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Used Vehicles Fact and Fiction
The best used car is the cheapest used car

When you compare two seemingly identical cars of different prices, the cheapest one is not always the best value for your money. A range of factors influence the value of a used vehicle—its mileage, general state and mechanical condition. Remember, a vehicle’s value is not just about price, but quality.

My car is inspected. This ensures I won’t have any mechanical problems in the short term.

Inspections are not all the same. A simple safety inspection, for instance, only tells you that your vehicle’s brakes worked on that day, and not much else. You can buy a vehicle that has passed a safety inspection, and your brakes can fail the next day. The best inspection is the dealer’s. Performed by mechanics trained by the manufacturer itself, it guarantees the condition of every main component.

The seller told me a test drive was unnecessary.

Buying a car without driving it is like signing a blank cheque. Far more than appearance, a car’s mechanical condition is crucial, and only a road test can establish a vehicle’s general condition. Ask to see a detailed report of the inspection. Don’t forget: If you’re unsure of something, you have the right to get an independent evaluation.

As long as my vehicle is guaranteed, I don’t have to worry.

Guarantees are not all the same. Some of them include more stringent conditions than others; some cover only a part of your vehicle. Most importantly, guarantees are only valid if the vehicle is in perfect condition at purchase. They don’t cover reconditioning of defective parts. To ensure your guarantee covers repairs, demand the kind of thorough inspection and reconditioning of defective components your dealer can do—another reason why inspecting your purchase is so important.

I bought my vehicle directly at auction. It’s a lot less expensive that way.

The vehicles in dealerships come directly from manufacturers, who sell only to dealers. In fact, dealers enjoy the privilege of choosing the best used vehicles at private sales, and can therefore offer you the best used vehicles on the market.

Useful Links

A selection of Internet links and other useful advice to help you make the best choice.

For More Information

Download the Gold Series brochure in Adobe Acrobat format (in french only).

 
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