Canadian Provinces
This is an important point given that some vehicles, especially large SUV’s, can come from other provinces. When this happens, it can be a positive or a negative thing for you, the buyer.
If the vehicle hasn’t yet been registered in the new province where it will be driven, in this case British Columbia, it is your job to register it directly with the ICBC, and you will be liable to pay all the costs for this process.
However, if the vehicle is from another part of Canada, but it is already registered in BC, this is a good sign that it is in good working conditions, as it has already passed an initial inspection to be registered in the province, and then a second inspection to be able to have been sold by a car dealership.
Check all the details carefully as buying a car is the second most important investment a family can make, after buying a house that is.
Our friends at Mainland Ford Surrey can guide you through the whole process in Spanish! Contact our friend, Oscar Vicencio (604 588 9921), for any doubts you may have.