Car Buying

It might be cheaper to buy your used car in a different city

By: Dominic Licorish on August 8, 2017

New research from CarGurus.com has shown that some Canadians may actually save money by flying to another city to buy certain used cars, compared with buying locally.

Canadians could save more than $1,000 on some of the most popular used cars on CarGurus by buying their car in another city, even after the cost of a flight and drive back home. The study highlights how prices for used cars can vary significantly from city to city.

For example, Vancouver drivers could save approximately $4,750 on a 2016 Ford F-150 by flying to Calgary for it. Conversely, a driver in Edmonton looking for affordable luxury could save $3,093 on a 2016 BMW 3 Series by buying in Vancouver. They save even more if they go to Winnipeg ($3,327).

Calgary to Toronto is another surprising “Fly to Buy” trip. According to CarGurus, shoppers looking for a 2015 Toyota Rav-4 could save about $1,752 by flying out to Toronto and making the two-day drive back to Calgary.

The study compared the Instant Market Value (IMV) data of the used cars for sale in the company’s database in Canada’s largest metro areas. By calculating the IMV in each metro area and comparing them to comparable vehicles between the different areas, they identified estimated savings. Then they found the least expensive nonstop flights for August 1, 2017 and used average gas price by urban centre for May 2017 to calculate the cost of driving back.

It’s worth noting that the vehicles named in the infographic are all fairly popular recent model vehicles and not necessarily the cheapest options available in that area. However, it shows that when shopping for a used car, one shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond their city for savings.

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