Canada Drives Review: Read This Before Signing a Deal  

Our trusty 2011 Honda Pilot Touring had hit the 300K kilometre mark, signalling it was time for an upgrade. A visit to the mechanic for an electrical fix was the nudge we needed to start our quest for a new family vehicle.

Scanning traditional platforms like Kijiji and AutoTrader revealed a market impacted by inflation, offering a few options below a hefty $35K. Our beloved Pilot led the pack, but we eyed a 2016 model on Canada Drives that caught our attention at less than $30,000.

The 2016 Pilot, part of the third generation with revamped features, beckoned us. With advanced safety tech, improved fuel efficiency, and a sleeker design, it seemed like a worthy successor. The allure of true all-wheel drive, a more robust engine, and modern amenities sealed the deal.

Discovering Canada Drives

Google’s search results led us to Canada Drives, and their listing seemed promising.

As an online auto retailer, they claimed to offer a stress-free, no-hassle buying experience. 

The 2016 Pilot’s price and features looked right, and we were ready to test the waters of digital car shopping.

The Application and Financing Adventure

Fueled by curiosity and convenience, we delved into the pre-sale process on Canada Drives. Here’s a rundown:

  • Online Application: The application was a series of quick and easy forms, completed in minutes.
  • Transparent Financing: The financing options were clear, and we could choose between their partner or our bank.
  • Omnichannel Communication: Canada Drives used various channels like email, SMS, and phone calls, providing flexibility in communication.

Trade-In Tussles and Agreement Finalization

Our 2011 Pilot became a bargaining chip. Here’s what went down:

  • Trade-In Evaluation: Submitting photos of our trade-in initiated the evaluation process, but the offered amount was lower than expected.
  • Negotiation: After negotiations, we managed to increase the trade-in value, aligning it with our expectations.
  • Agreement Finalization: Docusign made finalizing the agreement a smooth process, with the option to connect directly to our bank for pre-authorized payments.

The Long Wait for the New Ride

With excitement building, the delivery process took an unexpected turn:

  • Transportation Delay: A delay in transporting the Pilot to Alberta created some anxiety, but a helpful agent, John, stepped in to resolve the issue.
  • Proactive Communication Lacking: The lack of proactive updates during the delay left us wishing for more communication on the fulfillment progress.

Pickup Drama and the Final Stretch

The day finally arrived for the pickup, but it came with its own set of surprises:

  • Trade-In Reassessment: A rusted-through hole in our trade-in led to a reassessment and a reduced trade-in value.
  • Negotiation Redux: Negotiating back a portion of the reduction and settling the difference on our credit card was a last-minute challenge.
  • Keys in Hand: After a 1.5-hour saga, we finally got the keys (or fobs) to our 2016 Honda Pilot Touring, ready to drive it home.

Post-Delivery Reflections

Despite the hiccups, the overall experience had its merits:

  • Mechanic Approval: Our mechanic’s positive evaluation of the new Pilot and our trade-in value reassured us about the purchase.
  • Fair Value: Despite the trade-in setbacks, we felt we received fair value for both the new and old vehicles.
  • Room for Improvement: While the upper funnel experience was commendable, more intentional communication during fulfillment could have smoothed out the process.

Pros and Cons of Canada Drives


  • Easy-to-Use Website: Navigating their website was a breeze, providing all the details about the vehicle and the purchasing process.
  • Transparent Pricing: The listed price seemed competitive and came with the promise of no haggling, making the process straightforward.
  • Certified Pre-Owned Assurance: Canada Drives sells certified pre-owned vehicles, giving us some peace of mind about the Pilot’s condition.
  • Competitive Financing Options: The financing process is transparent, and customers have the option to choose between the dealership’s partner financing or their own bank, adding flexibility to the financing process.
  • 7-Day/500 km Test Window: They offer a 7-day/500 km window for customers to test their new vehicle, with the option to return it for an almost full refund, providing a risk-free trial period.


  • Poor tracking system: The online order tracking system lacks functional value and integrated notifications, diminishing the overall online buying experience.
  • Proactive Communication Post-Sale The dealership falls short in providing proactive updates during the fulfillment process, leaving us frustrated
  • Delays in Delivery: You may experience delays in your vehicle delivery without notice.
  • Extended Trade-In Process: The trade-in reassessment and negotiation added complexity and time to the vehicle pickup process.
  • Communication Gap Post-Delivery: After the initial text message and a survey request, there’s a lack of ongoing communication,  leaving us disconnected post-delivery.

Is Canada Drives Legit?

Yes, Canada Drives is a legitimate company as it has helped over one million Canadians obtain car loans or sell their cars since 2011.

The company is registered and regulated in all the locations it operates in Canada.

In addition, Canada Drives was recognized in 2019 as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte.

However, as with any financial or online transaction, it’s essential to exercise due diligence when dealing with Canada Drives.

Reading reviews, understanding the terms and conditions, and being aware of the specific services offered by Canada Drives can help you make informed decisions. 

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