Road Trip Packing Checklist

With road trip season officially underway, it’s time to get ready to hit the open road and go wherever the pavement may take us. While road trips are often carefully planned, it’s easy to get a few kilometers down the road and realize “shoot, I forgot to pack _____.” So, to keep unplanned stops and complications to a minimum- there are a few things you should bring to ensure the trip goes smoothly.

Below, we’ll list and explain some of the road trip essentials you’ll want to pack before heading out on your trip.

For more road trip tips- check out our other posts!

1. 12-Volt Phone Charger

If you drive a newer vehicle, chances are it will come with at least one USB port to charge your phone and connect it to your vehicle. But it never hurts to have a few 12-volt chargers- bonus points if they come with multiple USB ports.

This helps you make sure that you have enough ports to keep every device charged- and cut’s down on road trip arguments with your passengers. If there’s enough charging ports to go around, and to charge everyone’s entertainment devices- that can cut tensions down and avoid “what’s your phone at?” exchanges.

While you’re at it- make sure to bring plenty of charging cables too- micro USB, USB and Lightning being the most common.

2. First Aid Kit

You should always have a first aid kit in your car, but especially for road trips. There’s no need to go crazy on a top of the line kit- but a simple kit with some basics like bandages, gauze antiseptics and some over the counter medicine for motion sickness and headaches etc. will do the trick.

This will make sure that any basic ailments can be quickly cared for if necessary. Many people keep their kits in the trunk- but it might be best to keep it in the main cabin for easy access for you and your passengers.

3. Insulated Water Bottle

Everyone get’s thirsty, and there’s nothing worse than having to stop at a gas station or a drive through every time it happens- especially when you factor in the bathroom breaks this adds.

When you bring an insulated water bottle, you’ll be saving time and money by bringing your water from home, avoiding leaks, and making sure that your water stays cool and refreshing on hot days.

4. Hand Sanitizer

While good planning can cut down on stops, you’re still gonna have to make stops in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar germs. It’s important to keep your hand cleans when you interact with objects many others touch, like fuel pumps or door handles- especially if you’re road tripping with others.

Using your own stock of hand sanitizer can help keep you and your passengers from getting travel bugs that dampen your road trip.

5. Sunscreen

The imfamous “Drivers tan” is a very real thing- and Canadian summers get hot. Bring along some sunscreen and apply it regularly to avoid an uncomfortable drive with a painful sunburn.

6. Jumper Cables or Booster Pack

A dead car battery can throw a wrench into any road trip- so make sure to prepare.

Jumper cables are an excellent choice because they don’t take up too much of your valuable trunk space, but you’ll have to wait for a good samaritan with a second vehicle to get going again. If you have a little extra space- get a booster pack (a battery-powered unit that can jump-start a car all on it’s own) and make sure you charge it to full capacity before taking off on your adventure.

7. Toiletries

This seems like a no brainer, but it’s an easy one to forget. If you’re trip will last more than a day- pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, deodorant, hair products, soap, shampoo, conditioner and any other grooming necessities. Additionally, bring a roll of toilet paper or baby wipes in case nature calls at an inopportune time on the road.

8. Travel Mug

Okay, this one might not be essential- but it’s helpful to keep an insulated travel mug for road trips. Fast food coffee cups won’t keep your beverages hot, can start to leak, and spill easily. When you get your road trip cup-o-joe simply transfer it into your travel mug, then throw away the paper cup.

9. Rain Jacket or Poncho

It‘s hard to predict when rain will strike on a Canadian road trip, and it may not be convenient to hold an umbrella, such as if you’re building a tent or a fire. A poncho or rain jacket will keep you dry like an umbrella, but you’ll have two free hands to get the job done.

10. Sleeping Bag

Even if you’re not camping- a sleeping bag with a low temperature is a great addition when you’re packing your car. Just in case you break down in the cold, or you can’t find a hotel and get stuck sleeping in the car.

11. Maps

Many newer vehicles are equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which have built-in GPS systems like apple maps or google maps. However, not every car has this, so you can either get a windshield mount for your cellphone and use Google Maps or Apple Maps straight from the phone or purchase a standalone GPS unit and use this instead.

Additionally, keeping a paper map in case of dead zones, broken phones or other unforeseen circumstances can be a good idea as well.

12. Portable Charger

Even with charging ports and extra chords, it’s good to have a portable charger as well. What happens if the car dies? You can no longer charge your phone at this point, so having a portable charger that you can plug your phone into will come in handy.

13. Garbage Bags

When you’re stopping for snacks and drinks, they usually come with wrappers, bottles, and other garbage. Instead of jamming them in every available cupholder, glove box, and door pocket- bring along some grocery bags to store it in which will make it easier to throw it out at your next stop.

14. Roadside Emergency Kit

If you break down or run out of fuel, a roadside emergency kit can help. These generally include safety items, like flares or warning triangles, which you can place behind your vehicle to warn other drivers your car is stopped. They may also include a small tool kit to perform light repairs, tire sealant, and other items that can come in handy in a pinch.

You can assemble an emergency kit on your own, or get one pre-made from companies like our friends at Get My Kit- who make excellent, affordable options for emergency kits.

Add a Quality Pre-Owned Car From VIDrives to Your Road Trip Essentials List

While putting together your road trip checklist, you may want to include a quality pre-owned vehicle to ensure your trip is smooth and enjoyable. You can pick up this quality pre-owned vehicle from VIDrives.

Not only can you skip the dealership and buy your vehicle online, but you get the added peace of mind that every pre-owned vehicle we sell goes through a comprehensive inspection and reconditioning process.

3 Questions to ask yourself before you start shopping for a vehicle?

Buying a car can generate all types of emotions and fear is definitely near the top of the list. Consider these tips the next time you’re in the market for a new or used car to help you get the best car for the best price.

What are we so worried about?

It’s easy to see why so many folks are apprehensive about shopping for a new car, van truck or SUV: Vehicle purchases are the second largest (and longest) financial investment we make next to real estate. That’s a lot of your hard earned cash to fork over to operate your own vehicle in BC.

Even though new vehicle prices are fixed from the manufacturer, the amount you’ll pay for your new ride can have a difference of thousands of dollars from one dealership to the next- especially in this market. Factors such as the availability of stock, end of model clearances, rebate programs, trade-in value or how motivated the commissioned Salesperson is to sell it to you, all contribute to your final price.

Used vehicle shoppers suffer a different kind of anxiety as no two used cars or trucks are identical, so that makes price comparisons difficult. Used car shoppers may be armed with a Kelly Blue Book or the Canadian Black Book to help determine a ball park figure, but it’s factors like mileage, wear and tear, options, and how much the Dealer had to spend to get it retail-ready that will determine a used vehicle’s one-of-a-kind price tag. Check out our rankings for some information on some of the best used SUVs and Cars to buy in Canada.

Here are some questions to ask yourself so that you can feel more informed, and prepared when you shop for a vehicle.

Question 1: What about your current vehicle?

You’ve likely thought a lot about your current vehicle by the time you’ve decided to make a change- so how can this help you with your next purchase?

The first thing you need to think about when it’s time for something new, is what you’re driving now. What do you like about it? What doesn’t work for you- what do you wish was different. This is a great way to determine what you really need or want in your next ride. 

Additionally, make plans for what you’ll do with your current vehicle- are you handing down to a family member? Keeping it as a spare? If you’re selling it- are you going to do so privately or trade it in for the tax savings on your new vehicle? 

If you’re planning to sell your vehicle- It’s a good idea to look online at what similar vehicles are going for, or an online trade appraisal like the one offered by VIDrives- and if you’re paying it off still whether this sum will cover the amount remaining on your loan. If you’re planning to trade-in, any outstanding balance will be taken care of by us, or the dealership with no extra work or headache on your end. Your trade in value, new payments and loan amount should always be presented to you before signing documents, so you can make your decision confidently, and knowing all the information. 

Question 2: How much am I willing to pay?

You may have dreams of a luxury sports car, but your budget may determine a practical SUV instead. Remember to factor in operating costs in addition to your purchase price or monthly payment. 

Consider the differences between short term and long term financing, whether you’d like to use your savings to pay cash, or procure a car loan. If you’re interested in building credit, don’t have the cash on hand, or are saving for something else- financing may be the most cost effective, and most convenient option.

Make sure your car payment leaves room in your budget for the remainder of the cost of ownership, such as fuel costs, car insurance, regular maintenance and repairs. Consider Extended Warranty options to mitigate some unexpected costs associated with your vehicle as well. 

The average car loan in 2021 was around 84 months, or 7 years. So it’s important to think about your overall financial landscape over the foreseeable future- like your other bills, housing costs, income, and potential for other large expenses to arise. Leaving some wiggle room in your budget at the end of the month, it may help mitigate some of the risks and fears associated with buying a vehicle. 

Question 3: What do I need, and what can I live without?

Once you have a basic understanding of your budget, and with your current vehicle in mind- it’s time to narrow down your search for a vehicle. 

Firstly, what do you need? If you’ve frequently found your current vehicle is too small, or won’t fit enough passengers- you’ll need something larger. If you’ve found that you rarely use all the storage space, and get upset at your monthly cost of fuel, that could mean it’s time to downsize. 

Next, what do you want? What is it you love about your current vehicle, or what have you been missing? Maybe heated seats in the winter are a must for you, or you love having a sunroof. If you love listening to music, maybe a good sound system is an asset. 

Here are the major subjects to consider when you’re deciding what you’re looking for: 

  • Seating: will the seats be comfortable? How many seats are there? Leather or Cloth, Electric or Manual Adjustments? Heated Seats? Cooled Seats? 
  • Engine and Performance: Do you like a Manual or Automatic Transmission? Is Horsepower important to you? Do you need your vehicle to tow anything? What’s the Fuel Efficiency like? 
  • Safety Features: How are the crash test ratings? Do you want things like lane departure warning or brake assist? Does it have a backup camera? How many Airbags? 
  • Convenience and Comfort: Do you use cruise control? What about Adaptive Cruise Control? Power Windows? Power and Heated Mirrors? Does it have enough cup holders for your morning iced coffee and your water bottle? What about outlets to charge your phone or other devices? 
  • Infotainment and Tech Features: Do you need GPS? What about apple carplay or android auto? Does a Touch Screen Matter to you? Do you still use CDs? What about the speaker systems or surround sound? Bluetooth, Wifi or anything else you might need. 
  • Storage and Cargo Capacity: Think about features like cargo space, stow and go, trunk space, tonneau covers and box liners. 
  • Warranty: How much factory warranty, if any is left? Can you top this up with an extended warranty? What will it cover? How much is the deductible? 

One way to make selecting the right vehicle easier is scheduling a No-Obligation Options review with us via phone or email. Our vehicle specialists will review your budget, lifestyle and preferences to find you the best solutions for your specific needs. 

Make the process easier with a No Obligation Options review from VIDrives.

If you are unsure about your budget, or just want to shop knowing exactly what you can afford, get pre-approved for financing at VIDrives.ca

With a pre-approval we will provide you with personalized finance terms- for your unique situation that can help point you in the right direction when searching for your next car- and with 30+ Lending Partners, and hundreds of available vehicles we will get you the best vehicle and deal possible.

safest used suv's available in Canada

What are the safest used SUVs to buy in Canada? (2017-2020)

We all try to drive safely and avoid accidents, but unfortunately not all collisions can be avoided, ICBC reported an average of 41,000 crashes per year on Vancouver Island alone. Luckily, vehicles are safer than ever and not only could the vehicle you choose help you remain uninjured if an accident occurs- they can also help you avoid accidents as well. So how select a vehicle with safety in mind?

Safety ratings are provided by third party organizations and are heavily advertised by manufacturers on new vehicles, but it can be hard to navigate what vehicle will keep you and your loved ones safe when you’re shopping for something pre-owned. Our team at VIDrives took a comprehensive look at the safety ratings of vehicles between 2017 and 2020 to help you save money on depreciation and feel safe and secure in your purchase.

Last week we took a look at the safest used cars available in Canada, but the size of a vehicle affects it’s safety as well- a large SUV will be safer than a car even with the same rating. Below you’ll find our list of the safest used SUV in each class with a budget friendly, and a high end option- read on to see what we found.

Small SUVs

Small SUVs and crossovers are increasing in popularity- especially over the last 5 years, and it’s easy to see why when they offer more space, safety and comfort than a car, but without to high fuel, payment and insurance costs associated with a larger SUV. We think these 2 offer all you might need for your adventures and day to day- especially with our current gas prices.

Budget Option:

2018, 2019 and 2020 Hyundai Kona Crossover

2018 Hyundai Kona Model Shown

The 2018-2020 Hyundai Kona is our pick for the safest budget friendly small SUV as it boasts an excellent infotainment system, comfortable interior and nimble peppy ride, and of course the amazing safety of the vehicle. Standard and Available safety Features Included

  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver-attention monitor
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • High-beam assist
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Hyundai Kona excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers sides, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective, while the LATCH ease of use was rated as marginal.
For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional vehicle to vehicle crash prevention feature superior, and the optional LED headlights good.

Average Price in Canada: $26,133

Luxury Option:

2019 and 2020 Audi Q3 Crossover

2020 Audi Q3 Model Shown

Outstanding interior quality, an abundance of easy-to-use tech features, a buttery ride, and a great crash test performance launch the 2019/20 Audi Q3 to the top our luxury small SUV pick for safety. Standard and Available Safety Features Include:

  • Audi Pre Sense Basic (tightens seat belts and rolls up windows when sensors detect an imminent collision)
  • Audi Pre Sense Front (forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking)
  • Rearview camera
  • Audi Side Assist (lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert)
  • Stop-and-go adaptive cruise control
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Surround-view parking camera system

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Audi Q3 excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers sides, moderate front overlap collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective, in an original test on the 2019 Model they found it got a top rating in side collisions, while an updated test on a 2021 model got an acceptable rating.

They found the standard vehicle to vehicle front crash prevention superior, where the standard vehicle to pedestrian system was found basic, and the optional LED headlights received a top rating.

Average Price in Canada: $44,900

Midsized SUVs

Midsized SUVs are among the most popular options for Vancouver Island Drivers and Shoppers. They offer the space you need for large grocery trips, moving people- be it friends or a growing family, and some additional structural safety.

Budget Option:

2017, 2018 and 2019 Nissan Rogue 5 Door SUV

2018 Nissan Rogue

The 2017-19 Nissan Rogue has an abundance of cargo space and an attractive cabin that is loaded with features. It also has a lower cost of ownership compared to competitive midsized SUVs. However, its our top pick for overall safety for it’s excellent crash performance. Standard and Available Safety Features for these years include:

  • rearview camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • lane keep assist
  • pedestrian detection
  • adaptive cruise control
  • 360-degree parking camera
  • ProPilot Assist advanced driver assistance system, which can autonomously steer, accelerate, and brake the Rogue under certain conditions.

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Nissan Rogue excelled in small overlap collisions on the drivers side, moderate front overlap collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective, while it rated acceptable in small overlap front collisions on the passengers side. They found the standard vehicle to vehicle front crash prevention superior, where the standard vehicle to pedestrian system was found advanced, and the optional LED headlights received an acceptable rating.

Average Price in Canada: $38,200

Luxury Option:

2017-2020 Volvo XC90

2019 Volvo XC90 Model Shown

The Volvo XC90 offers an excellent safety score, lots of standard features, an airy and elegant interior, and great fuel economy, It’s our pick for safest Midsized Luxury SUV as the safety features are standard much more often than in it’s competitors. Standard Features Include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver drowsiness monitoring
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

in Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Volvo XC90 received top marks in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional vehicle to vehicle crash prevention feature superior, and the standard LED headlights acceptable. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as Acceptable.

Average Price in Canada $61,209

Large SUVs

Large SUVs are an unbelievable option for avid campers, large families, or anyone that needs to drive people around- but doesn’t want a minivan.

Budget Option:

2020 Hyundai Palisade

2020 Hyundai Palisade Shown

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is our favourite for safety among Affordable Large SUVs. There are a lot of reasons to like the Palisade, like it’s affordability compared to similarly sized vehicles (ie. Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Highlander), upscale interior, comfortable seats, and good fuel economy ratings- and of course it’s overall safety. Standard Safety Features include

  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Stop-and-go adaptive cruise control
  • Driver attention monitor
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane follow assist
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • optional and later features
    • Blind spot camera (Blind View Monitor)
    • Blind spot monitoring
    • Rear cross traffic alert
    • Surround-view parking camera system
    • Safe exit assist (alerts exiting passengers of vehicles approaching from behind)
    • Highway drive assist (uses lane centering and adaptive cruise control to keep the vehicle centered)
    • Front parking sensors
    • Head-up display
    • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

in Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Hyundai Palisade received the best possible ratings for small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective. In an original test for side collisions on a 2020 model, the Palisade received a top rating, but in an updated test on a 2022 model they found it’s results less than satisfactory for the pelvis and torso regions.

Average Price in Canada: $50,900

Luxury Option:

2017-2020 Audi Q7 SUV

2017 Audi Q7 model shown

The 2017-20 Audi Q7 is the most well rounded pick when you’re shopping for a safe luxury large SUV. It’s a premium cabin, wide array of features, and surprising athleticism are supplemented by its excellent overall safety. As early as 2017, standard safety features included

  • Rearview Camera
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Forward Collision Automatic Braking
  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Optional and Later Features
    • Blind spot monitoring
    • Rear cross traffic alert
    • Surround-view parking camera system
    • Lane departure warning
    • Lane keep assist
    • Head-up display
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Automatic high-beam headlights
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Automatic parking assist
    • Night vision assistant with pedestrian detection

in Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Audi Q7 received the best possible scores in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, side collisions, moderate front overlap collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

Average Price in Canada: $71,200

Start Driving a Safer Vehicle Today with VIDrives

At VIDrives, we have a wide selection of safe vehicles from which to choose. Plus, all of our vehicles have been through a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure they’re in top-notch condition.

You can shop securely 100% online for your next pre-owned vehicle and complete your purchase online too. We’ll secure your financing for your purchase, then deliver it straight to your door. We’ll even take your current vehicle as a trade-in and pick it up.

safest used cars

What are the Safest Used Cars in Each Class! (2018-2020)

Home

We all try to drive safely and avoid accidents. Unfortunately not all collisions can be avoided,  ICBC reported an average of 41,000 crashes per year on Vancouver Island alone. Luckily, vehicles are safer than ever which means that the vehicle you choose could not only help you remain unharmed if an accident occurs- it can help you avoid accidents as well. So how can you select a vehicle with safety in mind? 

Safety ratings are heavily advertised by manufacturers on new vehicles, but it can be hard to navigate what vehicle will keep you and your loved ones safe when you’re shopping for something pre-owned. We looked at the safety ratings of vehicles between 2018 and 2020 to help you save money on depreciation and feel safe and secure in your purchase.

Keep in mind that the size of your vehicle will impact its overall safety, a large SUV will keep you safer in a collision than a small car, even with the same rating. Check out our picks for the best Used SUVs available in Canada.

We did the research to find the safest used cars in each class to choose a budget friendly, and a high end option- read on to see what we found.

Compact Cars

Budget Option:

2018, 2019 and 2020 Hyundai Accent 4 Door Sedan


In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Hyundai Accent excelled in small overlap collisions on the drivers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective, while small overlaps on the passenger side got an acceptable rating.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional crash prevention feature superior, and the optional LED headlights acceptable.

Average price in Canada: $21,400

Luxury Option:

2019 Mini Cooper 3 door Hatchback


In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Mini Cooper excelled in small overlap collisions on the passenger and drivers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional crash prevention feature advanced, and the optional LED headlights acceptable.

Average price in Canada: $27,330


Small Car:


Budget Option:

2018, 2019, 2020 Hyundai Elantra 4-Door Sedan

2019 Hyundai Elantra

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Hyundai Elantra excelled in small overlap collisions on the drivers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective, while small overlaps on the passenger side got an acceptable rating.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional crash prevention feature superior, and the optional LED headlights good.

Average Price in Canada: $22,428

Luxury Option:

2018, 2019 and 2020 Subaru Impreza 4 door Sedan

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Subaru Impreza excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional pedestrian and vehicle to vehicle crash prevention features superior, and the optional LED headlights good. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as Good.

Average Price in Canada: $35,201

Midsize Car:

Budget Option:

2019 and 2020 Nissan Altima 4 Door Sedan

2019 Nissan Altima

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Nissan Altima excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, they also found that the roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the standard vehicle to vehicle crash prevention feature superior, the optional vehicle to pedestrian front crash prevention advanced, and the optional LED headlights good. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as Good.

Average Price in Canada: $32,600

Luxury Option:

2018, 2019, and 2020 Audi A4 4 Door Sedan

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Audi A4 excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, they also found that the roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the standard vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to pedestrian crash prevention features superior, the optional vehicle to vehicle front crash prevention superior, and the optional LED headlights good, with other options acceptable or marginal. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as good.

Average Price in Canada: $41,590


Large Cars:


Budget Option:

2020 Kia Stinger 4 Door Sedan


In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Kia Stinger excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, they also found that the roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional vehicle to vehicle crash prevention feature superior, and the optional vehicle to pedestrian front crash prevention advanced, and the optional LED headlights good, with other options acceptable or marginal. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as marginal.

Average Price in Canada: $42,724

Luxury Option:

2018 and 2019 BMW 5 Series 4 Door Sedan

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the BMW 5 Series excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, they also found that the roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional vehicle to vehicle crash prevention feature superior, and the optional vehicle to pedestrian front crash prevention advanced, and the optional LED headlights good, with other options marginal. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as acceptable.

Average Price in Canada: $65,900

Electric Cars

Budget Option:

2019 and 2020 Chevrolet Bolt 5 Door Hatchback

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Chevrolet Bolt excelled in small overlap collisions on the drivers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective, while small overlaps on the passenger side got an acceptable rating.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the optional crash prevention feature superior, and the standard LED headlights acceptable.

Average price in Canada: $41,997

Luxury Option:

2018, 2019 and 2020 Tesla Model 3 4 Door Sedan

In Crash Tests, IIHS found that the Tesla Model 3 excelled in small overlap collisions on the driver and passengers side, moderate front overlap collisions, side collisions, they also found that the roof strength and that the head restraints and seats were very effective.

For Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, they found the standard vehicle to vehicle crash prevention feature superior, and the standard vehicle to pedestrian front crash prevention advanced, and the standard headlights good. Additionally the seat belt and child restraint ratings were rated as acceptable.

Average Price in Canada: $71,800

Start Driving a Safer Vehicle Today

At VIDrives, we have a wide selection of safe vehicles from which to choose. Plus, all of our vehicles have been through a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure they’re in top-notch condition.

You can shop securely 100% online for your next pre-owned vehicle and complete your purchase online too. We’ll secure your financing for your purchase, then deliver it straight to your door. We’ll even take your current vehicle as a trade-in and pick it up.

So get Pre-Approved Today

summer car troubles

Common Summer Car Troubles- and how to prevent them.

The Summertime season provides ideal weather for road trips, drive-ins and, unfortunately, car trouble. Why? Extreme heat can take a toll on your car’s most important systems. So, if your summer calendar is filled with travel and trips to the beach, we’re here to help you seize the summer safely.


Making sure you’re a little extra prepared this season can go a long way to protect your vehicle, yourself and your loved ones this summer. Read on as we outline the most common summer car troubles and how to prevent them.


Air Conditioning

Summer heat pairs well with air conditioning, and it might be hard to detect issues during the fall, winter and spring when it’s not in use. When higher temperatures hit, you’ll want a working AC system in your car. Turn on your air conditioning from time to time during the off season to keep it in working order, or at least make sure you test it ahead of the summer season.


If you’re getting hot air when you turn your air conditioning on, a simple fix may be a refrigerant (Freon) charge. Adding refrigerant to your car can give your AC system a boost. If that doesn’t do the trick, a car mechanic should be able to diagnose and treat the problem.



Damaged Interior

The heat of the summer means extreme heat inside your vehicle. These hot temperatures can melt plastics, food and any other garbage that’s left inside your car. To prevent damage to the internal surfaces (and expensive repairs) clean your car, and keep it clean- if you have a sunroof- keep your sunshade closed to shade and prevent more heat on the interior.


Check out our post for the best mess-free road trip snacks for some tips to help you reduce extra drive thru garbage.



Paint Damage


The sun’s rays could damage the exterior and paint of your car (especially if your car has any debris or spills on it) which could be costly to fix- and cause premature rust during wetter seasons or if you’re close to the ocean. Extreme heat could also heat up the interior of your car, like the steering wheel and leather seats, making it difficult to drive. On hot days, try to park your car in the shade whenever possible. Parking your car in a shaded spot not only keeps you cool, but can keep your car cool and prolong its life.


Having window shades, and closing the sunroof in your car is a good idea in case you are unable to park your car in the shade. These shades will block out UV heat, keep the interior of your car from getting hot, and protect from any other damaging effects of the sun.



Worn Wiper Blades


Being able to see is an essential requirement while you’re behind the wheel. In summer, dust and pollen particles, insects or even the sun’s glare can impair your ability to clearly see out of your windshield. Make sure to top up your wiper fluid and check your windshield wipers’ effectiveness to remove anything that could minimize visibility. It’s a good idea to check or replace your windshield wipers at the end of each season.


Additionally, make sure pollen and other particles aren’t covering your light beams. A quick polish or even a wipe down can make a huge difference.


Dirty Air Filters


Your car’s air filters have a very important role, especially in the summer. They keep pollutants from coming in through the vents — which is critical during warmer months because of the high pollen counts and smoke from the forest fires we’re no stranger to in BC.

Not to mention, using an old filter can lead to problems with your air conditioning system.
It’s best to change your air filter every 12 months or 20,000 kilometers, or according to your manufacturer’s recommendations so you can breathe easy- literally, and because you know your Air Conditioning isn’t in danger.


Tire Troubles


Changing temperatures affect your tires in a few ways. First, it’s important to make sure your tires are appropriate for the weather by changing out of your winter tires. Hot weather can also evaporate some of the air in your tires and cause low tire pressure- which causes premature wear and even accident-causing tire blowouts.
Make sure to check your tire pressure and top it up when necessary as that can help your tires last longer and prevent flats, and blowouts.


Engine Overheating


Much like you can overheat in the summer and get heat stroke- you vehicle- and it’s engine can overheat. Just as staying hydrated can help you prevent overheating- making sure your vehicle’s fluids (especially coolant) are topped up can prevent it from overheating.

Once you’ve ensured your vehicle has enough fluids- keep an eye on the temperature via the temperature gauge- if the needle starts to indicate high levels- pull over and wait for the engine to cool down before you continue your drive.

Overheating is a serious issue- so make sure to contact your regular repair shop right away to diagnose and fix the problem.


Get a Summer Ready Vehicle from VIDrives.


Whether you like the beach, camping, hiking, or just long summer drives and road trips- VIDrives wants to help you enjoy your summertime activities without stress about getting stuck in the stranded or broken down. That’s why all of our vehicles are inspected and safe, plus- we work with any budget to make sure you have enough left over to pay for fuel and enjoy your summer!

Get Pre-Approved

cosigner info

What is a co-signer? frequently asked questions

When someone applies for a car loan in Canada and receives less than favorable loan terms or even a loan rejection, that doesn’t always mean they can’t get into a quality vehicle. They can always turn to a co-signer to help secure the loan or get better terms.

Unfortunately, there can sometimes be a lack of clarity around co-signing, and what it means for the co-signer as well as the primary borrower. Below, we cover the ins and outs of being a co-signer and the pros and cons of co-signing for an auto loan.

What is a co-signer?

A co-signer is a person who signs onto a car loan with the main borrower. Generally, this person has a strong credit score or financial situation and is essentially vouching for the borrower.

In return, the co-signer is also taking equal financial responsibility for repaying the full amount of the car loan in the event that the primary borrower can’t or won’t.

What is a main borrower?

The main borrower (or primary borrower) is the person buying the vehicle and initially seeking financing- they will be the owner of the vehicle and they are the one who will be making the payments.

Why would someone need a co-signer?

You may need a co-signer if you don’t have credit, have poor credit, or if you already have significant debt. Lenders consider these factors risky and will be less likely to give you a loan, especially over a long term or at a low interest rate. Getting a co-signer can help you- with someone with good credit or a higher income vouching for you, lenders consider the loan less risky- and may offer you more favorable terms.

Your co-signer can be virtually anyone you know with a better financial situation- but they’ll typically be someone close to you like a family member, close friend or significant other.

What are the benefits of co-signing on a car loan?

Becoming a co-signer for someone that you trust to make their payments can be a great way to help a friend or family member get into a better financial situation, and it’s an excellent way to build and improve your own credit score without taking on additional bill for yourself.

It is however important to remember that co-signing carries the risk of negatively effecting your credit if the primary borrower doesn’t make their payments- a good rule of thumb is to only co-sign for someone that you would lend money to.

Get driving, even without a co-signer.

Even with less than perfect credit, you may not need a co-signer. VIDrives has a 99% approval rate for financing, and we offer excellent vehicle financing options for any credit situation. We work with 30+ lending partners and our financial specialists will take a look at your specific credit situation so we can present you with all of your options, and get you the best terms possible.

To find out if you’ll need a co-signer get pre-approved to get your no obligation financing options. It takes 2 minutes and won’t affect your credit- plus we can add your co-signer on later if necessary.

What are the benefits of getting pre-approved for a car loan?


From the time you decide to start searching for a car to the time you drive your car home, it takes the average Canadian car buyer nearly three months to find the right vehicle. That includes hours of online research and multiple visits to dealerships and banks. According to buyers, one of the most stressful parts of buying a car was arranging the financing. A car loan pre-approval makes this entire experience a lot more efficient…

Picture this: You’ve fallen in love with a new vehicle, and settled on the price- only to find that credit is just so-so or your income doesn’t quite support the loan value, so you’re waiting for the dealership to get you approved. Unfortunately, this is what happens to so many Canadian buyers. At VIDrives we know there’s no worse feeling than having your heart set on a car and getting a negative answer.

In 2022, car shoppers don’t have to go through that cat-and-mouse of waiting and being disappointed. Automotive pre-approvals have changed the game for car buyers. Not only does a pre-approval reduce (or completely eliminate) the time you have to spend at the car dealership, but it empowers you to shop for your new car more confidently, and even save you money.

How does a car loan pre-approval work?

According to data analytics firm FICO, two out of every three Canadian car buyers look for financing when they’re vehicle shopping at a car dealership. For those who plan to take advantage of financing options, A car loan pre-approval is simply preparing for the process before settling on the vehicle or setting foot in the showroom.

The loan pre-approval process is more specific than just asking, “How much car can I afford?” Instead you’re saying, “I’m going to be looking for a new vehicle. What terms am I approved for so I can select a vehicle?” In that way, your pre-approval gets you much closer to taking a vehicle home- because it helps narrow down your search.


A pre-approval application is completed at home, typically online, and all the same steps of a car loan application are taken. Income is verified along with your credit score and debt-to-service ratio. Then, the lender delivers the estimated loan terms that you can use to make your vehicle selection. Typically this will include the total loan value, monthly or bi-weekly payment amount, loan term, and an estimated interest rate.


That’s great to know, but what are the benefits of being pre-approved for a car loan?

4 benefits to getting a pre-approval for your next car

  1. It focuses your attention on the right vehicles

    If you want to avoid the phone call saying, “you’ve been approved, but” then getting pre-approved is a good idea. If you don’t have the income to support the car you’ve chosen, and need to provide a bigger down payment. If you don’t have that, that means the car you’ve got your heart set on is out of reach. Without a strong credit history- you might not get approved at all.

    When you get a pre-approval you can more accurately shop for a vehicle. You’ll know up front the total price, your expected payment and where your interest rate should be. This helps you shop within your actual budget, or allows you time to save up for a down payment if you want something more expensive.
  2. It gives you access to the best available financing rates

    One of the most beneficial aspects of pre-approval is that it arms you with knowledge. When you know the interest rate you’ve been pre-approved for- you can shop more intelligently.

    For example, if a flawed credit history means that you’ve been pre-approved on a 60-month term. You’ve selected the perfect Truck for your needs and budget and you know what your interest rate will be. The Finance Manager might ask “would you like to go forward with your pre-approved financing, or I can see if I can get you a better rate?” You can say yes, and have the chance to get an even better deal- because with a pre-approval you aren’t locked into the deal until you’ve signed on the dotted line. Whether the Finance Manager comes back with a lower interest rate or not, you can be confident that you’ll be driving home in your new ride- with no unexpected surprises.
  3. It speeds up the process

    Patience is a virtue, but it isn’t one you should have to practice in the waiting area of a dealership when you’re ready to make a big and exciting purchase. If you decide against a pre-approval and walk straight onto a car lot, it’s going to take hours or even days longer before you finally take your vehicle home. After you fill out an application and head to the finance office, the approval process can take a very long time.

    The finance manager may need to call a few lenders to clarify conditional approvals while others will require documentation that might take you time- and trips to the bank to get your hands on. Getting approved instantly isn’t the norm, especially if you don’t have perfect credit.

    Armed with your pre-approval- you can usually expect to be driving your car home within a day- even the same day. No need to jump through hoops- because you’ve organized it all ahead of time.
  4. It can help you get approved, even with bad credit

    Getting pre-approved for a car loan is a great idea for anybody, but especially for those with no credit or bad credit. While traditional dealerships have access to low or zero interest loans from the manufacturer, they aren’t always equipped to help buyers with bad-or no credit. Getting pre-approved provides you with the best rates and terms for your specific credit situation- before you even step onto a car lot.

How can I get pre-approved?

VIDrives can help you get pre-approved (with no obligation) online, so you know exactly how much financing you can get before you start car shopping.
It only takes three minutes and works with all credit situations (including bad credit). This credit check will not harm your credit score, and you don’t need to do anything with the approval terms we send you.

Get Pre-Approved today!

buying a car from vidrives

The difference between purchasing a used car privately, at a dealership, and from VIDrives.

Buying a vehicle is a huge investment for anybody, so it’s important to find a seller that you can trust. If you’re looking for a used vehicle- you can choose to buy a vehicle from a dealership, a private seller, or online from VIDrives.
Choosing a private seller can save you some money on your purchase, but there’s no security in your new vehicle, On the other hand dealerships can be a scary, high pressure environment- that’s why VIDrives mission is to offer you the security of a car dealership- with the better value and freedom that comes with buying privately. Below- we’ll list 7 ways we make this happen.

VIDrives vs Traditional Dealerships Comparison Chart
A quick look at the difference between purchasing with ViDrives, Privately, and from a traditional Dealership.

1. Warranty

One thing a private seller can’t offer you is a vehicle warranty, if you’re lucky the vehicle may be new enough to have some remaining factory warranty- but this isn’t always transferrable. VIDrives offers warranty options on every vehicle we sell, and have many in stock with factory warranty included. For more information on the benefits of extended warranty options, check out this helpful guide: The benefits of purchasing a vehicle extended warranty.

2. Peace of Mind

How can you enjoy a road trip when you’re worried about breakdowns and expensive repairs?

When you buy a vehicle from VIDrives, you know the vehicle is going to meet safety standards and not have any hidden defects. All of our vehicles go through a comprehensive 151 point inspection and are repaired if necessary, with an included Carfax report so you can see the vehicle’s history and condition for yourself, even if you’re not a mechanic. If you buy privately, there’s nobody holding the seller accountable for quality standards, and no protection for you even if it breaks down in the first week.

3. Better Price

savings

Generally speaking you may be able to find the same vehicle slightly cheaper from a private seller- because dealerships have more overhead costs that they need to cover, so they’ll need to make a higher profit than a private seller would. VIDrives is an online based business- which helps us to keep overhead costs low, and our prices fair which helps you get a better deal than you would at a traditional car dealership.

4. Financial Flexibility

payment schedule image

If you’re buying from a private seller, you’ll usually need to pay the full value of the vehicle up front, if you don’t want to lose your hard earned savings to buy a vehicle privately, or don’t have that kind of cash- you’d have to secure a loan from a third party, often at a high interest rate. VIDrives specializes in financing for any credit situation. We work with over 30 lender partners, and have access to the same subvented rates that many dealers boast, so that we can get our customers the lowest possible interest rate, and affordable payments to make sure your deal works for you.

VIDrives also offers a Lifetime Oil Change Program which means you won’t pay for an oil change while you own your vehicle. This is an optional extra so make sure to ask your financial specialist for details.

For a more detailed look at credit and financing section of our blog.

5. More Options

Illusion of Choice
Many options can be deceptive when the majority are inaccessible and the remainder may be unappealling

Private sellers usually only have 1 vehicle available for sale, so when you’re shopping you may have to meet up with countless strangers, only to be disappointed in the vehicle or find that the seller makes you feel uncomfortable.

Where many dealerships offer the illusion of choice. When you drive into a dealership you’re often overwhelmed by the number of vehicles, and spend time looking at each one until you find one you just have to have! The only problem is that many of these choices aren’t real. The vehicle might be sold, out of your budget, doesn’t work for your lifestyle, or worst of all 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥.

VIDrives offers real choices, That’s why start with a questionnaire to find out your budget, and what types of vehicles you’re actually interested in, then present you with options that already work for you, and expand from there.

6. Trade-In Options

Another advantage of buying a pre-owned vehicle from VIDrives is that we offer the ability to trade-in your vehicle- which helps to lower the costs of your new vehicle, in BC you’ll only pay tax on the difference in value from your trade-in and the new vehicle. If you’re buying from a private seller, you’ll likely need to sell your vehicle before buying a new one, this can take time and leave you without transportation for weeks.

This can also present more obstacles for those who are still paying off their current vehicle with the difficulty of contacting lenders and dealerships to find out just how much you owe- and when things like negative equity come into play.


7. Transparency

Dealerships are notorious for hidden fees and evasive answers to simple questions.

Buying from a dealership can be overwhelming, between dealing with so many people, salespeople who can’t answer your questions and the hidden fees dealerships are notorious for.

Choosing a private seller is a fairly straightforward process, you find out about the vehicle, set a time to meet and view the vehicle, and you’re dealing with the same person for the entire process and when you agree to a price- that’s the price you’ll get.

At VIDrives, your financial specialist will work with you to find the right vehicle, get you approved, help you select payments, and finalize your deal. We take great care to ensure the whole process is easy and transparent, without hidden fees or misinformation.

8. Buy from home

Private sellers and dealerships require you to come to them, this can be an obstacle if you don’t have reliable transportation or live far away. It can be difficult to coordinate between your schedule, the seller’s schedule, public transit schedules, and friends and family who help you get around. Private sellers may not have their vehicle’s insured, so you may need to find a ride to their home, to get insurance, to the bank and back all over again. Dealerships in your area may not have what you’re looking for and may require multiple visits before you can take your new vehicle home.


That’s why VIDrives offers the option to do the whole deal, right from your home, on your schedule. We’ll find your vehicle, offer a virtual test drive, find you payment options, and communicate with you securely online or on the phone. Once you choose the vehicle, and payment that works for you we’ll deliver it for free right to your door, anywhere on Vancouver Island. If you’re trading in, we’ll pick up your trade at the same time.

Shopping for a new vehicle?

If you’re looking to buy a car, there’s no better place to start than here. Fill out our short application form and get approved for vehicle financing in minutes!

The Benefits of Purchasing a Vehicle Extended Warranty

Vehicle repairs can be pricy, and unexpected repairs can be difficult to budget for, especially if you’re making payments on a car loan. Many Canadian drivers who used to be able to take care of repairs themselves or with the help of car savvy friends and family find that with modern vehicles are becoming more and more automated options like these are often out of their depth.

When you purchase a new vehicle, expensive repairs like these are covered by your factory warranty, but what happens when that warranty expires, or you chose a pre-owned vehicle? That’s why extended warranty is an excellent option to consider when you’re shopping for your next new or used ride. Below we’ll highlight some of the benefits of purchasing an extended warranty for your vehicle.

1. Huge Potential For Savings

While many people claim that car warranties are overpriced, there is no denying that if you run into a serious mechanical problem, a warranty can save you thousands of dollars- Especially on vehicle’s with expensive parts. For example- the average cost of a cylinder head on a 3 Series BMW costs more than $10,000 costing way more than any warranty, where vehicles which are cheaper to repair- the costs add up and make a warranty more than pay for itself.

2. Peace of Mind

The second benefit to opting for a car warranty is that you’re able to have peace of mind. Without a car warranty, it’s always stressful seeing the engine light go on and knowing that this could potentially cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to repair. When you have coverage, you don’t need to stress about seeing an engine light go on or an occasional visit to the mechanic shop.

3. The Extra Perks

Not only are car warranties great for peace of mind and savings, but they commonly also have hidden perks. While this is dependent on the car warranty you buy, many of them come with roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and towing. This adds a ton of value as you don’t need to pay an additional monthly or annual fee for a roadside assistance company like BCAA. The second perk to car warranties is that unless you buy an extended warranty from the manufacturer, you’re able to get your vehicle repaired at most mechanic shops.

4. Higher Resale Value

The last benefit of opting for a car warranty is that if you decide to sell the car within its warranty period, you’ll be able to get more money for the vehicle. Most car warranties are transferable for a small fee and now the new owner has peace of mind that the car they just bought is covered in case of any potential issues.

In the end, whether or not you decide to buy a car warranty is up to you, but we think these four benefits are well worth the extra cash- especially if it means only a couple extra dollars on your car payment.

Every New and Pre-Owned Vehicle from VIDrives has extended warranty options available.

Get Pre-Approved today and start driving with ease of mind.

Does owning a PHEV actually save you money?

With fuel prices rising, and 21 PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles) models currently being made, and sold in Canada many drivers have started considering making the switch to a greener vehicle- even if they aren’t ready to go fully electric for range and affordability concerns. 

While Plug-In Hybrids are typically priced much more competitively than Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) they still come with a higher MSRP than traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs). So does the fuel savings really pay for itself? 

We took a look at the most popular PHEV on the market in Canada today: 

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and compared it to its Gasoline counterpart the Mitsubishi Outlander to check out the difference.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE S-AWC MSRP $34,648.00

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE S-AWC CVT starts at an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $34,648.00 and gets a combined fuel economy of 8.9 L/100km (city 9.7 L/100km, highway 8.9 L/100km)

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE S-AWC MSRP $44,198.00

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SE S-AWC starts at an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $44,198.00 and gets a fuel economy equivalent of 3.18L /100km

With the average Vancouver Island driver travelling 25000km per year in their vehicle- assuming the price of gas stays around $1.99 per liter- you’ll spend $1582.04 on fuel in a year driving the PHEV (with overnight home charging) compared to $4427.73 driving the Gasoline Outlander. That’s a difference of $2845.00 each year.

What that means for cash buyers is that it will take 4 years of driving to make up the difference in MSRP in fuel savings- provided you don’t take advantage of federal iZEV incentives or provincial rebates – which could cut this time in half.

For finance buyers this could save you money in the first year, while the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SE S-AWC starts at $315.38 biweekly for 84 months at 2.99% and the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE S-AWC CVT at $263.25 biweekly for 84 months at 4.5%- in a year (including fuel) you’ll spend $11,272.23 driving the ICE Outlander compared to $9781.92 in the PHEV.

Assuming you keep your vehicle for the duration of your financing the PHEV will have saved you almost $20,000 dollars in fuel (spending $11,074.30 with the PHEV and $30,994.12 on the Gasoline only)

No matter what type of vehicle you’re shopping for, VIDrives has options that will work for your lifestyle, needs and budget- with a team to help you every step of the way to make the process easy. Get Pre-Approved today and get driving tomorrow.