Why Cars From Canada Aren’t Worth the Risk

Our friendly neighbors to the north are many things, great hockey players, phenomenal makers of maple syrup, and a significant contributor to the world’s overall comedy output. One thing you should never count on Canada for though is used cars. That’s surprising to many people. After all, they’re the same cars sold stateside. What would cause Canadian cars to be such a bad investment?

As with many things, the answer boils down to multiple factors. In this case, there are three main drivers (pun intended) that lead us to recommend skipping that great deal from Canada.

Salty History

This one isn’t that surprising. It snows a lot in most of Canada, and like the Midwest, the salted roads can lead to a lot of corrosion and rust over time. This isn’t a deal breaker of course, just something to be on the lookout for. Remember, to really look at the bottom of any car or truck you buy. It’s worth it to bring it to a non-affiliated garage with a lift and plenty of light to make sure you don’t buy something with a well-hidden major problem

Carfox You Say

Many people are surprised to learn that Carfax is not as accurate on Canadian vehicles. It varies, but an (older) study found that while information from cars originating in some provinces had accurate information, but missed huge repairs from cars originating in others. Unless you have the capacity to do your own repairs, it’s not worth it to most people to take a risk on buying a vehicle that needs thousands of dollars in repairs just to save a bit of money up front.

I Don’t Recall

While the cars and trucks for sale in Canada are largely the same, there are differences. Sometimes that means you can get a trim or color not available stateside, but other times it means a part that is recalled isn’t available. There are also slight variations in the way some car companies handle recalls in different countries, which can potentially put you in an unsafe situation.

This of course doesn’t mean you should never buy a Canadian car, but it’s important to know the risks going in to it.