If you need another reason to get that fun convertible or newer family runaround, here’s a way to drastically lower costs: Leave home.
You could save thousands on a used car by flying to another city, buying the used car for less and driving it home, according to car shopping site CarGurus. Analysts say the savings are substantial even after accounting for the cost of the flight and gas for the drive.
According to CarGurus, someone in Vancouver looking for a 2016 Ford F-150 would save over $4,000 if they flew to Calgary to buy it and then drove it back. Similarly, an Edmonton resident looking for a 2016 BMW 3 Series could save over $3,000 — even after subtracting flight and gas costs — by flying to Winnipeg to buy the vehicle.
The list of savings below reflects the most popular searches on CarGurus, and is compiled using data from the company’s Canadian used car inventory. A list of the vehicles with the best resale value according to Kelley Blue Book can be found here.
2016 Ford F-150: Vancouver, BC to Calgary, AB – estimated savings of $4,750
2016 Ford F-150: Ottawa, ON to Calgary, AB – estimated savings of $1,514
2016 BMW 3 Series: Edmonton, AB to Winnipeg, MB – estimated savings of $3,327
2016 BMW 3 Series: Edmonton, AB to Vancouver, BC – estimated savings of $3,093
2016 Honda CRV: Winnipeg, MB to London, ON – estimated savings of $2,877
2016 Honda CRV: Halifax, NS to Montreal, QC – estimated savings of $1,720
2015 Toyota Rav-4: Calgary, AB to Toronto, ON – estimated savings of $1,752
2016 Honda Civic: Halifax, NS to Québec City, QC – estimated savings of $1,684
2015 Ford Mustang: Toronto, ON to Québec City, QC – estimated savings of $1,471
Some Canadians have been travelling as far as the U.S. to save on car prices. A sales manager at Williamson Buick-Cadillac in Miami, Fla., told CarGurus that leasing accounts for 75 per cent of his business, which results in a reliable supply of low-mileage used vehicles. By posting these cars online with photos and detailed descriptions, he is able to sell an average of 25 vehicles a year to buyers from far away places, such as California and Canada.
Miami appears to be the city with the lowest used car prices, with prices around 10 per cent below the national average. CarGurus reports that a 2014 BMW 3-Series car in Freso, Calif. — the second most expensive metro area — costs approximately $22,000. In Miami, the same car costs $18,995. Similarly, a 2014 Dodge Charger sells for $19,605 in the nation’s most expensive metro area (Albuquerque, New Mexico) but goes for $3,000 less in Miami.
The price fluctuates depending on type of vehicle, however. CarGurus reports that Sacramento, Calif., is the most expensive place to buy a 2014 Ford F-150 pickup at nearly $25,000. It costs over $4,000 less in Buffalo, N.Y. Either way, whether you’re shopping in Canada or the U.S., looking outside your postal code can add up to a few extra thousand in your bank account.