At AutoHELP we are dedicated to provide our communities with the tools to make informed decisions when purchasing their next vehicle.


There is a lot to consider when you begin the process of buying your next car. We typically only buy a car every 3 to 5 years and unless you are very savvy about the process involved a lot can and usually will go wrong. The purchasing process can be a very frightening and stressful experience considering the 3 to 5 years between purchases. We are out of practice so this sense of dread can be very real.  Read more

You have two choices when you begin the search for your new wheels. If you choose to look at purchasing a used car there are vehicles offered for sale privately and at dealerships.

Private deals can be a bit dicey because those selling vehicles privately are not required to be licenced or to follow the same rules and regulations that the dealerships are required to follow. So it becomes even more necessary to know what to look for to be sure you are getting a safe and dependable vehicle at a fair price.

Dealerships have a good supply of new and used vehicles and are required to follow the regulations of their province or state pertaining to safety and road worthiness, in order to keep their licences’. Dealerships will usually have a full range of financing and extended warrantee options for the vehicles they sell. Of course you will pay for this!

Never forget that dealerships are in the business of making money and selling cars, and can be very slick and convincing when it comes to getting you to agree to a deal.

In the car buying world, it seems a lot can go wrong, and it usually does.

Should I Buy New or Used?

When choosing between a new or used car it’s good to consider all of your options.

The biggest reason for buying a new car is having a full factory warrantee, giving you a number of years before you need to consider worrying about expensive repairs. Giving you peace of mind and the comfort in knowing that any big issues will be taken care of.

This peace of mind comes with a price. Your new car will cost you a great deal of money in depreciation in the first few years. Actually as soon as you register your new ride with the DMV your new car becomes used and loses about 10% in value. So when you give this a wee bit of thought you’ve lost 10% before you drive off the lot.

Your new car will continue to lose rapidly every year for at least the first 3 years. If you put on 20000 KMs a year, you can expect about 20% deprecation in the first year alone.

It is true that as a rule you will be able to secure better financing on a new vehicle but the cost of registration and your insurance premiums will likely go up. The savings realized on better financing rates for a new car will end up being close to a wash.

Buying a Used Car with Confidence

Cars are being built better every year, and a 2 or 3 year old car even with 60000 KMs can still look and drive like new. If your concerned about warrantee, buying a Certified Pre-Owned will often come with a high end factory warrantee attached and most used vehicles qualify for extended warrantee (at a price). Warrantee options are not usually available when purchasing a used car from a private seller.

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ON Wed, May 23, 2018 at 4:54:40 pm MDT    Comments (0)

What's Your Trade Worth?

It’s time to upgrade your vehicle, life has changed and the two door coupe won’t be working with the baby coming in a few months. You need something that will accommodate the new addition to your family, but what do I need.

First things first, if you plan to trade your vehicle at a dealership, what’s it worth? Or will you get a better deal if I sell it myself?

Do some research online first to find an average value of your car.

For example: I searched my old beater truck on Kijiji and found only 2 that were the same year and approximately the same mileage (2008 GMC with 320000kms) the prices listed were between $8,200.00 and $9,200.00. Of course these are asking prices and the sellers are expecting to negotiate, so let’s say they get close to $7500.

If I were to take this old truck to a dealership to get a trade in value I could expect to see $500.00 of real trade in value. Real trade in value may not be the number that you see during negotiation, which is why it is better to see an appraisal value first before you begin negotiations on your new ride.

Why is there such a difference you ask?

There are several, first this truck is not something most new car dealers would put in their used vehicle inventory because for a customer to secure financing on a vehicle this old with such high mileage is next to impossible. The banks and finance companies are simply not interested in the risk. And second the dealers are required by law to insure that this vehicle is safe and reasonably reliable in order to sell it off of their lot. This old truck may take thousand’s dollars to satisfy these requirements.

So my old truck would end up going to auction or to a wholesaler.

In this case it would defiantly be in my best interest to sell the truck privately at a price that is agreeable.

When you “trade” your vehicle, essentially you are selling your car to the dealership. You need to have a very good idea of the real wholesale value of your ride before you start talking numbers.

Keep in mind that the people you are selling your car to are professionals and in all likely hood, you are not.  Be prepared, they do it every day.

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ON Thu, May 10, 2018 at 7:19:40 pm MDT    Comments (0)

Why Do I Always Pay More in Payments

Unless you owe considerably less than your vehicle is worth (wholesale) your payments will almost always go up when you upgrade your vehicle.
I'll brake down the process a bit for you. Let’s assume you have been driving your first vehicle for 18 months.

When you bought your first car you paid a negotiated retail price + the cost of any extras you may have purchased (extended warrantees, protection plans, etc.) + fees + taxes. If you paid for the extras, fees and taxes out of pocket and financed the rest you should be in fairly good shape assuming your interest rate is reasonable and the car shows only regular wear and tear with average mileage and no accidents.

But if you financed everything (even at a good interest rate) and put no money down, the chances are that you owe more than the car is worth to the dealer, at a wholesale value. This puts you in a negative equity position.

You are in a negative equity position but you still need or want to upgrade your vehicle.

Your payments for your next ride will be based on: the negotiated retail price + the cost of any extras you decide to purchase + fees + taxes + any negative equity.

Your payments will go up.

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ON Wed, May 9, 2018 at 10:02:42 am MDT    Comments (0)

If you are able to set aside your emotional tendencies and treat the purchase of a vehicle as a business transaction, the odds of striking a better deal increase dramatically. Remember it is strictly business for the dealerships. Many businesses ask their potential suppliers to submit quotes for the products they need.
Consider requesting quotes from several potential dealers.

Step 1

What's your budget? Take your time with this to insure you are accurate. Your budget is not simply the cost of your monthly payment and insurance, but should encompass the total cost of driving. When you break down your cost of driving and include the cost of your monthly payment, insurance, maintenance, and of course fuel. The total number can be a bit of a shock.

Step 2

Know what you want. Start with your needs and wants list. You'll find that when you brake it all down your needs list will likely be considerably shorter than the wants side.

Do some research online to confirm that your list is achievable and within your budget. An online Auto Loan Payment Calculator will help you to find your maximum vehicle purchase amount based on your payment budget.

Step 4
Test drive to be sure it fits - You've got your budget and have done your research. You have several vehicles that fit, now it's time to choose several dealerships that carry your chosen ride and to choose your potential sales consultant.

You know what you want at this point and it's a matter of going for a test drive to insure that everything actually fits. Call your chosen sales consultants and make appointments to go for those test drives.

Step 4

It all fits and this is the car for you. It's time to get some numbers.
When you were with the sales consultant you gave him the heads up that you were planning to request a quotation after you had completed all of your test drives. It's time to prepare the request for quotation. Be sure that you are asking for the quotation on exactly the same vehicle from each of the dealers that are in the running to earn your business and quote the stock number if you managed to get it from the sales consultant.
Email it or deliver it to the salesperson.
Now you have the opportunity to compare apples to apples. Make an appointment with the winner of the contract and make the deal.
Don't make a deal if the numbers change when you get to the dealership. A quote is a quote.
If you are not happy, you always have other options.

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ON Wed, May 2, 2018 at 9:26:34 am MDT    Comments (0)

Mexican Blankets and Car Negotiation

Peddlers on the beach and negotiation, go hand in hand when you travel to many South American and Asian countries. But in North America we’ve never truly mastered the art.
We travel to Mexico and while enjoying the sun and the sand, a man approaches carrying what seems to be an unmanageable load of blankets. As he is walking by, he stops and begins his pitch looking for signs of interest.
Of course the first price is high, and now the game begins, offer and counter offer, until we agree on a price. At the end of it all we get our blanket, and the salesman walks away, with his nearly impossible load of wares, to find his next customer. The negotiation went well, we feel satisfied that we got the best deal possible and the blanket salesman made a profit.

When negotiating for our next car, we need to take some hints from the folks that have mastered the art of negotiation and use it every day.

Approach the vehicle price negotiation process like you’re buying a Mexican blanket on the beach. Both parties need to win. You deserve a fair price and the seller of the blanket deserves a profit. Do your due diligence and know what a fair price is before you go to the dealership.

The price you get when your sales consultant first presents you with the numbers, will likely be a bit be higher than you are willing to pay. If you want the car, it’s time to play this game. Don’t be shy, take your time, you’ve made a plan, and know where your numbers need to be. Make your counter offer (be sure that the sales consultant writes down everything you want on the counter offer. If you miss something now it may be difficult to get it back without additional cost later) and when your sales consultant goes off to the sales manager for approval, or another counter offer, mentally prepare yourself for the next round.

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ON Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 7:56:43 am MDT    Comments (0)

Reliability, dependability, and durability are not the only things to think about. Consider reputation and not simply the reputation of the manufacturer, but look at the reputation of the dealer as well. Again research the dealer's sales staff and service department. You should feel comfortable that you will be getting proper service after you drive away and for years to come.
Reputation plays a role in every aspect of the car you buy.

What is your Car Type?

What do you want or need, an SUV? Truck? Car? Sports Car? Economy Car? Or a Luxury Car? This all is subject to your wants and needs not to mention the depth of your pockets.
If you’re looking for transportation for your young family an SUV may be the best choice even though you really want a sports car, it simply won't fit your needs.

Car Brand

Yes it’s true, many of us believe that some vehicle manufacturers outshine others. And no we will not be discussing preferences here but, if you take the time to do the research you will be able to consider which brands will most meet your needs. By doing so, you’ll see why some of these auto makers are put on a pedestal but honestly for the most part they are all relatively the same.

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ON Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 10:09:05 pm MDT    Comments (0)

What's yours?

Advice is a great thing. When you get the opportunity to hear the opinion of friends, and family members based on their feelings, and experiences, you get the chance to avoid making a poor decision based on someone else's mistake.

Many years ago I had an old family friend that loved to give advice based on her feelings and experience, but would unfortunately become upset when her advice was not always followed. Of course she was only doing her best to insure that some of her mistakes weren't repeated by me.
Finally, at one point, it was beginning to get uncomfortable, so I needed to sit her down, and have a discussion about the fact that I would always welcome her advice, and that all of her advice would always be listened to, but after weighing the pros and cons the decision would ultimately be mine.

It can become a chore wading through everyone's advice and opinions when it comes to purchasing a car. Everyone has their own preferences and these preferences lead to an opinion. Some much stronger than others.

The difficulty is not to let your friends and family sway your decisions. All you need to remember is, that the decision you make is the decision that you will live with.

When it comes to purchasing a new vehicle everything from the color to the payment ends up being your responsibility so the decision is ultimately all yours.

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ON Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 6:09:50 pm MDT    Comments (0)
Which WHITE Car has all of the options i am looking for?

If they’re doing their job, your sales consultant will approach you the second you walk on the lot or through the door.
They’ll begin with some small talk and then be sure to ask you a few questions.
They will be looking for contact information, what and when you’re looking to buy, and of course what your budget is.
It can be tough to shift the conversation and take control when you’re working with a professional salesperson, but if you ask intelligent questions to show that you have done your homework, it will help you later in the process.

Ask questions! A dealership may have 500 vehicles on the lot and at first glance, there may be 100 of them that look the same, but are they? Not likely. You have to consider the trim levels and color choices that fit your wants and needs. Walking the lot and looking through windows will give you very little information. Know what you want and need, know your budget and most of all ask questions.

Which white car has all of the options that I am looking for?

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ON Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 10:42:50 am MDT    Comments (0)

What will be sitting in your driveway next?

Many of us have daydreams about our next set of wheels.

We daydream about the engine, the ride and all of the creature comforts in our next new ride.

What do you need and what do you want? That is the question and one that isn't that easy to answer. With all of the brands, and options available the list of wants can very quickly become extremely long, but what do we need and what makes sense.

Consider your total cost of driving not just the monthly payment. Many times the initial cost of buying the car is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Make a list of your “Needs” and “Wants”
What vehicle should I buy? And how will it impact my life?

Posted by: administrator
ON Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 9:36:22 pm MDT    Comments (0)

A beater can be a good deal if you understand that you will likely be looking at some major repairs from time to time. When you are looking at buying a beater you need to understand that a beater that runs smoothly down the road, may not be a fluke. In fact if it has lived for so long, it has been properly maintained and regularly serviced by its previous owner. Maintenance is the key.

That brings up some questions. Are you a back yard mechanic? And how much time and money are you prepared to spend on keeping your beater on the road. How far are you willing to go to keep this car running reliably and safely? A beater requires a lot of attention. This means you must be willing to put out a lot of extra effort and money to keep it running.

Keep your credit card ready. You will need to spend time and money on keeping it on the road. Be prepared to replace some major parts from time to time and unless you are indeed a back yard mechanic you will be paying someone to do the repairs or relying on a friend to take time out of their schedule to do the work for you.

Know what you’re buying. Some brands are known for longevity and reliability, but if the car was not properly maintained the brand means little. Be sure to do your due diligence and know what you’re buying before you take the plunge.

Finding parts can be time consuming and not nearly as much fun as a treasure hunt. The older the vehicle the less available the parts may be and often you may need to go to an auto wrecker to find what you need. Are you up for the challenge and do your other obligations allow you the time to dedicate to keeping your beater car on the road.
What is your driving budget?

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ON Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 9:17:24 am MDT    Comments (0)

An unpleasant experience at a dealership can turn you off of a vehicle.

Have you been looking for a new vehicle and ended up waiting for what seemed like far too long to be approached by a sales consultant?
And when someone finally notices you, they simply ask what you’re interested in and toss you the keys.
It happens far too often. Lousy customer service has nothing to do with the vehicle you may be interested in, but it can affect your impression of that vehicle and can leave a lasting impression.
Another dealer may have just what you’re looking for, when you walk on the lot to have a closer look, you are bombarded by sales consultants running out to talk to you before you get away.

Both of these examples can leave a bad taste in your mouth, about both, the dealership and the sales staff.

Save some time and do your due diligence. Research the dealership and the sales staff before you take the time out of your busy schedule. Make a call, interview the consultant and if you feel comfortable, make an appointment.

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ON Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 6:12:31 pm MDT    Comments (0)