Customers can save thousands on used cars by buying in another city

Published: August 21, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The used car market is huge in Canada, but some customers may be missing out on savings by shopping in their own city. A report by CarGurus.com shows some may save cash by flying to another city and buying a used car.

In its research, CarGurus found customers could save more than $1,000 on leading used car models. The company says by even factoring the cost of a flight and drive home, substantial savings can be made. As an example, Vancouver residents can save around $4,750 on a 2016 Ford F-150 if they fly to Calgary, purchase the vehicle, and drive it home.

Sure, that’s a near thousand-kilometre journey, but potentially worth it. A driver in Edmonton could make the 1,160km trip to Vancouver and save around $3,000 on a luxury 2016 BMW 3 Series.

Called Fly to Buy, CarGurus says Calgary to Toronto is a trip that can bring valuable savings. Indeed, customers in the market for a 2015 Toyota Rav-4 can save $1,752 this way. It is worth noting the 3,400km journey will require a 2-day drive on the return.

To reach its findings, the company compared Instant Market Value (IMV) data for used cars in its database across the largest cities in Canada. Finding IMV for vehicles in one city and comparing prices in another metro area allowed the savings to be calculated.

To ensure the best savings could be made, the company then found the least expensive nonstop flights to destinations and the average gas price to reach the final savings amount.