A Guide on How to Buy a Used Car in Ontario

A Guide on How to Buy a Used Car in Ontario

Written by DriveAxis.ca February 01, 2023

The process of buying a used car is pretty straightforward and universal, but certain jurisdictions require different steps before you’re able to drive away and enjoy the new ride. It’s the same thing with Ontario, where buying a car is very easy, yet requires you to take a few things into account.

Before buying a car in Ontario, it’s good to go through the requisite checklist of things to look out for. After all, choosing the right car means more than just signing a few papers and taking ownership of the keys. You’re going to want to choose the right one that best fits your budget, lifestyle and family unit.


Before buying a used car, think about the best one that suits you, specifically. Of course, there are plenty of vehicles to choose from, but make sure to take into account things like size and carrying capacity, fuel consumption, and of course, safety and reliability. This is especially true of used cars, which already have quite a few kilometers on them. Many used cars are sturdy, dependable, and in excellent condition, but you’ll want to be safe, regardless. DriveAxis prides itself on putting each one of our cars through a rigorous 300 point inspection process, and backing it up with a generous warranty so that our customers can feel confident driving off the lot.

Performance and mileage are two other criteria to look out for. The more powerful the car, the more you’ll pay when it comes to gasoline, and maintenance, as well. High performance cars with a V8 engine or a turbocharged V6 have more going on under the hood, which means more things to keep track of in order to keep the car running at peak performance. When it comes to mileage, the criteria varies. Some cars can keep moving along briskly for years, even after passing the 100,000 km mark, while others may be subject to tuneups, an engine overhaul, or even a replacement. Those can prove quite costly. Standard rule of thumb is to try and stick to cars with around 20,000 kilometers of annual use per year. You can calculate this based on the age of the vehicle, but make sure to check if the car was driven primarily in the city, or on the highway, as the latter means less wear and tear on the car, even if the actual odometer reading is higher.

Next, you’ll want to factor in your budget, which is obvious. This is where things get tricky. Make sure to buy a car that is within your predetermined budget, and avoid the trap of talking yourself into a higher-priced vehicle, just because you desire it. Impulse buying can mean greater financial woes down the road. Besides, you can always buy a more expensive car at a later date.


There are lots of places to buy a used car in Ontario; primarily private sellers, dealerships and online retailers. The choice is yours, but different buying sources offer different advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of. Private sellers are a handy way to cut out a lot of shopping and go straight for the car that catches your eye. However, there’s no actual guarantee of quality, reliability or car history, which means unless you take it in for an appraisal by a reputable mechanic, you’re essentially rolling the dice. Plus, you’ll need to take care of a lot of the paperwork and due diligence by yourself, which includes transfer of ownership, surrender of plates, all of which are dictated by Ontario automotive laws.

Dealerships have a well-stocked inventory of used vehicles that customers trade in for new ones, which means there’s always a bountiful selection to choose from. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of haggling to be done, as well as increased markups for dealerships looking to make a profit. Therefore, finding the right vehicle in a hassle-free environment can be somewhat hit or miss.

Companies like DriveAxis, by comparison, seek to take the stress and headache out of the equation by offering a one-stop shop for all your used car needs. We’ll not only help you choose the right vehicle from our vast inventory, but we’ll also help you secure the financing you need via our in-house department, which means you can cut the banks and lenders out of the equation altogether. This allows for huge peace of mind, even if your credit rating isn’t as spectacular as you’d like it to be.

Further, we offer a 300 point inspection on all of our vehicles to make sure they’re in tip top shape, before you drive off the lot. It’s the ultimate no pressure/high reward car buying system, and we’re proud of what we bring to the table for our customers. Our motto is Click, Shop, and Drive, for a reason.


If you’re in the market for a used car, and you want to avoid the headaches and stress associated with dealerships, negotiations, financing applications and government paperwork, we invite you to contact us today. DriveAxis makes customer service our number one priority, but it’s no cliché! We back it up with multiple advantages that will get you in the car of your dreams faster, without worrying about all the rest.

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