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| HOME | CANADA | NEW ONLINE BUYING SITES |

Where Can I Buy A Car Online?Canada New Online Buying Sites

Can you really buy your next car online? See below. Our strategy? Use three or four websites to get the best combination of price and service.



QUICK INDEX:
Web Site
Overall
Rating
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Site
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Review
Car Cost Canada 6/10 NOW BELOW
gmcanada.com 6/10 NOW BELOW
Cars4U.com ONTARIO ONLY 6/10 NOW BELOW

Overall Rating: 6/10E-Commerce Rating: 7/10
Car Cost Canada
http://www.carcostcanada.com/en/services_st/premiumintro.asp

This site functions quite differently from the others in this category. When you purchase a wholesale pricing report ($39.95 + GST) you'll be shown a dealer quote (if one is available in your area and specific vehicle combination). Although it may seem that you are out of luck if there isn't a dealer quote available in your area a rep from Car Cost Canada wrote to us and said that you should always call (and after all it is toll free) to see if there is something available from a dealer in your location.

So how do you tell if a dealer in your area is offering to sell a specific manufacturer/model combination - when you use the Price & Build function on the final page if there is a dealer listed then when you request a wholesale price report that dealer's quote will be included in the report.

Pros:
Certain vehicle and location combinations will have a dealer quote included with your invoice pricing report. The configurator is very good and allow you to fully describe the car you are interested in. Information is available immediately (if a dealer quote is available in your area). It is possible that even though it says online that no dealer quotes are available in your area you can get one by telephoning.

Cons:
Dealer quotes are not available in all brand/location combinations. You must pay for invoice price reports ($39.95 plus GST for 5) to get dealer quotes (although Alex S. from Winnipeg emailed to tell me that he managed to buy a single invoice price - rather than 5 - for $20 by calling the toll free number and asking for this service - give it a try if you just need a single invoice price).

How to:

  • Configure a car
    Choose your model year, make and model in the Build & Price box in the top right hand area of the screen. Click on the Continue button for the model you are interested in. Configure your vehicle with options and click on Continue. Enter your postal code and click on the Continue button.

  • Get a quote
    Configure a vehicle (see above) and if you see a dealership listed on the retail price report then you can - if you wish to get a dealership quote - purchase the wholesale price report for $39.95 plus GST (this cost includes 5 reports).


Overall Rating: 6/10E-Commerce Rating: 7/10
Vehicle search on gmcanada.com
http://apps.gmcanada.com/app/GMCanada/NewVehicleLocatorCriteria.do?

You can use this site to locate a new vehicle on a dealer's lot. And once you've located a vehicle that interests you it is easy to request a quote.

Pros:
It is easy to locate a vehicle on a local dealer's lot. This is a free service and you don't need to register with the website. The page where you input your personal information to request a quote is secure.

Cons:
You don't really 'configure' a vehicle on this site - rather you search for a car or truck that is close to what you are looking for. There is no upfront pricing and no turnaround guarantee is given as to how long you'll wait before your quote request is returned.

How to:

  • Get a quote
    Once you've located a vehicle that interests you click on the View Vehicle Details button. On the next screen click on the Request a Quote button - you'll may be taken to the website of your local GM dealership where you'll be able to input your personal information and request a quote. If you remain on the GM main site you'll input your personal data on a secure form.


Overall Rating: 6/10E-Commerce Rating: 6/10
Cars4U.com - Buy or lease your new car online ONTARIO ONLY
http://www.cars4u.com/

This site is for consumers in Ontario only.

This is a quote request site that allows you to see upfront pricing (and get the purchase process started) on certain vehicle brands only. To access the full features of the site you need to complete the simple, free and secure registration.

Pros:
Certain brands (see the new cars page) will give you upfront pricing, but only on the base model with no options or features. If you want the base model you can proceed with the purchase by leaving a deposit using your credit card. Personal information collection on the site is always on secure pages. Quotes are provided at no charge.

Cons:
Upfront pricing is not available on all vehicles. If you want a 'custom quote' you have to type in your information, such as colours and features (the site does not have a configurator). Restricted to Ontario only. No turnaround guarantee given if you request a quote.

How to:

  • Configure a car
    There is no configurator on the Cars4U.com site.

  • Get a quote
    Once you have chosen your make and model (using the link directly above) you'll see your Cars4U price on the base model. You can select the Custom Quote button and specify options and colour choices in an email but you'll have to wait and see how much these extras cost - there is no way to configure a vehicle and see the prices of options you might want.


Overall Rating: 6/10E-Commerce Rating: 6/10
Canadian automotive network - Automotive news
http://www.auto123.com/en/new/quote/

This is a quote request site that allows you to ask for quotes on new vehicles nationwide. Unfortunately the turnaround guarantee is pathetic (2 days!).

Pros:
Quote requests are free and the process is simple and easy to understand.

Cons:
There is no upfront pricing available on this site. Configuration of a vehicle is very minimal - you choose make, model, trim and transmission and type in two colour choices. Any additional options are typed in a box. The page where you enter your personal information is not secure. The turnaround guarantee is 2 days and that is 'within a 100 km radius of a region where the service is offered' - if you are outside of that 100 km radius goodness knows how long a quote request could take.

How to:

  • Configure a car
    From the main page select your region by province and area code (stupid system - especially here in BC where the 250 area code covers a HUGE geographical area). On the next page select your make and enter the first three characters of your postal code (yeah!!) and click on the Next button. Select a dealer from the list shown (if there is more than one). If there is no dealer offered you will have to let Auto 123 choose one for you.

    Select your trim, transmission and type in your colour choices (1st and 2nd). Type in any additional options you want in the box provided.

  • Get a quote
    Configure the car (see above), enter too much personal information on a non-secure form and click on Next to submit your quote request.


Overall Rating: 6/10E-Commerce Rating: 6/10
Automobile Protection Association
http://www.apa.ca/

When you join the Automobile Protection Association (APA) for $68.90 ($74.07 in Quebec) you'll get access to 5 'member quotes'. These quotes will include "dealer invoice, the APA negotiated mark up over invoice, incentives and a referral to a dealer or a broker who guarantees to sell or lease you the vehicle at the pre-negotiated price". Using your APA membership you can therefore 'buy' a car online.

Pros:
Your personal information is collected on a secure form. APA's car costing information is reviewed by "a well informed APA counsellor who ensures the information provided is not only accurate but also applicable to your needs". As well as a dealer quote you will also get invoice pricing information which is a valuable piece of data to have.

There is now a turnaround guarantee of the same business day for quotes received before 4 pm in the eastern region and the end of the next business day for those received after 4 pm. For Vancouver and Victoria quotes there is a guarantee that the quote will be ready by the end of the next business day no matter when in the day the quote request is received.

Cons:
You have to type in all your vehicle information (no drop down lists) and you don't know in advance which dealership(s) your quote request is going to.

How to:

  • Configure a car
    Complete the secure form with your personal information and type in your car requirements (very unsatisfactory method).

  • Get a quote
    Configure the vehicle (see above), fill in the personal information requested (if you haven't already done so) and click on the Submit button.


Overall Rating: 6/10E-Commerce Rating: 5/10
eWheels.ca ONTARIO ONLY
http://www.ewheels.ca/

This site is for consumers in Ontario only.

You will not see up front pricing on this site. To access the full features of the site you need to complete the simple, free and secure registration.

Pros:
The interface is easy to use and collection of personal data is done on secure pages. If you want to purchase the base model of a vehicle you can proceed with the purchase by leaving a deposit using your credit card. Should you want a custom quote (as its called) you are given a turnaround guarantee of 48 hours. Quotes are provided at no charge.

Cons:
Upfront pricing is not available on any vehicle (previously it was available on selected models and brands). Some brands have no quote button available whatsoever - I have no idea how you get a quote on those vehicles. The site is restricted to Ontario only. You have no idea who the quote request is going to (a dealer? which one? how do I know they will respect my privacy?)

How to:

  • Configure a car
    There is no configurator on the eWheels site.

  • Get a quote
    Log in and then click on the New Cars link (top left link). Select your brand and then the model. Note that you must choose a brand that has the word Quotes underneath its logo to be able to ask for a quote on your vehicle.


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 3/10
autonet.ca - New Used Cars Pickup SUV trucks
http://www.autonet.ca/

Once you've selected your perfect vehicle new inventory is not shown online, no turnaround guarantee is given for your quote request and you have no idea which dealer your quote request is going to.

Pros:
The quote request process is quick, easy and free.

Cons:
Upfront pricing is not available and inventory is not shown online. There is no longer a configurator on the site and the details you submit about the vehicle you want in the quote request page are very minimal. The page where you submit personal information is not secure. No turnaround guarantee is given.

How to:

  • Configure a car
    There is no configurator on the Autonet.ca site.

  • Get a quote
    On the main page pick your location (province) by clicking on the map of Canada. On the next page click on the Go button in the New car box (left hand side). On the next page choose your make and on the next page the model you want. On the following page click on the Get a Quote link. Indicate some basic characteristics of the vehicle you are looking for in addition to make and model (number of cylinders, transmission and drive train). Give up too much personal information on a non-secure form and click on the Submit button to send your quote request off in to the ether.


 
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