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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!

Debt Consolidation FAQs

Debt consolidation can be an excellent way to pay off high interest debt, improve your credit score, and help save you money!

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation refers to the act of taking out a new loan to pay off other liabilities and consumer debts, usually with more favourable terms such as a lower payment, lower interest rate- or both!

How can I get a lower payment and interest rate if I’m taking out a bigger loan?

If you’ve been paying off higher interest loans and debts for a while, your credit score has likely improved- and finance rates are lower now than they’ve been in recent years- making it an excellent time to take advantage of financing.

What can I use debt consolidation for?

Debt consolidation can be used as a tool to deal with a great deal of debts- Primary examples include student loan debt, credit cards, and other liabilities.

How can I consolidate my debt?

There are a few ways to consolidate your debt, but VIDrives recommends doing it with a vehicle loan. An auto loan is a secured consolidation which makes it easier to obtain, and allows you access to lower interest rates, lower payments, and longer terms- which allows you to pay off your debts sooner. Either by dropping your payment and allowing more of your income to go towards paying off debts, or a lower interest rate- allowing more of your payment to go toward the principal of your debt.

To help understand your debt better- check out other posts on

Credit FAQ’s

𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀? 𝗩𝗜𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱!
𝗪𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘀𝘄𝗲𝗿𝘀 (𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀) 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁!

What is Credit?

Credit is the ability to borrow money or access goods or services with the understanding that you’ll pay later.

Lenders, merchants and service providers (known collectively as creditors) grant credit based on their confidence you can be trusted to pay back what you borrowed, along with any finance charges that may apply.

What does my credit score mean?

Creditors often use a three-digit number known as a credit score as the first step in deciding whether or not to issue credit.

Your credit score distills the information on your credit reports to something that’s easy to interpret, and does so in a fair way that minimizes the possibility of bias.

What is in my credit report?

Information in your credit report includes:

  • The number of credit card accounts you have, their borrowing limits and current outstanding balances
  • The amounts of any loans you’ve taken out and how much of them you’ve paid back
  • Monthly payments for your accounts were made on time, late or missed altogether
  • More severe financial setbacks (ie. mortgage foreclosures, car repossessions and bankruptcies)

Why do I need credit?

  • To borrow money for major purchases, such as a car or a home.
  • Landlords may check your credit when deciding if they’ll rent you an apartment.
  • Insurance companies may use your credit score as a factor in determining your premiums.
  • Utility companies may check your credit before deciding to let you open an account or borrow equipment.

How can I build my credit?

To start building credit you’ll need to get your first credit card, line of credit, or loan. Once you’ve done this.

  • always make your payments on time
  • make at least the minimum payment if you can’t pay the full amount that you owe
  • contact the lender right away if you think you’ll have trouble paying a bill
  • don’t skip a payment even if a bill is in dispute

For more information on how to build your credit- check out our post 5 ways to build your credit at home.

What if I have Bad Credit, or No Credit?

No problem! At VIDrives our goal is to get you approved to finance a vehicle at the best interest rate possible- Regardless of Credit Score.

We also offer credit rebuild and credit building programs as multistep programs.

Visit us at to learn more.

5 Ways to improve your credit

Credit can be confusing, at VIDrives it is our goal to help our customers to empower our customers with information and the tools to improve their credit- while driving an amazing vehicle.

Here are some quick tips to help you increase your credit score on your own!

𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁

The only way to build up a credit score is to prove to lenders that you’re responsible and capable of paying back credit is to make sure you’re actively using a product of credit. This can be a credit card, line of credit, car payment, or a secured credit builder loan to name a few.

Keep your credit utilization around 30%

Being mindful about the amount of your credit utilized is the fastest way to improve your credit-

Your Credit Utilization Ratio makes up 30% of your Credit Score. Credit utilization ratio is the percent of your revolving credit that you have used on your credit card or line of credit. A maxed-out credit card would have credit utilization of 100%.

Minivan or SUV?

Minivan vs. SUV: the decision has haunted families for nearly a quarter-century. Each vehicle type has its perks and drawbacks, which is why an in-depth analysis of features (both standard and optional) becomes all the more necessary when choosing the best option for you. To help make the decision a little easier, this guide breaks down the main features to consider along with the best vehicle for different types of buyer.

Both vehicles can be comparable for passenger capacity, fuel economy, and comfortability– so what are the major differences?



👉Cheaper on Average

Generally, minivans — especially used models — tend to cost thousands less than SUVs on average. That’s not to say minivans can’t put a bite into your wallet. Fully loaded minivans with options such as an entertainment system, heated driver’s seat, and leather can easily go toe-to-toe with SUVs on pricing. Although the average minivan costs less (at least at the base model), watch out for those expensive features that can make the price skyrocket.

Conversely, SUVs have so many more options that finding one to fit your budget is an easier venture. Although more affordable models may not have the roominess of a minivan, they can still seat seven passengers while offering many of the same interior specs. And with a vast array of engine choices, 4WD or AWD, and perhaps a clear edge in styling, budget SUVs are becoming more popular with consumers.

👉More Cargo Space

If you have to grocery shop for a big family or you’re a perennial do-it-yourself homeowner, the minivan gives you more space for everything. The generous amount of space in a minivan lies not only in the large cargo area behind the third seat but also on the lower floors, which increases the amount of cubic feet you can accommodate. And when you throw in foldable second-row and third-row seats and stow-and-go seating, you have the versatility to fit just about anything, no matter how bulky.

The proverbial icing on the cake is dual sliding doors, which allow you to place cargo just how you want it. Plus, many minivans made within the last five years come with a standard or optional power liftgate. At the touch of a button, you can open the rear even if your hands are full of groceries, home improvement supplies, or kids.

If you don’t see yourself as a minivan owner but still want loads of cargo capacity, look for the Chevy Suburban large SUV. With 144 cubic feet of cargo space, the Suburban’s capacity eclipses even the most sizable minivan — the Chrysler Pacifica. 


👉Lower Tow Ratings (on average)

Typically, the most towing power you’ll get out of a minivan is 3,500 pounds. Conversely, the Ford Expedition can tow up to 9,300 pounds, rivaling even heavy-duty trucks.

👉Fewer options

There are only a few options for minivans available for Canadian drivers right now, The Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival. Where nearly every manufacturer offers a few options for SUVs- with different specifications to meet your needs.


👉More choices (more models, drivetrains, and engine types available)

Sometimes, front-wheel drive or two-wheel drive just won’t cut it in the harsh Canadian winter, even with excellent winter tires. You need the rugged abilities of four-wheel drive (4WD) or the tough-weather grip of all-wheel drive (AWD). Until 2021, the Toyota Sienna was the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive when it was joined by the Chrysler Pacifica. This ushered in a new era of powertrain options for minivans, but the SUV still reigns supreme.

SUVs offer all three drivetrains on various trims, allowing you to choose between a commuter vehicle or a beast that can overcome insurmountable terrain thanks to either all AWD and 4WD. Moreover, compact, midsize, and large SUVs all tend to offer AWD or 4WD, giving you more choices for your style, needs, and budget.

Additionally, many SUVs now come with hybrid powertrains to appease the planet-saving force within you. The versatile Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers 7.8L/100km while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV boasts an all-electric range of up to 35 kilometers.

Other SUVs offer numerous gas-powered options that can provide straight-up power, more fuel efficiency, or a balance between the two. Several SUVs offer multiple powertrain options– like the Mistubishi outlander- available with a traditional Internal Combustion Engine, and a Plug-In Hybrid.

👉Better safety features on average

Every new vehicle in Canada has to go through a safety test administered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Rated on a scale from one to five stars, this rating determines how safe a vehicle is. Based on this test, SUVs and minivans — on average — tend to fare the same.

As such, the real comparison comes down to safety features. While both vehicle types offer a comprehensive array of active (via camera and radar) and passive (air bags and traction control) safety features, SUVs typically have more to offer in terms of the breadth of their advanced safety systems.

👉Better Towing capacity on average

Whether you love to go off-road or need a workhorse to tow a camper or trailer, SUVs have the advantage. Unlike minivans, automakers manufacture SUVs to come in more specialized models. For example, the Ford Explorer pairs seven seats with the capability for off-roading thanks to higher ground clearance and larger tires while the Chevrolet Suburban offers brawn and raw power behind a 6.2-liter V-8.

The real advantage that SUVs have over minivans is that nearly all of them (crossovers aside) have superior towing capabilities.

👉Less cargo space on average

As mentioned above, minivans are often better equipped for storage solutions- with a few notable exceptions. If you opt for a minivan- you’ll still have plenty of room for grocery runs, sporting equipment etc. but for camping and longer road trips- you may want to look into additional storage accessories such as a rooftop cargo box, traditional roof racks, or bike racks.

👉Less legroom on average

Until about a decade ago, minivans always had more space for passengers, as they were designed for burgeoning families and practicality. But the popularity of SUVs for families continued to soar. To keep up with demand, manufacturers threw in an additional third row or rear seats. 

Although SUVs don’t offer the same amount of legroom, headroom, or shoulder room in their rows of seats, they can reasonably accommodate up to seven or eight passengers. Now, with the added versatility of different luxury features, sales of three-row SUVs continue to grow.

Most standard minivans without any options can haul seven passengers with the base model. But most consumers opt for the slightly nicer trims, which all tend to accommodate eight passengers with the notable exception of the Dodge Grand Caravan. However, most minivans come with second-row captain’s chairs, providing extra comfort for kids and passengers during road trips.

Whether you’re looking for an SUV or a minivan, VIDrives can help you find the best deal for you, your lifestyle, and your budget!

Get pre-approved today at

VIDrives Top 6 Road Trip Tips!

Vancouver Island Road Trip Ideas


𝗩𝗜𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗥𝗢𝗔𝗗 𝗧𝗥𝗜𝗣 𝗧𝗜𝗣𝗦! 🛣🚗

One of the best things about driving a car that you love is where it can take you and your loved ones, and with so many amazing places to visit on beautiful Vancouver Island, Who can resist a good road trip. 

There is no denying that the lure of the road is undeniable and probably eternal; it almost seems embedded in our very makeup. There is a richness to traversing the land an inch at a time that is absent from the experience of climbing into a metal canister and climbing out at your destination. To get the most of your experience, don’t miss these road trip tips.

𝘁𝗶𝗽 #𝟭: 𝗖𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗽

Your vehicle is a small space, and it can feel even more cramped when it’s full of luggage, more people than usual, and garbage- don’t worry, you can keep your hoard of extra condiments and napkins in the glove box.

𝘁𝗶𝗽 #𝟮: 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘃𝗲𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗽 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆

Nothing puts a damper on a road trip like your vehicle breaking down, so make sure to have your mechanic check your vehicle’s fluid levels, brakes, tires and anything else that can cause problems. 


Be sure that your spare tire is fully inflated and that you have jumper cables and extra wiper fluid on hand!

𝘁𝗶𝗽 #𝟯: 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗥𝗼𝗮𝗱𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲

Your mechanical inspection will help to prevent breakdowns, but you never know what could happen! Having an 800-Number that immediately connects you to local tow services, mechanics and assistance will save you a lot of hassle. 

There are roadside assistance packages available on every vehicle from ask your Financial Specialist for details! 

𝘁𝗶𝗽 #𝟰: 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗿𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗲

You don’t need a down to the minute itinerary, but make sure you have directions ready, and know where you can stop for gas, for food, to sleep, and local attractions you’d like to check out!

𝘁𝗶𝗽 #𝟱: 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗲

Driving can be tiring, so be sure to make a schedule with your road trip companions to take turns driving, navigating, picking music, providing snacks etc.

𝘁𝗶𝗽 #𝟲: 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆

Driving can be tiring, so be sure to make a schedule with your road trip companions to take turns driving, navigating, picking music, providing snacks etc.


Now that you’re road trip ready visit our Instagram for weekly road trip recommendations. 

𝙍𝙤𝙖𝙙 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙥𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙛𝙪𝙣 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙫𝙚𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙡𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚, 𝙂𝙚𝙩 𝙋𝙧𝙚-𝘼𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙙𝙧𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙯𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙫𝙚𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙬 𝙖𝙩