Best place to buy used cars in Toronto
Compare the best places to buy used cars in Toronto and explore potential financing options.
The best place to buy used cars in Toronto depends on various factors. These include the type of car you want, how much you want to spend and what level of effort you’re willing to put into shopping around. Use this post to compare different types of used car sellers in Toronto and explore your financing options to find the best car and payment plan for your needs.
At a glance: Where to find used cars in Toronto
Compare the pros and cons of different types of used car sellers in Toronto:
|Place to buy a used car||Best for||Examples||Pros||Cons|
|Online dealers||Best for online car-buying process||Clutch and CarDoor|
|In-person dealerships||Best for one-stop shopping||Gus Car Sales, Azores Auto Sales and Let’s Do This Auto Sales Inc.|
|Auction sites||Best for bargain deals||Stark Auto Sales|
RepoLot and Auction Export
|Private marketplaces||Best for cheap cars||Craigslist, Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace|
|Online car brokers||Best for large inventory of dealership cars||AutoTrader and Carpages.ca|
Compare different types of used car providers in Toronto
Compare various sellers in the following categories to find the best place to buy used cars in Toronto for your unique set of needs:
Clutch is a reputable online dealer that offers newer used cars for online purchase and at-home delivery. It offers free 90-day warranty coverage and is up-front about any damage to the vehicle. Just be aware that you may have to pay more fees than with other sellers.
- How the car-buying process works: Shop for a used car entirely online and get it delivered to your door. You’ll typically pay with cash or financing.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who want a transparent car-buying experience with the option for financing and home delivery.
- What to watch out for: You may have to pay more fees than you will with other dealers (depending on where you live).
CarDoor is a car delivery service that operates primarily in the Greater Toronto area. This site comes with perks such as a money-back guarantee, exchange program and free warranty. The main downside is that it has a smaller inventory and mostly newer cars.
- How the car-buying process works: Shop for a used car entirely online and arrange at-home delivery. You’ll typically pay with cash or financing.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who want a newer vehicle and would like to get financing to cover payments.
- What to watch out for: Inventory is small and most of the cars are fairly new so it can be quite expensive compared to other sellers.
Our top pick for online car dealers
CarDoor is our top pick for the best place to find used cars in Toronto in this category because it has a decent selection of Toronto-based vehicles and offers a money-back guarantee and a solid exchange and warranty program.
In-person dealerships in Toronto
There are dozens of well-rated dealerships in Toronto if you’d prefer to shop for a used car in person. These dealers let you visually compare and test drive multiple vehicles in one visit. The main downside is that you may feel pressured to buy a car with some agents.
- How the car-buying process works: Shop in person at the dealership of your choice. You’ll typically pay with cash or get in-house financing.
- Who it’s best for: Best for customers who would like to compare and test drive multiple vehicles with the support of a knowledgeable salesperson.
- What to watch out for. Watch out for poor customer service, faulty vehicles and dodgy sales practices.
|Name of dealership||Rating on Google*||Positive reviews||Negative reviews|
|Coliseum Auto Sales on Weston||4.2||Fair prices and easy purchase||Faulty vehicles and unpleasant staff in some cases|
|Gus Car Sales||4.9||Friendly and professional||No details on negative reviews|
|Royal Fine Motors||4.3||Supportive and good value||Poor customer service in some cases|
|LA Automotive||4.5||Good customer service and prices||Faulty vehicles in rare cases|
|Low Price Auto Sales||3.9||Helpful customer service and good inventory||Misleading information from CARFAX reports in some cases|
|Azores Auto Group||4.7||Patient and honest||No recent negative reviews|
|Lets Do This Auto Sales Inc.||4.6||Helpful, knowledgeable and professional||No recent negative reviews|
*As of May 2023
Our top pick for in-person dealers
Azores Auto Group, Gus Car Sales and Lets Do This Auto Sales Inc. are our top picks for in-person dealers because they have overwhelmingly positive reviews and no recent negative feedback.
There are only a handful of car auction sites available in Toronto, but this could be a good option if you want a cheap vehicle.
- How the car-buying process works: Place a bid online or in person and pay for it in cash if you win. Vehicles come as-is with no test drives allowed.
- Who it’s best for: Cheap vehicles and damaged vehicles for parts.
- What to watch out for. Watch out for cars in “as-is” condition because there are no test drives or returns if you’re unsatisfied.
|Name of auction house||Rating on Google*||Positive reviews||Negative reviews|
|Stark Auto Sales||4.0||Good deals and well-functioning auction site||Faulty vehicles and poor customer service in some cases|
|RepoLot||4.2||Some potential for good deals||Some cars only available to dealers|
|Auction Export Toronto||4.5||Delivery available and cars as described||Cars sold as-is and many come damaged|
*As of May 2023
Our top pick for auction sites
Stark Auto Sales is our top pick for the best place to buy used cars in Toronto for this category because they have some good deals, staff are friendly for the most part and the auction site seems to function well.
You can shop for private sale used cars for free with Craigslist. The site is user-friendly and easy to access anonymously (though you’ll need to input your email to exchange messages). The main downside is that there are too many paid ads and dealership listings.
- How the car-buying process works: Input your email to send a message to the seller. You’ll typically pay by cash or e-transfer.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who want to buy a private sale vehicle using a simple and user-friendly website.
- What to watch out for: Many scammers operate on Craigslist and the site is full of ads. Avoid clicking on sponsored ads and walk away if a deal seems too good to be true.
Kijiji is an online marketplace that offers a wide selection of used cars. You can shop anonymously and thumbnails show information up-front so you don’t need to click on each ad to find out relevant details. The main downside is that the site can be slow and difficult to navigate.
- How the car-buying process works: Send a message to the seller via the Kijiji platform. You’ll typically pay by cash or e-transfer in most cases.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who don’t want to give out their email and would rather interact over a designated platform.
- What to watch out for: The website can be slow and there are many sponsored ads and fraudulent sellers on Kijiji.
Facebook Marketplace lets you buy private sale vehicles using your Facebook account. Sellers are validated by their profiles and associated ratings, and there are fewer ads and dealership cars. The downside is that you need Facebook to use this online marketplace.
- How the car-buying process works: Use your Facebook profile to send a message to the seller. You’ll typically pay by cash or e-transfer in most cases.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who want to see who they’re buying from and get a sense of their general trustworthiness.
- What to watch out for: It’s still possible to run into fraudulent sellers. Just beware of profiles that have been recently created or have no pictures or friends.
Our top pick for private marketplaces
Facebook Marketplace is our top pick for the best place to buy used cars in Toronto for private marketplaces. This is because the site is very simple to use and allows you to see who you’re buying from so you can determine if they are trustworthy or not.
Online car brokers
AutoTrader is an online car broker that lets you shop for vehicles and assess their market value. You can determine how much a car should cost based on estimations by Auto Trader of what’s a good deal. The main downside is that there are too many ads.
- How the car-buying process works: Click on the ad and input your personal information to send a message. You’ll typically pay by cash or in-house financing.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who want to get a good idea of how much a car should cost while comparing multiple dealerships in their local area.
- What to watch out for: There are too many sponsored ads on the site and you need to submit your phone number and email address to send a message.
Carpages.ca is an online broker that lets you shop in person or pay completely online with at-home delivery in some cases. The main downside is that not all Toronto dealers are represented on this site so you could miss out on a good deal.
- How the car-buying process works: Send a message to the dealership that listed the vehicle. You’ll typically pay by cash or get in-house financing.
- Who it’s best for: Best for people who want to shop with local dealerships or buy a local vehicle online with at-home delivery (with some sellers).
- What to watch out for: You’ll need to submit your email and phone number just to send a message and it’s difficult to filter search results down to a small radius in Toronto.
Our top pick for online car brokers
Carpages.ca is our top pick for the best place to buy used cars in Toronto in the online car broker category. This is because the website is easy to use and it comes with online payment and at-home delivery options in some cases.
Compare used car loans in Toronto
What to look for when you buy a used car in Toronto
Use this checklist to find the best used car for your personal needs in Toronto:
- Low mileage. Look for a used car that has the lowest mileage possible (aim for under 120,000km to avoid mechanical problems).
- Clean inspection. Get an inspection from a licensed mechanic, even if your car has already had a dealership inspection, to make sure it has a clean bill of health.
- Has maintenance records. Ask about maintenance records and be wary of any seller who can’t produce receipts for services rendered.
- Listed at market price or lower. Check how much your car should cost on sites like Kelley Blue Book and Canadian Black Book to make sure you pay a good price.
- Passes a VIN check. Order a CarMax report to make sure the car you want hasn’t been involved in any collisions or thefts.
- Performs well in a test drive. Take the car around the block to check that everything works properly (including lights, brakes and steering).
- Eligible for financing. Confirm that the car you want to buy is eligible for financing if you plan to borrow money for buying a used car.
How to pay for a used car in Toronto
You can pay for a used car in Toronto using the following payment methods.
- Use your own money. Save up to buy a car or ask your family and friends if you can borrow money. This is more realistic for cheaper vehicles.
- Apply for a car loan. Ask to borrow funds from a bank or private lender if you need cash to buy a used car in Toronto (you can consider a cosigner if you have bad credit).
- Apply for dealership financing. Apply for a loan directly from your dealer if you want convenient financing and don’t mind paying higher rates.
- Use a credit card. Use a credit card to pay for cheap vehicles (usually $5,000 or under) and collect rewards. The downside is your interest rate will be around 19.99%.
The best place to buy used cars in Toronto for you will depend on factors such as how much you want to spend, whether or not you need financing and what type of car you want. Learn more about which seller might be best suited for your personal situation and explore financing options today.
Frequently asked questions
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