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Car Shopping in Kelowna: Dealerships, Auctions, New & Used

Posted on February 7th, 2024 in Things to Do in Kelowna

While commonly known as a vacation destination, Kelowna is also a prime spot for shopping in the central interior, especially for those in pursuit of their next vehicle. Whether you’re seeking the latest models from reputable dealerships or exploring options available through auctions and private sales, our city offers a variety of options. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different avenues for car shopping, covering dealerships, auctions, new and used cars, and everything in between.

Your Home Base for Car Shopping

With so many options to choose from, consider making The Shore Kelowna your temporary home base while you look around. Nestled conveniently in town, it provides an ideal blend of comfort and accessibility. The Shore’s prime location sets the stage for a seamless car shopping experience and ensures you have a tranquil place to unwind after a long day. Plus, there’s quick access to transit lines if you don’t have a vehicle. 

Personalize Your Car Search

Before diving in, there are a few things to think about to get you ready for your big purchase. 

  • Gather information about the make and models you’re interested in.
  • Check reviews and ratings from reliable sources.
  • Determine your budget, including potential financing or leasing costs.
  • Factor in additional expenses like insurance, maintenance, and registration.
  • Get pre-approved for a car loan to understand your financial boundaries.
  • Identify your must-have features and preferences in a car – things such as whether you want gas or electric, air conditioning for the summer and remote starters or heated seats for the winter.
  • Consider your lifestyle and the purpose of the vehicle.

Once you have these things figured out, it’ll be a lot easier to tailor your search to your specific requirements to ensure you find a vehicle that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

New vs Used

a used orange-red mustang parked alongside a driveway

When considering new or used cars, evaluate your priorities. New cars offer the latest features and warranties, while used cars often come at a more budget-friendly price. 

Kelowna’s dealerships cater to a diverse clientele, offering both luxury and budget-friendly options. Whether you’re dreaming of a sleek, high-end vehicle or seeking practicality on a budget, Kelowna’s automotive landscape has something for everyone.

When venturing into the used car market, consider factors such as the car’s history, previous usage, and availability of parts. Investigate where the vehicle has primarily been driven, especially crucial in regions like Kelowna with varying weather conditions. Doing so ensures you make an informed decision that aligns with your expectations and needs.

Finding Your Next Vehicle

There are a few different places and ways to purchase your next vehicle. Let’s explore what they are and some pros and cons to keep in mind about each. 

Car Auctions

Car auctions can be an exhilarating experience for those seeking a great deal. Here in Canada, various auctions take place online and in-person. The allure lies in the potential for scoring a vehicle at a lower price than the market value. However, it’s essential to tread carefully.

Pros:

  • Auctions can offer vehicles at prices lower than retail.
  • You might find a wide range of makes and models.

Cons:

  • You might not have sufficient time to thoroughly inspect the vehicle.
  • The excitement of bidding might lead to paying more than intended.

Private Sales

Buying from a private seller is like making a deal with a neighbour. It’s a more personal experience, but it comes with its own set of considerations:

Pros:

  • Private sales often allow for more flexibility in negotiating the price.
  • Sellers may be more motivated to sell quickly, offering a chance for a better deal.

Cons:

  • Private sales may lack the legal safeguards provided by dealerships.
  • Private sales typically come “as is,” leaving you responsible for any post-purchase issues.

Dealerships

For a seamless and comprehensive car-buying experience, dealerships are a popular choice among Canadians. They provide a range of services, but it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Dealerships often offer warranties and comprehensive after-sales services.
  • You can choose from new, certified pre-owned, and used vehicles.
  • Dealerships provide financing options, making it easier to manage payments.

Cons:

  • Generally, vehicles at dealerships come with a higher price tag.
  • The prices may be less flexible compared to private sales.

Kelowna Car Dealership Options

new cars lined up at a BMW car dealership

Kelowna boasts a range of reputable dealerships, each catering to diverse preferences and needs. From iconic brands to more budget-friendly options, the city’s dealerships showcase a spectrum of new and used cars. Whether you’re eyeing the latest models or considering a well-maintained used vehicle, Kelowna’s dealerships have you covered.

For the adventurers

These dealerships offer great vehicle options for those that want to get off the beaten track. Splurge on the latest and greatest or find a second-hand one on the lot to start you on your journey. 

Kelowna Toyota 
1624 Cary Rd, Kelowna, BC
18 min (8.8 km) drive from The Shore

Kelowna Ford 
2250 Enterprise Way, Kelowna, BC
13 min (6.2 km) drive from The Shore

Kelowna Nissan
2741 BC-97, Kelowna, BC
19 min (8.6 km) drive from The Shore

For the luxury hunters

Treat yourself to a top of the line luxury vehicle with all the latest features at one of these dealerships. 

BMW Kelowna
2530 Enterprise Way, Kelowna, BC
15 min (7 km) drive from The Shore

Bannister Cadillac Kelowna
2727 BC-97, Kelowna, BC
18 min (8.4 km) drive from The Shore

Affordable and reliable

These dealerships offer vehicles that are efficient, reliable, and comfortable. Great for families, starter drivers, and newlyweds. 

Kelowna Chevrolet 
2350 BC-97, Kelowna, BC
14 min (6.5 km) drive from The Shore

Hyundai Kelowna
1638 Cary Rd, Kelowna, BC
17 min (7.9 km) drive from The Shore

Mazda Kelowna
2560 Enterprise Way, Kelowna, BC
16 min (7.1 km) drive from The Shore

Ready, Set, Check

Now that you’ve narrowed down your vehicle and maybe have even found the place you’re going to buy it from, here’s a great checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.  

  • Obtain a comprehensive vehicle history report to uncover any potential issues.
  • Schedule test drives to get a feel for how the car handles. Pay attention to comfort, visibility, and overall driving experience.
  • Have a trusted mechanic inspect the car for any hidden problems.
  • Compare prices from different sellers or dealerships to ensure a fair deal.
  • Be prepared to negotiate the price, and don’t hesitate to walk away if needed.
  • Get insurance quotes for the specific make and model to estimate ongoing expenses.
  • Familiarize yourself with the warranty coverage and return policies.
  • Carefully review the sales contract, ensuring you understand all terms and conditions.
  • Research the expected depreciation of the car to gauge its long-term value.
  • Budget for maintenance, repairs, and potential upgrades after the purchase.
  • If something feels off or uncomfortable during the process, take the time to reassess.

Community, Cars and Culture

car owners standing around classic cars at a car show

Kelowna’s vibrant automotive community often comes together through various car events and shows. Prominent shows throughout the summer include the Show and Shine on Bernard, the Kelowna Car Show, and the Euro Car Event. Keep an eye on local listings for opportunities to engage with fellow car enthusiasts, explore unique vehicles, and even gain insights into the latest automotive trends.

Enjoying Your Time at the Shore

Buying a new (or new-to-you) car is very exciting and a big decision. Kelowna, with its scenic beauty and expansive offering, is the perfect place to look for a new car. And we want to be there to support you with a place to stay while you’re on this journey. Each suite at the Shore offers amenities built for comfort – from a  full modern kitchen to in-suite laundry, keyless entry, and more. Make sure to check out our post on where the best spots to keep you caffeinated are while shopping and once your day is done, there are a few patios, dinner options, and desserts to relax with while you think about your vehicle options. 


Explore our suites and book your stay today!

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