Owning a vehicle in Ottawa is almost essential. For example, if you live in places like Gatineau, Napean, Kanata, Kempville, or Cornwall, it can be hard to get around without your own set of wheels!

Fortunately, the Canadian used car market is very robust. So if you're looking for affordable cars in Ottawa, you have options.

Canada Drives can connect you with the best local deals

If you're in search of a great deal on a car, Canada Drives assists Canadians facing all types of credit situations. Simply fill out our online application; it's free, only takes 2 minutes to complete, and we only ask for information we need to determine the best vehicle options near you.

Read on to learn all of your options for cheap used cars, and discover the best way to get into the driver's seat of a reliable vehicle with ease.

Where are the best cheap used cars in Ottawa?

In Ottawa, there are thousands of used cars for sale at any one time. Many of those are in the range you’d consider a cheap used car, from $4,000 to $15,000. The various locations you’ll find cars listed run the gamut.


Of the sites listing used cars for sale, Autotrader is one of the most popular. Typically containing more than half a million listings nationwide, Autotrader has many options to choose from. While diverse listings are a positive aspect, this site is notorious for sellers who don’t honour the price they advertise the vehicle for. It’s also inundated with premium listings that may be masking the gem you’re looking to buy, and Autotrader doesn’t offer financing.

Facebook Marketplace

One of the most recent additions is Facebook Marketplace where you can browse through free vehicle listings. There are thousands of vehicles listed, but it’s definitely not user-friendly to sort through those listings. As well, there’s no guarantee that the details on the ad are true and accurate, and there’s always a chance the listing is a scam. Financing the vehicle is completely up to you.


Canada’s favourite classifieds website is Kijiji where you can buy and sell virtually anything. That includes used cars by the thousands. It’s relatively easy to search the listings for the model or details you want, but there are hiccups for Kijiji also. Like Marketplace, many ads are fake with the intention to scam you. And like Autotrader, there’s a trend where the listed price isn’t the actual price you’d have to pay. Kijiji also doesn’t offer any financing services.

Used car dealerships

It might surprise you to learn that private used car sales aren't the only place to look. Dealerships are often a preferred place to snag a deal on a cheap car in Ottawa. Across the internet (including the platforms mentioned above), you’ll find vehicles listed by dealerships. Unlike the other sites, dealerships have a responsibility to provide accurate details and are accountable for them. The vehicles are also professionally inspected and serviced. Unfortunately, if you have bad credit, some dealerships may not be equipped to take care of you well. 

Canada Drives

Canada Drives offers a complete solution to match you with a cheap used car. The Canada Drives dealer network has vehicles of all kinds and for all budgets. Since they’re all from certified dealerships, they’re professionally inspected and ready to drive. What’s even more important is that Canada Drives can get you pre-approved for a used car loan – good credit, bad credit, or no credit! Don't waste time visiting dealerships or lenders that only work with good credit customers. Canada Drives will connect you with local lenders and dealers that know how to help.

We've helped over 1 million Canadians to find great cars with affordable auto financing. Here's why more and more Ottowans are choosing Canada Drives:

  • We work with ALL credit situations. Bad credit, good credit, or no credit, we can help you!
  • Simple 2-minute application. We have made the online application & approval process extremely quick and painless.
  • Our pre-approval will save you time. Once you know how much you can afford, you'll save a lot of time looking for vehicles in your price range.
  • No more face-to-face appointments. We do everything by phone or email, so you can be driving a car you love in as little as 24 hours.
  • Massive selection of vehicles. Whether you want a car, truck, van or SUV, our extensive nationwide network of Ottawa dealerships will have what you're looking for.
  • Our service is FREE. Apply in minutes and see what you're eligible for today!

What to look for when buying a cheap used car

No matter how much or how little you’re looking to spend, you need your car to be reliable. Certain things should be on your checklist for a cheap used car including:

  •  A vehicle history report such as CARFAX. A VHR identifies any red flags like title issues, major accidents, or gaps in history that you may want to walk away from. 
  • Warranty included or available. Unless you’re ready to pay for costly repairs, you’ll want a warranty on your used car. Find out how much factory warranty is remaining and price out extended warranty options.
  • A vehicle inspection. Make sure the car has been checked over and safety certified by a licensed technician. But you should personally look for warning signs like rust spots, dents and dings, mismatched paint, leaks under the car, and unusual wear on tires. 
  • Taking a test drive. It’s a bad idea to buy a cheap used car without trying it out first. Listen for clunks and rattles, check for warning lights on the dash, and feel for shaking when you’re on the highway. 

Should you pay cash or finance?

The average Canadian family has just $852 in their savings account, making it unlikely you’ll be paying cash for your car. And even if you have the cash available to you, a car is a purchase that depreciates quickly – smart money is invested to earn interest, especially if a low-interest car loan is an option. 

Financing a car gives you the financial flexibility to put your money to work in other ways. Other advantages of an auto loan include:

  • You get to decide how much your monthly payment will be.
  • You do not have to provide any collateral (besides the vehicle itself).
  • You can get approved without a down payment.
  • Your credit score will improve thanks to positive payment history.
  • You'll own the car at the end of the term (compared to leasing).
  • Nowadays, you DO NOT need a good credit score to get approved.

If you're ready to connect with the best car deals in Ottawa, apply online today in 2 minutes and let us handle the rest! We'll preapprove your car loan and match you with a dealership that's holding unmissable deals in your location. It really is that easy!

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