Should You Buy a Winter Beater?

January 3, 2020

Tempted to buy a second car as a winter beater just to bear the brunt of Old Jack Frost? You aren’t alone. A winter beater is a vehicle that you can drive for four to six months per year so that your ‘good’ car isn’t exposed to harsh, sub-zero conditions. There are pros and cons to consider...

The upside of a winter beater? There are undoubtedly a few: 

  • Your ‘good’ car stays safe and protected. The goal is to keep your beloved ‘summer’ car pristine, which means lower maintenance costs overall.
  • It keeps your ‘good’ car’s resale value high. You’ll be putting fewer clicks on the odometer and potentially avoiding accidents on your vehicle history report that could slash your resale value. 
  • Less stress about wear & tear. If you get a scratch or dent on your winter beater, or if you get into a fender bender, so be it. That’s why you have it.

But a cheap winter car isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. The idea for most people includes purchasing a car for under $7,500 (often much less) because it is a secondary car, after all. That can lead to its own set of concerns: 

  • You’ll be doubling up the cost of maintenance. You’ll have two cars to change the oil on, replace fluids, etc.. 
  • It’s probably less comfy. Odds are, your winter car won’t have heated seats or a heated steering wheel, remote start, or the AWD or suspension you want for your comfort and security.
  • Will it even last the winter? Depending on what you can afford, a winter beater is usually up to 15 years old. Older vehicles might not stand up to the harsh winter conditions and require replacement sooner than you imagined.

Drive a vehicle made for ALL seasons

If owning two vehicles doesn’t make sense for you, get something that’s suitable for every Canadian season! Canada Drives can help you find a reliable-yet-affordable vehicle that you’ll love driving all year long! 

Apply today and get preapproved in a few hours. You could be cruising in your new vehicle in a matter of days!

You don't need to buy an old junker just for winter! Get something you can depend on without breaking the bank. Read more about the advantages of a quality pre-owned winter car or SUV, and check out a few of our top picks!
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