Canada Drives Review 2021: Easy Auto Loans In Canada

The average transaction price for a new car or truck these days is over $40,000. Buying a brand new or even pre-owned car with cash is no longer as easy as it used to be for an average Canadian.

Car financing through a bank, dealership or online companies like Canada Drives can help you secure an easier way to pay for a suitable vehicle.

Getting an auto loan with poor or nonexistent credit is almost impossible with traditional sources for car loans. Fortunately, Canada Drives is a top company for Canadians looking for ideal car loan rates regardless of their credit score.

This Canada Drives review will cover everything you need to know about the service this company provides to help you make an informed decision about getting an auto loan for your next car.

Our Verdict
Canada Drives 2021
9.6/10 Our Score

Canada Drives 2021

Loan

Canada Drives is the ideal car loan financing company that can help you secure a loan despite bad credit even when you don’t have access to traditional auto financing sources.

Pros
  • Quick auto loan approvals
  • Any credit can qualify
  • Offers competitive rates
  • Excellent customer support
  • No co-signer needed
  • An easy and secure online application process
Cons
  • Limited to dealerships affiliated with Canada Drives
  • Steep interest rates for bad credit
  • Not available throughout all of Canada

What Is Canada Drives?

Canada Drives is a free service that has been operating in Canada since 2010 to offer Canadians the chance to access car loan financing.

The British Columbia-based fintech company has connected Canadians with local car dealers to help them secure auto financing based on their budgets and financial situations since its inception. Canada Drives boasts its position as the country’s largest 100% online platform to shop for cars.

Canada Drives partners with over 350 car dealerships in the country and has a rapidly growing list of over 500 employees. Besides its car loan service, Canada Drives offers you personal loans through Fresh Start Finance and secured loans through Spring Financial.

How Does Canada Drives Work?

When you want to buy a car and need to finance it, the traditional route is to go to your bank and see what rate it will offer you. The other option is to ask the dealership and see if they can offer you a good deal for the auto loan.

Problems arise if you have a limited credit history or poor credit score or facing challenging financial times because it means your chances of getting approval from the bank for the loan becomes low. You may end up going from one car dealership to another to find a good deal for an auto loan.

This is where Canada Drives comes in to help you avoid going through all that effort and heartbreak. Instead of getting your loan request denied by the bank and hopping to different dealerships, Canada Drives lets you connect with hundreds of certified car dealers across the country to match you with a suitable car to meet your needs.

Canada Drives caters to people looking to buy a car, regardless of their credit score or credit history. Through a rapid online application process that can take just a few minutes, you can have the car you want to buy delivered to your doorstep in as little as 24 hours.

Here is how the process works:

  • Visit Canada Drives
  • Select the type of vehicle you would like to get
  • Enter your basic information when prompted
  • Canada Drives finds a suitable dealer to meet your needs and connects you with them

Canada Drives Auto Loan Application Checklist

It is much easier to get approval for an auto loan through Canada Drives, but there are some requirements that you need to remember if you want your application for auto financing to proceed smoothly. 

This section of my Canada Drives review will provide a checklist for the information and documentation that the company will request when you apply.

  • Employment Details: You need to show some sort of proof of employment that can validate that you earn at least $1,500 per month. This can include income through government or other benefit programs.
  • Identification: A valid driver’s license, and you must have reached the age of the majority in your region or province (usually 18 or 19 years old).
  • Bank Account: Proof of a bank account in Canada through a preauthorized debit form or void check.
  • Valid Canadian Residential Address
  • Down Payment Information: Let Canada Drives know if you can make a down payment on the vehicle you want auto financing for through the platform.

Having all of these ready when you start shopping for vehicles through Canada Drives can make the online application process much faster for you.

Where Is Canada Drives Available?

Canada Drives has been providing its services for over a decade now. Unfortunately, the quick and easy car loan service does not operate in every region in the country.

The service is available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Manitoba.

The lenders available to you and the financing options you get will depend on your specific location and may vary by province. For instance, you might not be able to access financing if you live in a remote area, but you might get several options if you live in a busy region.

What Makes Canada Drives Stand Out?

This section of my Canada Drives review will cover what makes the company unique.

Canada Drives stands out because it is effectively a free service that connects you with car dealerships. It can help you identify how much you can qualify for before you even begin shopping for cars.

If you had decided on a specific car but faced rejection during the loan process stage, Canada Drives gives you a good solution. You can get approval through Canada Drives first, and it will show you only the vehicles that you are eligible to get through a loan.

Canada Drives does not discriminate against people who have a limited credit history or a bad or poor credit score. The company accepts applications from Canadians regardless of their credit score. It is one of the few companies that will accept your application even if you receive income assistance or have declared bankruptcy. The company also accepts trade-ins.

An important thing to remember about Canada Drives is that it does not issue the financing itself. Instead, the online service connects you with local dealerships in your region that offer special financing options regardless of credit situation.

These are all dealerships that have partnered with Canada Drives, and the service is entirely free for you. You are under no obligation to accept any of the quotes you receive through the service.

What Types Of Auto Loans Does Canada Drives Offer?

Canada Drives offers you access to different types of car loans, including:

  • New and Pre-owned Car Loans: You can get approval for a new or pre-owned car, truck, minivan, or SUV from dealerships partnering with Canada Drives.
  • Bad Credit Loans: Canada Drives is particular about emphasizing that you can apply for financing through the platform to get auto financing approval despite your credit score. It does not matter if you have no credit history, a poor or bad credit score, or you have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Trade-Ins: Canada Drives works with Canadians who want to trade in their old cars for something else – even if you have pending payments on the car you are trading in. You can use your trade-in as a down payment to reduce your monthly payments on the new loan through the platform.

What Auto Loan Options Are Unavailable With Canada Drives?

All the loans you can get through Canada Drives are processed through local dealers that partner with the company. It means that approved financing is limited to new and pre-owned car purchases.

You will not find financing options for motorcycles through the platform. Private purchases or arranging loans from dealers that don’t partner with Canada Drives are also unavailable through Canada Drives.

Is Canada Drives Safe and Legit?

It definitely is. The company was established in 2010, and it has received well over a million applications that it has completed since its inception. Canada Drives partners with over 350 Canadian car dealers throughout different regions in the country.

Canada Drives has received the prestigious designation for being one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies from Deloitte for two consecutive years. With over 500 employees and growing, Canada Drives is a legitimate and safe service to consider if you are searching for auto financing options.

The Benefits Of Working With Canada Drives

Canada Drives has become the largest online platform for car shopping for several reasons, including:

  • Quick & Easy Financing: The online application process is quick and easy. After filling out the application, you can expect pre-approval and contact from a local dealer the same day.
  • Loans Available Regardless Of Credit Score: Canada Drives offers car financing for any type of credit situation. It means that the company can connect you to a dealer offering auto loans for people with no credit, poor credit, or even those who have declared bankruptcy. You can apply for a loan even if you are receiving income assistance.
  • Free Service: Canada Drives does not charge you any fees for its application process.
  • No Co-Signer Required: You can apply for an auto loan through Canada Drives without including a co-signer on the loan. However, you may have to provide information from your trustee to secure a loan if you have declared bankruptcy.
  • No Down Payment Necessary: You can make a down payment if you want to reduce the monthly amount you have to pay, but it is possible to get a loan without any out-of-pocket expense to secure the vehicle.
  • Trade-Ins: Canada Drives works with customers who want to use trade-ins, even if they owe money on their vehicles. You can also use the trade-in as a down payment.
  • Lengthy Loan Terms: You can lock in a reasonable loan term that requires a reasonable amount in monthly payments over a longer period of up to seven years.
  • Large Inventory: Canada Drives boasts an expansive inventory of new and pre-owned cars available at hundreds of dealerships that partner with the company throughout Canada.
  • Excellent Customer Support And Car Loan Resources: One of the biggest advantages of working with Canada Drives to secure your auto loan is getting access to multiple resources for better-informed decisions relating to auto financing. Canada Drives features an information-rich blog, a car loan calculator, and much more. You can contact Canada Drives through their help center, phone, or email to find out more information.

The Drawbacks Of Working With Canada Drives

  • Not Available Throughout Canada: Canada Drives does not offer its car financing services throughout the country. You cannot use its service in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or the Territories.
  • Doesn’t Feature All Lenders: Canada Drives partners with over 350 lenders throughout the country, working with a number of local dealerships in each region. It means that you will get quotes only from a few lenders in the region. It means that you might not get the best possible loan options for loan rates if a lender offers better rates and does not partner with Canada Drives.
  • Potential For Additional Fees: Canada Drives does not charge any fees for its application process. However, you may have to pay extra costs and contend with additional fees based on the lender and the dealer you choose to work with.
  • Bad Credit Means Higher Interest Rates: Canada Drives offers you the chance to secure a loan regardless of your credit situation. However, having a nonexistent credit history or a poor credit score could mean you could get a loan with steep interest rates.
  • No Online Comparisons or Quotes Available: Once you submit an application with Canada Drives, a local dealer in your area will contact you to discuss your loan request over the phone. Unfortunately, you will not get the chance to navigate different options so that you can compare various offers and interest rates before you decide on which one you want to use.

How To Apply For Auto Loans With Canada Drives?

If you want to apply for financing through Canada Drives, click on the “Get Approved Today” or “Apply” buttons on the homepage and the website will redirect you to the online application.

The application form will ask you for basic information, like your name, email, date of birth, address, and phone number. The form will also ask you about your current employment and monthly income, your estimated budget, the type of car you want, whether you have a trade-in, and your estimated credit rating.

Once you finish the application process, a local dealer willing to finance you will contact you within 24 hours. You can choose a suitable loan option they are offering. Once you have approval, you can use your financing to purchase a car from the dealer. A credit check will be a crucial part of the approval process while you work with the dealer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Drives

This section of my Canada Drives review will cover some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the online car shopping platform that answer some questions you might have.

Q. Does Canada Drives conduct a credit check?

A. Canada Drives will conduct a hard inquiry when you apply for a loan through the platform. You can get approved for a loan regardless of your credit score, but the company will check your credit score to pair you with a dealer willing to meet your needs.

Q. Do credit checks hurt my credit score?

A. Checking your credit score yourself is a soft inquiry that does not hurt your credit score. However, frequent hard inquiries can impact your credit score. Ideally, you should limit hard inquiries by lenders whenever possible. The credit check by Canada Drives can impact your credit score because you are applying for a loan.

Q. What is the interest rate at Canada Drives?

A. Canada Drives can connect you with lenders offering a wide range of interest rates from 0% to 30%, depending on the lender and dealer you’re working with and on your credit score.

Q. How long does it take to apply?

A.  Your online loan application with Canada Drives will take less than five minutes to complete. The application form asks for some basic information, an estimate for your monthly budget, your credit rating, and the type of car you would like. Once you submit the application, you can expect to hear from a local dealer within 24 hours.

Canada Drives Review: Alternative Online Car Loan Platforms

This section of my Canada Drives review will compare it to other platforms that you can consider if you are looking for an auto loan for your next vehicle purchase. When I think of companies like Canada Drives, there are two fintech companies that come to mind:

Canada Drives vs. Loans Canada Car Loans

Loans Canada is another alternative to traditional financing sources if you want to secure an auto loan in Canada. The platform lets you compare lenders with a simple application through its innovative online car loans platform, helping you find the best terms and interest rates based on your unique requirements.

Unlike Canada Drives, Loans Canada’s Car Loans come with a limit on the maximum loan you can borrow at $35,000 and you require a minimum credit score of 300 to qualify. You also need to earn $1,800 per month and have been employed for three months to get approval for a loan. You cannot secure a loan through Loans Canada if you rely on income assistance.

Canada Drives vs. CarsFast Car Loans

CarsFast is another alternative to traditional financing sources if you are looking to get a car loan in Canada. The platform gives you access to various financing options for your next car loan. Its service is free and it lets you compare rates from multiple lenders who have pre-approved you to see what vehicles are on sale from hundreds of dealers.

Unlike Canada Drives, CarsFast’s Car Loans require that you earn at least $1,800 per month and have been employed for at least three months. You also need a minimum 300 credit score. It also has a cap on the loan amount set at $75,000.

Conclusion

Getting a car loan in Canada can be a hassle, especially if you are struggling with a bad credit score. Fortunately, online platforms like Canada Drives have made it possible for you to get approved for auto loans in Canada and made the process simpler.

I would recommend always checking the fine print to ensure that you’re entirely comfortable with all the terms and conditions if you choose to use this online platform. Your credit score can make a world of difference in the interest rates you can get for any type of loan. You could use Borrowell or Mogo to check your credit score. Read my comparison to find out whether Mogo or Borrowell suits your needs better to check your credit score.

Check out Canada Drives here if you want to use the service to get a car loan in Canada.

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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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