Car Buying Tips



Car Buying Tips

October 14, 2016  *Updated March 12, 2019

Buying a car, especially used, comes with increased risks these days. You may never really know where it came from. Perhaps the vehicle was salvaged following a flood only to make its way onto the auction block, to an unlicensed car dealer, and if you’re not careful – your driveway.

Transportation Alberta provides these pointers:

  • If you are not very knowledgeable about vehicles, a good idea is to shop with someone who is.
  • Determine how much money you are able to pay for your vehicle in advance.
  • Check online for the Gold Book of Used Car Prices and the Canadian Red Book to research prices.
  • Visit several auto dealers, as well as checking your options in the classified ads.

They also recommend Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC), who suggest only buying products and services sold by AMVIC-licensed businesses who are committed to following the consumer protection rules set out in Alberta’s Fair Trading Act. Licensed businesses must provide you with a completed Mechanical Fitness Assessment (MFA) before you enter into a contract to buy a used vehicle. The MFA is an assessment – not a pass/fail inspection – and it’s valid for 120 days. Private sellers are not required to provide a mechanical fitness assessment.


As an independent insurance brokerage, Drayden Insurance Ltd. is committed to protecting our clients, what they value, and staying true to our original founder’s philosophy – treating our current and future clients with honesty and fairness by providing them with consistent quality service. In providing you with the best advice to mitigate your insurance risks when buying a used car in Alberta, Drayden Insurance Ltd. also suggests getting a CarFax report (previously called CARPROOF).

A CarFax report checks for:

  • Accident/damage history – information including repair estimates from collision facilities and police reported accidents.
  • Canadian lien search – is there money owing on the vehicle?
  • Recall information – ensure that there are no unfixed safety recalls on the vehicle.
  • Insurance claims from public and private insurers
  • As well as theft of entire vehicle, structural damage, frame damage, total loss, rebuilt, salvage, irreparable, flood damage, hail damage, lemons, stolen vehicle check, auction declarations, airbag deployment, odometer readings, service records, registration and branding information, U.S./Canada import records, flag for one owner and accident free vehicles, inspection records, Sherlock anti-theft markings, and CAMVAP buybacks.

A CarFax Vehicle History Report is a crucial part of the vehicle shopping process and prices vary depending on the report specifics requested, you can also request the vehicle identification number (VIN) and purchase the report yourself.

For more information on auto insurance, or advice on purchasing a used car, contact Drayden Insurance Ltd at 780-482-6300 for services in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Westlock, Fort Saskatchewan, Morinville, Leduc, and St. Albert (New Location as of September 12, 2016).

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