Purchasing a new or used car can be difficult for Ontario buyers, especially if they begin their journey shopping online. While we maintain a high standard of trust for manufacturers and car brands, we tend to accept manipulation and shady business tactics from car retailers, even if they are verified dealers.

Popular sites such as AutoTrader, Carvana, Cargurus, and Carpages offer a wide range of user and dealer submitted cars, but the trust is missing. It’s very easy to be taken advantage of by shady sellers – especially private sellers – on these platforms. For this reason, Canadians are skeptical about shopping for vehicles online and spend so much time trying to sort through the lies of omission, or sometimes just outright lies. This is what Carnance was founded to change.

The following are some tips to keep in mind for shopping online.

Car Directories Can be Manipulative

For many, the obvious first choice for buying a car is to do it on their own and circumnavigate the process of entering multiple dealerships and speaking to multiple salespeople. While this is a completely reasonable decision, your guard must remain up for manipulation and schemes even from trusted forces.

The most popular outlets for shoppers are automobile directories such as Autotrader, Carvana, Cargurus, and Carpages. For both first-time and experienced buyers, these are the first contact for their buyer’s journey. The problem is that these basic directories are susceptible to fraud, scams, and generally untrustworthy behavior.
According to AutoTrader, “we are constantly monitoring our advertisements and eliminating fraudulent postings and scams on a regular basis. However, some of them are not completely evident and thus may result in fraudulent ads posted on our site […] Buyers and sellers should be vigilant in conducting their own research whenever they choose to purchase or sell a vehicle.”

When it comes to buying a car, the name of the game is trust.

This could be anything from hidden problems with the car, to you phoning the seller to find out it’s been in a serious accident. At best, it makes your buying process longer. At worst, it will cost you serious money down the line. Like shopping at your local dealership, it ought to be the standard that sites verify, vet, and stand behind the vehicles they sell to consumers as opposed to adopting the “buy at your own risk” mentality.

Extensive and Personal Research is Crucial

A chosen vehicle is an extension of the driver; their personality, their goals, and their driving experience. While test-drives can give someone the sense of their car, truck, van, or SUV, having an extensive amount of the time with your dream car can only be beneficial.

For something you will most likely be owning for half a decade, it’s important to be sure it’s something you will be enthusiastic about every time you step behind the driver’s seat.
A driver should be completely comfortable and experience no buyer’s regret for any vehicle they purchase, especially if they are expecting to keep it and maintain it for many years.

For this reason, a 30-day trial period ought to be the industry standard not only to protect the consumer but make those very consumers more comfortable with shopping for their vehicles.
You trust your vehicle to be safe, secure and endorsed by the manufacturer including an extensive warranty. Why should you treat retailers any different, especially if they are dealing with private sellers?

Your Individual Experience is All that Matters

No matter what the car looks like, or if it’s a brand you’ve dreamed of for years, or if you think you’ve locked on to a sweet deal, the most important thing is to put your personal experience at the top of your priorities. It’s very easy for perceived deals to cloud the judgment of buyers, even if they are experienced. Taking a vehicle on a 15-minute tour around the dealership should not be the standard for something like a vehicle you trust your safety to.

For this reason, we believe the evolution of the car buying process is to fully understand how your new vehicle adapts to your life before commitment. How can you know how comfortable you are if you don’t drive it around for a week: to work, for trips, to the grocery store? Most importantly, what do the ones you care about most think about it after a few days?

Most dealers and directories do not offer you this comfort. For this reason, buyers are extremely cagey about the vehicle buying process. Having your car professionally vetted by an online retailer and having a week to test it, is the evolution of Canadian car shopping.
This is what sets Carnance apart from competitors, and why basic directories can fall short. Carnance puts trust above all else and was founded specifically to make online vehicle shopping trustworthy.