Not in love with your daily driver? You’re not alone

Kijiji Canada commissioned Leger last month to poll more than 1,700 Canadian motorists for their views on their current vehicles, and for a nation known for tolerance and acceptance, we really have some issues with our daily drivers.

Only 27% of us were willing to go on the record to state that we love the car we currently drive but almost two thirds of us (65%) feel that a reliable car is more important than a reliable government (good thing cars don’t have to run for re-election). If we’re not happy with our present mode of transportation, what would we rather be driving? According to Kijiji’s poll, not something as exotic as you’d think.

In the market for a used car? Check out our listings here

Only 13% said they would love the keys to rapper Drake’s Bugatti (a Veyron Sang Noir model worth $3.4-million US) while the biggest group (20%) said they would rather be seen in hockey superstar Sidney Crosby’s considerably more functional Range Rover. Six per cent of us would like to be behind the wheels of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s armoured Cadillac (I’d worry about that group). Almost half of those surveyed (46%) relate to a “sensible and sleek sedan” over “sexy sports cars” or “cool convertibles.” The gender split revealed that 24% of female drivers were happy with their current ride but only 18% of men expressed that level of satisfaction. The big number in this survey is that 80% of Canadians would rather be in something else in terms of their personal vehicle.

65% of respondents in a recent Kijiji survey agreed that a reliable car is more important than a reliable government.

65% of respondents in a recent Kijiji survey agreed that a reliable car is more important than a reliable government.
Mohamed Messara, EPA

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;;pd.src=’’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,'pd-polldaddy-loader’));

But why would an Internet company such as Kijiji be interested in our automotive desires? Answer: Internet-influenced auto sales are big business. 40% of us surf the net in the process of researching, selecting, and purchasing our vehicles. And 4 million of us turn to Kijiji’s 350,000 listings (mixed between private and retail sellers) as part of the shopping process. Chris Harris, head of Kijiji auto division, puts it this way: “We connect users with the largest inventory of nearly new, reliable, yet dream-worthy cars, right in their neighbourhood.”

While seller credibility still remains a major issue with online used auto sales, Kijiji and vehicle retailers across the country are helping to instill some security in what was once a wild-west, no-holds-barred marketplace. Kijiji monitors user feedback to identify curbsiders (individuals selling multiple vehicles from questionable sources while posing as private sellers), and blocks them when discovered. According to Harris, Kijiji also works closely with provincial regulatory bodies such as Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Industry Council to weed out less-than-scrupulous players while educating the public on what to expect from the process and how to avoid a bad deal. The advice you’ll find on Kijiji mirrors closely what every province’s consumer affairs department has been preaching for years:

1) Inspect the sellers’ document packages. Repair history receipts should be checked to reconcile the mileage showing on the odometer display.
2) Arrange for a mechanical and body inspection by a trusted technician of your choice.
3) Run a collision repair history check but be warned that this doesn’t always reveal accident history in an accurate manner. The various firms that provide this service can only report on what has been reported to insurance companies and more and more collision damage is paid out of drivers’ pockets.
4) Road test the vehicle or, better yet, arrange for your technician to go with you.
5) Check for outstanding liens or insurance write-off declarations.
6) With the owner’s permission, run the vehicle serial number through an authorized dealership or manufacturer’s website to check for outstanding recalls.
7) Make sure you’re dealing with the registered owner. Tales of a vehicle being owned by a family member who has left the country or is away on business are often told by curbsiders.

A family checks out the Tesla Motors Inc. store in the Short Hills Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

A family checks out the Tesla Motors Inc. store in the Short Hills Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
Emile Wamsteker, Bloomberg

Five offbeat classics you can buy right now for under $5,000

Many of these steps come at a cost and should only be completed when you are serious about purchasing the vehicle you are investigating. Proper vehicle and document evaluations can approach or exceed $200, none of which is recoverable. But when faced with the alternative of an increased risk on taking an exponentially larger financial hit, these measures are extremely worthwhile. You may be able to reduce your ownership risk with an extended warranty from the vehicle’s manufacturer. There are often age and mileage limits and these plans don’t come cheap with an average cost of about $2,500 (not including a mandatory dealership inspection).

Pre-owned vehicle websites offer almost limitless choices for any shopper. A new listing pops up on Kijiji Canada every seven seconds and it takes on average 27 days to find a new home for a vehicle advertised on their site. They enjoy one of the largest market-shares in the online auto reselling arena and have a truly national reach. Chris Harris recommends setting search parameters when shopping online and then use desired features and options to narrow your search down to a short list. Research automaker websites to learn the details of different trim levels to help speed up your hunt. If you think all of this is often difficult to complete, you’re not alone; 67% of the Kijiji poll respondents don’t think it’s easy and 41% admit to buyer’s regret.

If you have questions or comments on automotive topics you’d like to see here, please send an email to [email protected] Due to volume, direct responses aren’t always possible.

About Brian Turner