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Canada Drives car loan review

Canada Drives offers a simple application process that lets you shop for your dream car while knowing you have the financing secured to make your purchase.

To be eligible for a car loan from Canada Drives, you must be a Canadian resident with a valid Canadian address, have a valid driver’s licence and be the age of majority in the province you live in. Canada Drives accepts applications from people in all types of financial circumstances.
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Please note: All information about Canada Drives has been collected independently by Finder and this product is not available through this site.

30-second take

Canada Drives simplifies the process of buying a vehicle and applying for auto financing, showing applicants how much they can borrow along with a list of vehicles they’ve already qualified for based on their approved financing.
  • Think about Canada Drives if you want to quickly find out how much lenders will qualify you for. With a simple online application, Canada Drives will show you the best approval options available to you and will only show you vehicles you can buy based on your approved loan.
  • Pick something else if you’re looking to finance motorcycles or private purchases.
  • Canada Drives accepts applications from people in any financial circumstance, including anyone going through bankruptcy, receiving income assistance or with a low credit score.

Expert review

Canada Drives is a worthwhile option if you’ve spent time shopping for a car at a dealership only to be rejected at the auto financing stage. Instead, Canada Drives starts with the loans process, helping you figure out how much lenders will qualify you for first based on a quick online application. From there, it’ll show you the best rates on offer to you and will only show you vehicles that you already qualify for based on your approved loan.

Interest rates on your car loan can vary from as low as 2.99%, depending on how much you are looking to finance and for how long as well as on your credit score and financial circumstances. Canada Drives welcomes applications even if you have a low credit score, are going through bankruptcy or you’re receiving income assistance.

What is Canada Drives?

Canada Drives is a free service that connects you with local car dealers in your region that can help you secure auto financing based on your budget and financial situation. You can fill out an online application in five minutes and once you’ve submitted your details, you’ll hear back from a dealer within 24 hours to work on the next steps for your loan.

Instead of focusing on your vehicle of choice first, Canada Drives helps you determine how much you qualify for and will only show you vehicles that you can afford based on your financing.

First, do I qualify?

To be eligible for a Canada Drives loan, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian resident with a valid Canadian address.
  • Have a valid driver’s licence and be of the age of majority in the province you live in.
  • Have a valid Canadian bank account to make payments on time.

Where is Canada Drives available?

Canada Drives is available in the following provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

The financing you’ll get and the lenders available to you will vary by province and your specific location. For example, you may not be able to access financing in remote areas while, on the other hand, you may have multiple options in busy regions. Most cities will be covered.

What makes Canada Drives unique?

Canada Drives is unique because it works on helping you figure out how much you qualify for before you begin car shopping. If you’ve had your heart set on a specific car only to be rejected at the loan process stage, the service helps you get approved first and only shows you vehicles you’ve qualified for.Canada Drives accepts applications from anyone, even if your credit score isn’t in the best shape. It will even accept your application if you’ve declared bankruptcy or you receive income assistance. It also accepts trade-ins. Canada Drives doesn’t issue the financing – the service connects you with local dealerships it has partnered with that offer special financing options for all credit situations.Canada Drives is free to use and you are under no obligation to accept any of the quotes you receive.

What types of car loans does Canada Drives offer?

Canada Drives car loans include the following:
  • New and pre-owned car loans. Get approved for a loan to buy a brand new or pre-owned car, truck, SUV or minivan from dealers partnered with Canada Drives.
  • Bad credit loans. Canada Drives emphasizes that you can still apply for financing and get approved for a loan even if you don’t have credit, your credit isn’t in the best shape or you’ve filed for bankruptcy.
  • Trade-ins. Canada Drives is happy to work with trade-ins too, even if you still owe money on your vehicle. You can also use your trade-in as a down payment to help lower your monthly payments on your new loan.

What financing options are not available with Canada Drives?

All loans are processed through local dealers partnered with Canada Drives, so approved financing is restricted to new and pre-owned car purchases. You won’t find financing options for motorcycles or private purchases or for arranging financing from dealers that aren’t partnered with Canada Drives.

Is Canada Drives legit?

It is. The company was established in 2010 and has since received more than one million completed applications and has partnered with over 350 Canadian car dealers. Canada Drives placed 188th on the Globe and Mail’s 2020 Report on Business ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies, which is based on three-year revenue growth.

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How is my interest rate determined?

Canada Drives doesn’t set the interest rate for your loan or provide your financing. It connects applicants with local car dealers that specialize in helping people who are facing bad or no credit situations. It’s these partner dealers that handle all aspects of the financing.

Typically, your APR – or annual percentage rate – is determined by a number of factors, including the amount you’re looking to finance, the length of term to pay off your loan, your down payment on hand and your credit score.

The Canada Drives website shows loans with APRs as low as 2.99% for as long as 84 months.

How much will my loan and monthly payments cost me?

The cost of your loan will depend on which lender you work with. Keep in mind, your interest rate will depend on a series of personal factors, including your down payment, credit score, the terms of your loan and the type of vehicle you want to purchase.

Payments on a car loan are typically determined by three key factors:

  • The principal. This is the total cost of the auto loan, including any fees that the lender or dealership add on for the car loan.
  • The term. This dictates the length of time that payments will be made for.
  • The interest rate. This is the percentage that your lender will charge you to borrow the money for your loan.

Use our car loan calculator to figure out what your monthly payments would look like.

Where can I buy my vehicle once I’m approved?

Once you submit your online application, you’ll be contacted by a dealer that’s close to you and partnered with Canada Drives. You’ll work with the dealer to create an auto loan specific to your needs and your budget. When you know how much you’ve qualified for, your dealer will only show you vehicles you can afford based on your approved financing.

Canada Drives is partnered with hundreds of dealers across the country. These dealerships are stocked with an inventory of vehicles so you can choose the option that makes the most sense for you. New and pre-owned cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans are fair game, but motorcycles are excluded from financing.

What are the benefits of using Canada Drives?

  • Easy, secure online application with quick pre-approvals. After filling out the application form online, you’ll be pre-approved and hear from a local dealer on the same day.
  • Loans provided with no bad credit or no credit. Canada Drives offers car financing for any type of credit situation, including no credit, poor credit and bankruptcy. You can also apply if you’re a recipient of some form of income assistance.
  • No fees. You won’t pay any fees for using the Canada Drives application process.
  • No co-signer needed. You can apply for financing without a co-signer on your loan. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you may have to provide information from your trustee to secure a loan.
  • No down payment. It’s possible to get a loan without paying any money out of pocket to secure your vehicle.
  • Trade-ins accepted. Canada Drives is happy to work with trade-ins, even if you still owe money on your vehicle. You can also use your trade-in as a down payment to help lower your monthly payments on your new loan.
  • Lengthy terms. You’ll be able to lock in a term lasting up to seven years to help bring your monthly payments down.
  • Large inventory. You can choose from new and pre-owned cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans on offer from hundreds of dealerships partnered with Canada Drives.

What to watch out for

  • Not available in all of Canada. You won’t be able to use Canada Drives in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick or the Territories.
  • Only some lenders showcased. Canada Drives has a number of local dealerships it works with in each region, so you’ll only get quotes from a segment of lenders. This could lead you to miss out on a great deal, so it’s worth requesting quotes from a few options to make sure you’re getting the lowest rates.
  • Potential for additional fees. While Canada Drives doesn’t charge any fees for its application process, you may encounter additional fees and extra costs as you go through the loans process with your lender, depending on which dealer you go with.
  • Steep interest rates for bad credit. You may be able to secure auto financing despite having bad credit or no credit at all, but you could end up agreeing to steep interest rates to secure your loan.
  • No online quotes or online comparisons. After you submit your application, a local dealer will contact you by telephone to go over your loan request. Other services let you compare multiple lenders at one time on an easy-to-navigate platform so you can do your homework on various offers and interest rates before making a decision.

How do I apply?

If you want to apply for financing via Canada Drives, click on the “Get Approved Today” or “Apply” buttons on the homepage to be securely redirected to the online application. The application form asks for personal information, including your full name, email, date of birth, address and phone number. You’ll also be asked about your current employment and monthly income, what type of car you’re looking for, your estimated budget, your estimated credit rating and whether you have a trade-in.

Once you fill in the application, you’ll be contacted by a local dealer willing to finance you and you can choose a loan that best fits your needs from what’s on offer. Once you’re approved, you can use your financing to purchase a vehicle from the dealer.

A credit check will be a necessary part of the approvals process as you work with your dealer.

I got the loan. Now what?

Your repayment options will be outlined in your contract with the dealership that is providing your financing and your car. You’ll pay your loan back in bi-monthly or monthly installments.

You may be eligible to pay off your loan early without any penalties if you’re interested in getting out of debt faster. If needed down the road, you can also ask your dealer about refinancing your loan.

Frequently asked questions

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