10 Best Online Car Buying Sites In Canada (2024)

Are you searching for your next car?

With today’s high car prices, finding a great deal on a used or new car can be difficult – especially if you’re shopping at traditional dealers that try to milk you for every dollar they can.

Online car marketplaces can make the car-buying process easier and faster, allowing you to compare prices and models side-by-side without a salesperson breathing down your neck.

If you’re considering buying a car online, then you’re in the right place! Below, I’ll share some of the best online car-buying sites in Canada so you can start your search for the perfect car.

Online Car Buying Sites Are Shaking Up The Market

The automotive marketplace is currently going through a massive shift as an increasing number of consumers are ditching big-name dealerships, and roadside used car lots in favour of buying cars online.

While I’m sympathetic to the hard-working car salesmen out there, it’s hard to deny that online car-buying sites have a lot to offer. Some of the most competitive features you’ll find while shopping online include:

  • The ability to compare cars side-by-side
  • Setting price alerts when a vehicle’s price drops
  • “Try it before you buy it” no-questions-asked return period (this is a major plus)
  • Easy trade-in process that allows you to get the most out of your vehicle
  • Easily-accessible vehicle history reports
  • 360-degree views of the car’s interior/exterior
  • Fast and easy online financing options
  • White glove delivery service to your doorstep

Platforms like AutoTrader, Clutch, and others are shaking up the ages-old industry, and the days of haggling over prices at a dingy old car lot are quickly disappearing. This trend became even more prevalent during and after the global pandemic, as consumers preferred a contactless buying experience.

According to Google’s Consumer Insights team, 70% of Canadians found their car online in 2022. While some of these shoppers may have actually purchased their cars in person, they likely spent hours of research online beforehand.

Canada’s Best Online Car Buying Platforms

The Google Consumer Insights report also revealed that 54% of buyers plan on making their next car purchase 100% online, without ever visiting a dealer. With so many online dealers popping up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with “analysis paralysis.”

With that in mind, here are some of the best online car-buying platforms in Canada so you can find the one that best fits your needs.

1. AutoTrader

AutoTrader logo
  • Shop For Cars: autotrader.ca
  • Available In: All provinces and territories

As one of Canada’s largest and most diverse car listing platforms, AutoTrader provides users with a complete view of the auto market.

Unlike Clutch (a fully online dealer), AutoTrader is a platform that caters to private sellers and dealerships. It’s essentially a giant classifieds site dedicated to new and used vehicles.

I really like AutoTrader’s intuitive search filters that let you narrow down options by model, year, price, and even extra perks and features, such as leather seats, Bluetooth radio, etc.

As you search, you’ll be able to view listings from reputable sellers as well as small and large dealerships, which gives you a great opportunity to compare prices and find the best deals.

AutoTrader has a neat Price Analyzer tool that you can use to perform due diligence on each listing to see whether it’s a hot deal or overpriced.

Once you create a free account on the platform, you can start adding cars you like into your virtual garage, so you don’t have to waste the bookmark space on your browser’s toolbar.

Thinking of selling or trading in your vehicle? AutoTrader works with dealers nationwide and can offer personalized quotes in under 24 hours, so you can trade it in for a new set of wheels as soon as the next day.

Key Features:

  • View listings from private sellers and dealerships
  • Huge selection of new and used cars
  • Price Analyzer tool helps you find fair pricing on vehicles
  • Get offers to sell or trade in your vehicle within a day
  • Save listings you like to your virtual garage

2. Clutch

Clutch logo
  • Shop For Cars: clutch.ca
  • Available In: Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island

Unlike some of the other car-buying sites on this list, Clutch is a 100% online dealer. Unlike AutoTrader, which acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers/dealerships, Clutch is a dealership. The only difference is that you won’t be able to walk onto a lot and pop the hood open in person.

Clutch has tons of vehicles listed on its online inventory and allows you to save deals to your online account for easy side-by-side comparison.

One of the standout features of Clutch is its 210-point inspection, which ensures every vehicle meets a high standard of quality.

Every minor dent, ding, scratch, or rough area of upholstery is documented and photographed so you can take a close look and determine whether or not it’s a deal-breaker. Any and all mechanical/safety issues are repaired before the car is listed on the Clutch platform.

The best part of using Clutch is that it’s 100% contactless. You can get an instant trade-in quote on your current vehicle (if you have one), instantly apply the credit to your new vehicle, and get approved for financing within a few hours of applying.

There aren’t any hidden fees, either. The price you see is the price you get.

After finalizing the deal, Clutch will deliver your new car to your doorstep within a few days and take your trade-in. This is as hassle-free as it gets.

After delivery, you’ll have a 10-day trial period. If, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied with your new car, you can return it and get your old car back or try another.

The only downside of this platform is that it’s only available in a few provinces and is primarily focused on catering to Ontario and Nova Scotia residents.

Key Features:

  • Clutch performs a 210-point inspection on every vehicle before it’s listed
  • Mechanical/safety issues are repaired before vehicles are listed
  • No hidden fees
  • Instant trade-in quote
  • 10-day, no-questions-asked return period
  • White glove delivery service

3. Kijiji Autos

Kijiji Autos
  • Shop For Cars: kijiji.ca
  • Available In: All provinces

Kijiji is one of Canada’s largest online classifieds websites, offering an all-in-one platform where users can buy, sell, or trade household goods, electronics, and, of course, vehicles.

Like AutoTrader, you’ll find cars and trucks from private sellers and dealerships on the platform. Once you select your province, region, and nearest city, you’ll be able to see all of the vehicles listed in the area or use Kijiji’s search feature to filter for specific makes and models.

Kijiji Autos also offers a handy price valuation tool, so you can easily determine the value of your car before listing it (or check to see if another seller’s offer is a fair deal).

Key Features:

  • View listings from private sellers and dealerships in every province/territory
  • Useful price valuation tool available
  • Great if you’re looking to buy or sell a car for cash

4. UsedCarsCanada

UsedCarsCanada logo

UsedCarsCanada is one of the best used car websites in the country and currently has an inventory of over 35,000 cars. The platform primarily works with dealerships, helping them offload their used car inventories.

Although the user interface is a bit outdated compared to AutoTrader and Clutch, it’s just as effective. You can filter results by make/model and search for results near your chosen postal code.

I particularly like how transparent each listing is, and you’ll be able to view plenty of pictures and the current sale price and lease price.

Key Features:

  • View used cars from reputable dealers around Canada
  • Transparent pricing information
  • Large inventory of used cars

5. Canada Drives

Canada Drives Logo
  • Shop For Cars: canadadrives.ca
  • Available In: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario

Canada Drives is a similar platform to Clutch. The main difference is that Canada Drives primarily caters to the western provinces (BC, AB, SK, ON), whereas its competitor caters to eastern Canada.

Unlike Clutch, Canada Drives isn’t a 100% online dealer. Rather, it serves as a convenient middleman between reputable dealerships and customers. Customers can get pre-approved for financing on Canada Drives within a few minutes and start searching for deals on vehicles near them.

Likewise, Canada Drives makes it very easy to sell your car. After entering some basic information for your car, you’ll receive an offer that’s good for up to 7 days. If you accept, Canada Drives will arrange a safe meeting place for you to drop off the car and get paid.

The platform’s main selling point is that it works with various lenders, making it a lot easier to get approved for an auto loan, even if you have sub-par credit.

Key Features:

  • Get pre-approved for financing
  • Get an instant offer on your car and sell it for cash within 7 days
  • Get connected with local dealerships based on your credit approval
  • Can help those with bad credit obtain auto loans

6. Car Gurus

Car Gurus logo

Car Gurus is an efficient online platform for shoppers looking to buy and sell vehicles. It’s very similar to UsedCarsCanada and primarily works with dealerships to help them list their new and used car inventories.

Car Gurus offers plenty of pictures for each listing and updated pricing information provided by the dealers. The only downside of Car Gurus is that you won’t find any private sellers on the platform.

It offers a unique pricing algorithm that evaluates available listings and ranks them based on the value they offer to potential buyers. By categorizing deals as “Great,” “Good,” or “Fair,” you can easily determine whether or not a car is worth your time.

Key Features:

  • View dealer listings in every province and territory
  • Transparent vehicle history reports
  • Excellent search feature with tons of filters

7. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace
  • Shop For Cars: facebook.com
  • Available In: All provinces and territories

If you’re looking for a great deal on a used car, Facebook Marketplace is easily one of the best sites to start your search on. Over 30 million Canadians (79% of the country’s population) use Facebook, which means there’s no shortage of listings on Marketplace.

While there are a number of dealer listings on Facebook Marketplace, there are just as many private sellers. Whether you’re looking for a cheap “beater” used car or something a bit nicer, you can use the search feature to filter your results based on make, model, mileage, and price.

Another nice thing about using Facebook Marketplace is that you can always try to haggle the price down online or in person when you go to look at the vehicle. You can also view the seller’s Facebook profile to get a feel for them before you meet them, which can provide an added layer of confidence.

Key Features:

  • Most of Canada’s population uses Facebook
  • View new and used car listings
  • Filter search results based on your price point
  • Haggle over text with Facebook Messenger

8. Car Pages

Car Pages logo
  • Shop For Cars: carpages.ca
  • Available In: Every province and territory

Car Pages partners with new and used car dealers throughout the country to offer clear and transparent pricing information. You can filter search results by province/city as well as the type of car you’re looking for.

Like Canada Drives, Car Pages can offer an instant quote on your trade-in and help you get approved for a car loan and affordable auto insurance rates.

If you’re still unsure about the type of car you’re looking for, Car Pages also offers some great write-ups and reviews on popular car models so you can learn more.

Key Features:

  • View new and used cars offered by dealerships
  • Transparent car pricing information
  • Get approved for financing through Car Pages’ network of lenders
  • Get competitive auto insurance quotes

9. Craigslist

Craigslist logo

Long before Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji became popular, Craigslist was the internet’s first online classifieds platform. Users can search for local listings or easily list their own car for sale on the platform.

Although Craigslist used to be incredibly popular, it’s lost a lot of market share to its competitors and hasn’t updated its user interface in the past decade. That being said, those living in larger cities can still find some interesting deals and offers on the platform.

10. CarDoor

CarDoor logo
  • Shop For Cars: cardoor.ca
  • Available In: Ontario (Greater Toronto Area)

CarDoor is an innovative online car dealer based in Toronto that services the GTA. Like Clutch, it’s an independent dealer that offers instant quotes to buy customers’ cars or evaluate their trade-ins.

As a relatively new player in the space, CarDoor has a relatively small inventory of under 1,500 cars. However, all of the cars listed on the platform are in good condition, fairly priced, and have readily available CarFax reports so you can view the vehicle history.

CarDoor also provides direct financing through its partners, so you can avoid the hassle of having to find your own financing. Once you find a car you’re ready to buy, CarDoor will deliver the car directly to your front door.

The company also provides a mobile mechanic service to its customers, which beats having to drop your car off at a dealership for weeks on end.

Another cool feature is that CarDoor is currently the only online car-buying site that accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum as valid car payment forms.

Key Features:

  • Buy your car with crypto
  • Specifically services the GTA
  • Small inventory of high-quality cars
  • CarFax reports on each vehicle
  • Doorstep delivery
  • Direct financing available

Tips To Get The Best Deals On A New Or Used Vehicle

To wrap up, here are a few quick tips to help you get the best deal on your next auto purchase.

  • Request A Vehicle History Report: Make sure the car wasn’t involved in previous accidents or used for commercial purposes, as both of these can cause significant issues down the line.
  • Optimize Your Credit Report And Income: The better your credit score and income, the more likely you are to receive favourable financing terms, which can save you money in the long run.
  • Make A Larger Down Payment: Similarly, making a large down payment on your car can help you avoid thousands of dollars in interest fees over the course of your financing term.

Conclusion – What’s The Best Online Car Buying Site In Canada?

If you’re in Ontario and the eastern provinces, Clutch and CarDoor are excellent online car-buying sites to look into, as both provide easy financing, rapid trade-in offers, and white glove delivery.

If you’re in the western provinces, I recommend AutoTrader, as it has many listings from private sellers and dealers.

The better your credit score is before buying a new car, the better financing terms you’re likely to receive. Keep reading to see my guide to boosting your credit score by 100 points or more! 

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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