Since you can buy pretty much everything at Walmart, why not a used car? Yes, Walmart is now in the car business. It started last year in the U.S. with 14 locations in Dallas, Houston and Phoenix and went so well, it’s now rolled out to 250 stores. It’s called Carsaver and lets you buy at an instore kiosk, a downloaded app or a dedicated website at carsaver.com
Walmart’s Carsaver doesn’t actually compete with used car dealers since you take delivery at the dealership. But they do claim to save buyers $3,500 and another $3,900 with their lifetime no mileage restriction powertrain warranty. Let’s hope that something else that starts in the U.S. and does come to Canada.
Private used car purchasers: If you’re thinking of buying a used car in the next year, you need to know a warning from the Better Business Bureau. Hurricane flooded cars from Texas are showing up in Canada. You should, in any case, but now have to, get it inspected by a mechanic before paying for it. After the fact, when you need an out of province inspection anyway in order to register it, it’s too late and you’re out the money. A shortcut would be to pay the out of province inspection before buying and use it as your indicator of whether to buy or not. It’ll save you one step and a few bucks.
At a gas station in the US? Finally a tip I needed years ago. It would have avoided me getting a real U.S. credit card. At almost every gas station, pay at the pump requires you to enter your Zip code as a security measure. Well, us Canadians don’t have one. That means you’re going inside to pre-authorize, then gas, then back in to get your receipt for the actual total to make sure they don’t cash the full pre-authorized amount. But there’s a trick you can try that I’m told solves that: When asked for the Zip code, enter: 23400. Apparently that tells the system you’re a Canadian and that you’re good for the charge!