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May 12, 2006 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Buying a used car in Vancouver, BC, dealers you'd recommend, or conversely, those to absolutely avoid?

I'm fairly sure we are going to go with a 2002-2004ish Civic, Corolla, or Protege5 (now called the Mazda 3, IIRC). Would ideally like to buy from a dealer, as that's what the majority of the books told me to do.

We live downtown and don't have a car. Could any Vancouver MeFites point to import car dealers close by they'd absolutely recommend? Or help us steer clear of the nightmares?
posted by eurasian to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know one of the guys who does Japanoid through a forum on the internet (which is to say, not very well, but enough to think about buying from him). It's very much a left-field option; you definitely wouldn't go to Japanoid if you wanted that late-model Civic, Corolla or Mazda3. But if you want a quirky Japanese city car, give them a shot.

Also, the Mazda3 is supposed to be a fantastic car. It's based on the Ford Focus platform—not the ancient Focus we have here, but the more recently updated European Focus, which has been selling like mad in Britain and almost universally praised.
posted by chrominance at 11:12 AM on May 12, 2006

Best answer: Avoid like the plague the dealers that inhabit the Kingsway corridor between Main and Knight. Me and my friends usually go there to test drive cars for the hell of it. The cars are typicaly in poor condition and the salespeople just don't give a shit.

As for your options, you could catch a 98B down to Richmond, and browse along the #3 Rd dealerships, or go to the richmond automall, although the logistics of getting there could get hairy.

Good luck.
posted by aeighty at 11:14 AM on May 12, 2006

I'm sure you could get anecdotal plusses and minusses about all the dealers but, assuming you're buying from the manufacturers used lots, they aren't all that different. They all have the same contractual arrangements with the manufacturers, they all operate under the same economic constraints, and in many cases they learned their trade by coming up through the same ranks in the same industry.

I wouldn't stress on it, just shop around to figure out what fair market value is, and let 'em know you're shopping around.

Reconsider private sales for the potential price differential. Remember: remaining warranty will be an obligation of the manufacturer, not any dealer. They may say otherwise but it makes no difference to a dealer service manager, whose financial performance is measured separately from the sales manager, where a car was purchased as long as the manufacturer is covering the warranty. They could care less about that, a Honda covered by warranty is a Honda covered by warranty.

When it gets down to the deal-making, as long as you're being fair and you've got the cash, you're in control. Always be willing to just walk away if something dosn't feel right.
posted by scheptech at 11:28 AM on May 12, 2006

Would ideally like to buy from a dealer, as that's what the majority of the books told me to do.

Really? Phil Edmonston's Lemon-Aid recommends buying privately (pick up a copy of Auto Trader), and getting the car inspected before you finalize the deal. That's what I've usually done.
posted by russilwvong at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2006

Best answer: I've been happy with the way Vancouver Honda on Marine treated me...enough so that I'd recommend you go there, speak to Gregory Dreyshner and tell him Greg Webster (me) sent you.

Places I do not recommend:
- Totem Ford in New Westminster, who utterly screwed me
- Any of the places on Kingsway or Edmonds, who don't know anything at all but will try to gouge you
- Any of the places along King George Highway in Surrey, who are really peddling garbage to unknowledgable customers
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2006

Also, pay for BCAA to come out an inspect the vehicle, and get the dealer to repair anything that they come up with before you will buy the car.

Or, even better, take the car to a mechanic you trust (to the shop, so they can get it up on the hoist).
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:45 PM on May 12, 2006

There are a bunch of dealerships at the Brentwood skytrain station that would be easily accesseible without a car. I had a decent salesman at the Nissan dealer but YMMV.
Also there are lots of cars that fit your description on craigslist.
posted by metaname at 3:27 PM on May 12, 2006

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