Category Archives: Credit and Financing

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.

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!

Monthly, Semi-Monthly and Bi-Weekly- what is the difference?

There are 3 main types of payment schedules: 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐥𝐲, 𝐒𝐞𝐦𝐢-𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐥𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐢-𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐥𝐲 and it’s hard to know which type work’s best for you!

Choosing a payment schedule that doesn’t work for you can leave you with little room in your budget to enjoy your life, or lead to missed payments and ruin your credit.

That’s why VIDrives works with you to find the best financing solution so you can get into a great car, without being Car Poor!

What are my payment schedule options?

VIDrives partners with lenders who offer Bi-Weekly, Monthly, and Semi-Monthly Payments.

Our financial specialists are available to help you find a payment, and a schedule that works with your other bills.

What is a Bi-Weekly payment?

Bi-Weekly payments are made every two weeks, for a total of 26 payments per year- which is the same as 1 extra monthly payment or 2 extra semi-monthly payments per year.

These extra payments mean that you’ll pay off your vehicle faster, and pay less interest over the duration of the loan- as these extra payments are applied directly to the principal.

Additionally, these payments are generally lower, as there are more of them per year.

What is a Monthly payment?

A monthly payment schedule is exactly what it sounds like. One payment is made each month, usually on the same date. Twelve payments are made per year.

What is a Semi-Monthly Payment?

Semi-Monthly usually means that two payments are made each month. Many people stick with the traditional 1st and 15th of the month- but it’s possible to choose other dates if they make more sense for you financially. Twenty four payments are made per year.

Should I choose Bi-Weekly or Semi-Monthly?

Semi Monthly payments might work better for someone who is paid Semi-Monthly. That way you would make your payments on the same day’s you get paid, instead of having to make multiple payments on the same cheque.

If you’re paid Bi-Weekly, you can set up your payments to come out the same day as your paycheques come in- and this structure of payments may work better for you.

Should I choose a Monthly Payment Schedule?

Monthly payments might work best for someone who is working around other payments schedules. For example, if your bills all come out on the same day, you may not be left with much money to get through to your next paycheque- so a monthly payment that comes out on the 15th, instead of the 1st might work best for you.

Get pre-approved and start driving 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%.