10 tips for tourists buying a car in Canada

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Buy Car Cananda, Truck

Coming from down under, we found buying a car in Canada was a lot different from what we were used to in New Zealand and Australia.

There are several things we were not aware of and did catch us out! Hopefully these tips can help you budget for before you do buy a car Canada and give you some insight into what you should do before hand.

Here are a few things we experienced when purchasing our first vehicle in Vancouver, BC!

  1. You need to pay tax EVERY time, even if you are buying privately. Still baffles me how this is even a thing!
  2. You will need the “papers” for the vehicle to complete the purchase. Filled out by both parties and a letter of sale.
  3. Autoplan is the only place where you do the change of ownership in BC, it is also where you pay the required tax, registration and insurance.
  4. You get new plates when you buy a car, and keep those plates if you sell your car and buy a new one.
  5. Insurance can be expensive if you don’t have your insurance history. Without any history, you will be paying the highest risk cost.
  6. Be aware of the “title status” of a vehicle. This is whether it has been in an accident or not. Previously written off vehicles will be a rebuilt status. You can find out details of accidents by purchasing a car proof report. But BE AWARE. The first vehicle we purchased, we checked the BC accident register, it came back clean. But when we went to sell it, a potential buyer did a car proof check and it had 2 major accidents in another state. Even after the seller told us it hadn’t.
  7. If you are buying from the same state, an inspection is not required, so it might be worth getting the car checked out before purchasing.
  8. If you are buying from a different state it will need to pass an inspection before you can register it.
  9. Some states require an emissions test.
  10. Every state is different, don’t forget to look up what is required on the government website before you make the sale!

In our experience, our second vehicle purchase was a much better one than our first. Hopefully these tips help travellers to Canada with a stress free car purchase experience!

Moving to Canada on a working holiday? Be prepared before your 2-year Canadian working holiday

More to explore