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Best place to buy used cars in Calgary

Find out where you can buy used cars in Calgary and compare financing options to lock in the best deal. 

You can shop for used cars with several different types of sellers in Calgary based on what kind of car buying experience you want. Shop in-person or online through private sellers, car brokers, online dealers, in-person dealerships and auction sites. Learn more about the best place to buy used cars in Calgary for your unique set of needs.

At a glance: Where to find used cars in Calgary

Compare the pros and cons of different types of used car sellers in Calgary:

Place to buy used carsBest forExamplesProsCons
Online dealersOnline purchase and at-home deliveryCanada Drives
  • Test to own
  • Some warranty coverage
  • Buy online with at-home delivery
  • More expensive since mostly new used cars
  • Prices are usually non-negotiable
  • Limited to the dealer’s own inventory
Private marketplacesAffordable carsCraigslist, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, and Used Calgary
  • Great deals
  • Large inventory
  • Easy to negotiate
  • Some fraudulent sellers
  • No quality guarantees
  • One viewing at a time
  • Fewer financing options
Online car brokersComparing dealership vehiclesAutoTrader and Carpages.ca
  • Compare many dealers at once
  • In-house financing
  • Costs more than private sales
  • Taxes and licensing not included in prices
  • Potential for hidden fees
In-person dealershipsOne-stop shoppingBonnybrook Auto Sales, Big 4 Motors Ltd., Calgary Car Centre and Automaxx Superstore
  • On-site assistance
  • In-house financing
  • Pre-inspected vehicles
  • Customer reviews help narrow options
  • Multiple test drives
  • Can be more costly than private sales
  • Limited return and exchange policies
  • Pressure to buy at times
  • Not always trustworthy
Auction sitesLow pricesGraham Auctions, Regal Auctions and Canadian Remarketing Group
  • Often cheaper than other sellers
  • Easy to place a bid
  • No test drives allowed
  • Need to plan around auction schedules
  • Cars come “as is” with no exchanges or returns

Browse different types of used car providers in Calgary

Compare several different types of used car sellers in Calgary to find the best fit for your personal situation:

Online dealers

Canada Drives

Canada Drives is a one-stop shop to purchase vehicles online in Calgary for home delivery. You’ll get 7 days to test drive the car, and it will be covered by a 30-day warranty. The main downside is that the site only offers newer used cars so you can expect to pay a bit more.

  • How the car buying process works: Shop for a used car entirely online and get it delivered to your doorstep. You’ll typically pay with cash or financing.
  • Who’s it best for: It’s best for people who want a completely online car buying process and a newer used car.
  • What to watch out for: You can’t test drive your vehicle before you buy and start making payments (though you can trade it in for 7 days post-payment).

Private marketplaces

Craigslist

Craigslist is an easy-to-use online platform that lets you shop for used cars anonymously without needing to make a profile. The main downside is that the site has a lot of ads and too many dealerships post vehicles (often without prices).

  • How the car buying process works. Send a message to the seller to book an appointment to see the car. You’ll typically pay by cash or e-transfer if you decide to buy.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who want to shop anonymously on a simple platform using personal emails to exchange messages.
  • What to watch out for. Website crowded with dealership vehicles and paid advertisements.

Kijiji Autos

Kijiji is similar to Craigslist but it offers more vehicle information upfront to make comparing vehicles easier. This lets you compare information such as price and kilometres without needing to open each advertisement.

  • How the car buying process works. Reach out to the seller to book a time to see the car and take it for a test drive. You’ll usually pay by cash or e-transfer if you buy the car.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who want to use thumbnails to compare vehicles side by side.
  • What to watch out for. The platform is a bit clunky and slow to load with too many paid advertisements.

Facebook

Facebook Marketplace is an ideal place to shop for cars if you have a Facebook profile. The site lets you see who is selling the car (you can visit their profile) and also gives the seller a star rating to show you if they’re trustworthy in some cases.

  • How the car buying process works. Use your Facebook profile to send a message to the seller and book an appointment. You’ll often pay by cash or e-transfer to buy the car.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who are familiar with Facebook and want a way to buy a used car from a verified(ish) seller.
  • What to watch out for. You need to message quickly for the best deals and you can still run into fake profiles and faulty vehicles.

Used Calgary

Used Calgary is another private marketplace that lets you buy used cars in Calgary. You can shop without creating a profile and it’s easy to set filters to narrow your searches. The main downside is that the inventory of used cars on this site can be much smaller than other sites.

  • How the car buying process works. Send a message anonymously to the seller using your personal email. You’ll typically pay by cash or e-transfer to buy the car.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who want to search by basic parameters and filter out commercial ads (there’s a little toggle at the bottom).
  • What to watch out for. Smaller inventory than other private marketplaces.

Online car brokers

AutoTrader

AutoTrader is a well-known Canadian site that lets you compare dealership vehicles in Calgary. It also rates the market price of each vehicle to tell you if it’s above or below average so you know if you’re getting a good deal. The main downside is that there are a lot of ads.

  • How the car buying process works. Send a message to the dealer from the page advertising the car. You’ll typically pay by cash or apply for in-house financing.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who are looking for a bit of direction on how much to pay as well as those who want financing through a broker.
  • What to watch out for. The website can be difficult to navigate.

Carpages

Carpages.ca is another used car broker that lets you compare used cars from multiple dealerships at one time. You can arrange a test drive or book at-home delivery with some dealers. The main drawback is that you can’t see the location of the dealership upfront.

  • How the car buying process works. Send a message to the dealership that listed the vehicle to book an appointment. You’ll typically pay by cash or get in-house financing.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who want to compare prices for dealerships with the potential for at-home delivery and in-house financing options.
  • What to watch out for. The site requests contact information such as your full name, phone number and email address just to send a message.

In-person dealerships

In-person dealerships are a good option if you want to test drive multiple vehicles at one time and you would rather get help with buying a vehicle in person. The main downside is that it can be difficult to find a trustworthy dealership.

  • How the car buying process works. Shop for your next vehicle in person and get help from a salesperson. You’ll typically pay with cash or get dealership financing.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for customers who would prefer to see vehicles in person and test drive multiple cars before buying. It’s also good for bad credit financing.
  • What to watch out for. Keep an eye out for low-quality vehicles, poor customer service and less-than-honest sales tactics in some cases.
Name of dealershipGoogle rating (out of 5 stars)Positive reviewsNegative reviews
Country Hills Hyundai4.3Good customer serviceExpensive warranty and “extras” packages
Bonnybrook Auto Sales4.7Patient, honest and courteousNo recent negative reviews
Automaxx Superstore4.3Friendly and professionalSome complaints about financing department
Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC4.3Helpful and knowledgeableUnprofessional staff on rare occasions
Calgary Car Centre4.6Kind and patientLack of after-purchase care in some cases
Chinook Auto Sales4.0Transparent and accommodatingPressure to leave a deposit and faulty vehicles in some cases
Wolfe Calgary – Chevrolet GMC Buick4.6Friendly and quick serviceNo recent negative reviews with comments
Big 4 Motors Ltd.4.7Responsive and attentiveLack of after-purchase care in some cases
Capital Chevrolet Buick GMC4.4Knowledgeable and friendlySlow financing and poor service in some cases
South Pointe Toyota4.5Good customer serviceComplaints about service and financing departments in rare cases

Google ratings were last verified on April 15, 2024.

Auction sites

Car auction sites in Calgary can help you save money on used cars in Calgary if the bids on the car you want stay low. The main downside is that they can be riskier because you won’t be able to test drive or fully inspect the vehicle before you bid on it.

  • How the car buying process works. Place a bid on a vehicle and drive it home if you win. You’ll typically pay by cash or e-transfer.
  • Who it’s best for. It’s best for people who are willing to accept more risk for the chance to get a great deal.
  • What to watch out for. Potential for faulty vehicles and you may pay too much if you get caught up in bidding. There are also no test drives or returns.
Name of dealershipGoogle rating (out of 5 stars)Positive reviewsNegative reviews
Graham Auctions4.0Easy bidding and well-organizedSome faulty vehicles and owners driving bids up
Regal Auctions3.7Competitive prices and transparent descriptionsSome faulty vehicles and questionable inspections
Canadian Remarketing Group4.6Good customer serviceNot very many reviews

Google ratings were last verified on April 15, 2024.

Compare used car loans in Calgary

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Ratings APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Broker Compliance Requirements Long Table Description
CarsFast Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
3.90% - 29.90%
$500 - $75,000
12 - 96 months
CarsFast will connect you with a dealership near you to help you find the right financing.
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Loans Canada Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
0% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
Loans Canada is a loan search platform. Get matched with a suitable dealer based on your credit history and borrowing requirements.
Requirements: Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Dealerhop Car Loans
Not yet rated
6.99% - 29.99%
$7,000 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Dealerhop matches you with a dealer partner to get you financing.
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
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What to look for when you buy a used car in Calgary

Use this used car checklist to make sure the car you want to buy is a good fit:

  • Low mileage. Look for cars that have odometer readings below 120,000 kilometres to avoid paying for mechanical issues and failures due to high mileage.
  • Inspection by mechanic. Call in a licensed mechanic to take a look at the vehicle you want to buy to check for issues (even if it’s been inspected by a dealership).
  • Up-to-date maintenance. Ask for any available maintenance records to see if the car has been regularly serviced.
  • Decent price. Look up the car you want to buy on Kelley Blue Book and Canadian Black Book to make sure you’re getting a fair market price.
  • Passes a VIN check. Order a CarMax report to make sure the car hasn’t been involved in any thefts or serious accidents.
  • Drives well. Take the car for a test drive to make sure that it drives well and doesn’t have any steering/braking issues.
  • Eligible for financing. Make sure that the car you want is eligible for financing and see if you can get pre-approved before you shop so you know how much you have to spend.

How to pay for a used car in Calgary

Think about the following payment options to purchase a used car in Calgary:

  • Use your own savings. Dip into your savings to buy a used car or see if your friends or family might be able to give you an interest-free loan.
  • Apply for a car loan. Apply to borrow money from a bank or private lender to buy a used car in Calgary or get a bad credit car loan if your credit score is below 650.
  • Apply for dealership financing. See if the dealership you’re shopping with is willing to finance you with reasonable interest rates.
  • Use a credit card. You may be able to use a credit card to pay for cheap vehicles (usually $5,000 or under). This lets you collect rewards but your interest rate will be around 19.99%.

Also keep in mind that you’ll need to fill out a bill of sale either form a dealership or with the person you’re buying the vehicle from in a private sale. While it’s a good idea to include detailed payment information on the bill of sale, it’s at least mandatory that you include the cost of the vehicle along with the vehicle’s VIN number, details about the vehicle and both your and the buyer’s information.

Bottom line

You can buy used cars in Calgary with various sellers, including private individuals, car brokers, online dealers, in-person dealerships and auction sites. The best place for you to buy will depend on what type of car buying experience you want. Learn more about the different types of sellers and compare car financing options to get the money you need to start shopping.

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