Cars are CHEAP in Canada! How The Used Car Garage Business is Conducted!On February 4, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
There cannot be anything better than opening your own business in Canada. You have to pay all the taxes but the ease of doing business here is off the charts. Paaji has a wide selection of cars. For instance, here’s a Nissan. Over there is a Honda City. Which year make/model is it? Let’s check it out. So I had this thing in my mind for quite sometime. That I’d start something of my own before I turn 50. My inclination was towards a used car sale business. But the property I got had a garage as well. So I ended up with you know, since they are used cars, one also needs a garage. Okay. So you started buying old cars, repairing them and selling them. That’s right yeah. So while doing that you also started your garage. In a garage, you often have good days, there are people visiting you everyday for service. In case of car sales, you might have to book appointments, but there’s no saying if someone comes or not. Okay friends, so the next day has begun. Ottawa has started to get chilly by the day. As October goes by, it will get colder. It’s been quite foggy here for the past 2 days. Still, overall the weather is quite pleasant. It’s not that cold, but, you feel chilly even at home. In this video, we’ll go get our car serviced as its overdue. I drove an additional 3000-4000km, that’s my fault. Sorry, I meant 300-400km. Now I’m heading to get it serviced from Sardarji Mr. Devsharan, Paaji, from whom I bought this car. They have a workshop here. They also sell and purchase used cars. So they also keep second hand cars for sale. So we’ll get an idea of all the thing including the types of cars available, their prices, the taxes that needs to be paid. We’ll also learn about the ins and outs of a car service business including the operational costs and licenses. We’ll learn all this and more in today and tomorrow’s videos. Let’s go. We have reached Napa AutoPro. Now let’s see how long we will have to wait to get this serviced. After that, we’ll also enquire the rates of the cars they have. I saw a SUV-type Lexus as well. Let’s check with them. Parked behind me is Dodge Grand Caravan. It’s the Canadian version of van or Innova. My car was parked beside the Dodge Caravan and the mechanic will first go on a test run to check for problems. Then I started eyeing the cars that were on sale. One of these cars in the front was a Mercedes. Which car is this? ML350. This is ML350? Yes. 2010 model with 1,00,000 kilometers. Such a car can be bought in under 10 lakh rupees here. We heard Mr. Devsharan Paaji approaching, who owns this garage. As we finished our talk, I saw the car was back from the test run. I wanted to enquire from the mechanic that my car, which has 2,00,000 kilometers on it, would be able to handle the next Canadian winters or not. Yeah. The tyre is gone, like you just need to change them. Your steering’s like this right? Yeah. So far we have learnt that the shocker bushes are worn out and they will need to be replaced. And (are) you sure the clamps are fine and they are not stuck or something? Then I asked them about the status of the brakes and sliders. Because when cars are parked too long without use in winters, the batteries die and the sliders get jammed. Oh this slider? Yeah. Very good. Since the roads in Canada are really good, finding a car with 2,00,000 kilometers running life is not a big deal. Then I asked if I should keep it or sell it. Because it’s been giving me problems for some time now. Okay. Otherwise, how does this thing look? Because it’s pretty old I’m thinking of selling it. So, do you think it will last a bit long? It’s gonna last. It’s gonna last? If it doesn’t bother you, the sound, you can leave it. Okay. Do you think the car can survive this winter? Oh yeah. Yeah? 100%. Perfect. You just need the winter tires. And you are good to go. That’s it? Okay. So it’s not as bad as I thought. He says that you just need to get 2 bushes replaced which will help with the shocker adjustment. I’ll move a little away from this. Then I thought of getting a service done. We’ll address this the next time I’m in Canada. So, this gentleman here is from Philippines and, are you shy? No, I’m good. You’re good? Now he’s good. You are from Philippines? Yes. How long have you been here? I’ve been here since 2015. 2015? Okay. And, working on automobiles ever since? Yeah. Ever since I arrive here, I start working with Dev. Yeah. Okay. So you started working here. Yeah. And you are here since then? Yeah. Lovely. And did you do the course for automobile back in your country or here? Yeah, actually back home I finished it early. But, they want me to retake it here again. Yeah. So now I’m still doing it. I’ll need 2 more years. To take the license. Wow. How long is the course? It’s 4 years, then 1, cuz every year you have to go 2 months in a school. And 10 months apprentice here. Okay. So every year. And that has to be for 5 years? Yeah. So 5 years you have to go to school every 2 months and 10 months you can practice. Actually 4 years, is like going school. And after you finish a level 4, you go for the test. Like for the last test. The license. Okay. After 4 years? Yeah. Then you will get the license. Oh Yeah. Right now you are working as an intern. Intern, yeah. Okay. Alright. Thank you. Actually your tires. Yeah. You have to change the next year. The tires are dead yeah. I will definitely. Because I was just waiting for the winters to come. I’ll put winter tires now because it’s winter already. And I’ll throw them this time. Okay. Yeah, I’ll buy new ones. So Bryan told us that he came here from the Philippines. He did a mechanic course back home. But once he came to Canada, he found out that he’d have to take an additional course here. Then Bryan enrolled in an automobile mechanic course which has a duration for 5 years. In this course, you have to attend classes for 2 months and take part 10 months of internship. So one has to perform actual practical work inside a garage. When he came here in 2015, it’s been 4 years. He’ll get a license after completing that and finally become a proper certified mechanic. He’s a trainee to this day. So it takes 5 years to become a certified mechanic. The people who ask me that I’ve been a mechanic or a plumber in my home country, what are the job prospects? It’s not like that, you’d always have to take an additional course when you come here. The standards, procedures and systems are quite different here. There are additional things that needed to be taken care of whether it’s safety, security, compliance or more. You have to start from scratch here. Even the doctors who come here from India have to study in Canada in order to improve their expertise. So it’s never the case where your education back home will be valid here to practice a skilled profession. Somebody asked me in the comments yesterday that how can he convert his Indian degree into a Canadian equivalent. There’s no such provision like this. At most you can pursue a Masters here based on your Bachelor’s degree, that’s it. Let’s head outside, it’s quite noisy here as it’s a live workshop. So how long have you been in Canada? July 19, 1994. July ’94? Yeah. Almost 25 years. Okay. So did you complete a course in India before coming here and opening a workshop? What were your academic credentials? I pursued my Masters here. Okay. In engineering? Yeah, Masters in Electrical Engineering. Okay. After that I found a job in Ottawa where I started out as a Wireless R&D in Nortal. And in my 18 years career, I worked as a Wireless R&D all the time. So you must be quite a technical person. I think engineers can fit anywhere. True, true, true. The workshop you see right now has 6 bays for service and repair. The mechanics working here consist of trainees as well as fully certified professionals. After managing a place on rent for 4 years, he finally bought his own place. Regardless of the country of origin of the people working here, you can always spot the photo of their God, decorated with garlands in any workshop. The last facility you had, when I bought this car from you, was quite tiny. Here, you have 4 bays, there was just 1 bay over there if I’m not wrong? The previous one had 2 bays. Here we have 6 bays. Okay. That one was on a lease and this one has been purchased by me. You purchased this one. Yes. Very good. Now at least nobody can move us from here. Okay. That’s great. Then I thought I’ll ask him that if someone from India wants to come as a mechanic, then what’s the scope? Look, if you want to work in a garage, you’d obviously need a license. Right. 7400 hours in the garage with a licensed technician. Okay. Then one can become a mechanic. Okay. When you opened this business. You don’t work yourself as a .. No. I hired employees. Right. They work here. I mostly look after buying cars, manage the front counter, selling cars, the paperwork. Right. So basically you own the business and these people work for you. Right. But the question is like if you want to start a business. What are the challenges in that? Because here… Each business has their own parameters, in my case it’s just used cars. So first you have to get a license. Okay. So there’s a book for that, if you are dedicated enough, you can finish it in 3 days and appear for an exam. And you are good to go. Okay. The results are out within a week. Okay. You’re all good. Then you’ll be registered and get a license. Okay. If you want to work with someone, like a car dealership, you will have to apply for it, just like a job. If you want to start your own business, you need a car lot which is approved by the city. Which allows you to sell cars on that lot. So, you have to find the lot, which you can either buy or lease. Then you have to register with dealerships like, for auction. Okay. So only dealers can go and buy the cars from the auction. Okay, from the auction. Got it. So you get a car from the auction, refurbish it and sell it. If I want to see an example of a car that you bought. I won’t ask you about the exact profit margins or earnings. That is very personal for you. Yeah. But I still wanted to know the average margin on selling a car. The Grand Caravan. Yeah. So this car has been already sold. So the car that you get from the auction, it’s not necessary that the car is clean. So first of all you need to focus on the car’s detailing. Okay. After that we check what work needs to be done. Okay. So for instance, if it needs a change of tires or breaks to pass the safety test. Because any car you want to sell in Ontario needs to pass the safety check. Okay. You might have to fix the suspension, oil change and more. So basically you have to take care of all small and big stuff. For example in some cases, the windshield is cracked, or the paint has peeled off. So it depends on the actual value you paid for the car, based on that you add the value of the car. Let’s say you got this car in $5,000. Calculate the cost of work done, maybe it comes out to $800. So your car’s til $6,000. Normally, the margin is around $1,500. So you can add that to the value and put the car on sale. Okay. Yeah. So basically the margin is around $1,500 on an average. Yeah. Sometimes you get a good deal on a car so you can end up making a little ore. But the average margin is around $1,500. So in a workshop like this one, if you can sell 4-5 cars in a month, you can cover the operational costs. On top of that are the workshop sales and service revenue. But in a business like this, you need a huge stocking investment as well. You’d also need land to park all these cars. So I got that lot. You can see it from here, where all the cars are parked. But I noticed there were several cars parked outside the workshop. So I thought I’d check them out as well. On the first glance I saw this loaded and modified Jeep which you can tell was owned by quite a fancy individual. 2005 model with 1,50,000 kilometers at $12,000. Ranging from Toyota SUVs.. to 2013 model Lexus. They had everything here. This car has a running life of 82,000 kilometers and it costs $25,000. I would like to clarify that this is not US Dollar (USD) with an exchange rate of Rs.70. It’s actually Canadian Dollar (CAD) with an exchange rate of Rs.53. Then I paid for the oil change and service, which cost me just $45 Canadian dollars. And Paaji didn’t even charge me for the bush replacement. I enquired about the Honda Civic. It has been used for 99,000 kilometers, or 1,00,000 kilometers and which model is it? 2012. So 2012 model with 1,00,000 kilometers for $10,000 or Rs.5,00,000. You can get cars by Honda or Toyota as low as 2-2.5 lakhs. In case of my current car, they are saying it can still last me quite a bit. It has a running life of 1,90,000 meanwhile the Civic is still at 1,00,000. To cover that additional 90,000, it can take up to 2-3 years. So the takeaway is that you can find a decent car in around Rs.5,00,000. If you have 12-15 lakh lying around, you can check those out behind me. Now let’s check out Paaji’s other garage and see the cars available there. We’ll see which cars are parked and what are the prices. Then we got into our car and drove towards his parking garage. Here they had all options including BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota and more. There are a lot of cars parked here. All of these have leaflets in them which tells you how old are these, what’s the running life and the cost. Let’s take a quick look. There’s a Lexus here as well at $8,000. There was also a 2007 model Volkswagen Passat parked here. Equipped with a clean coat of paint, top features, at around Rs.4,00,000. But this is because it’s a bit old and has a running life of 1,25,000 kilometers. But it can easily go another 80,000-90,000 kilometers. Where’s the 3 series? There’s one over there in Grey color. There’s another one over here. And for the fancier folks, they also have BMW X1 at $22,000. And BMW 3 series in $10,000. Whether it’s BMW, Audi, Mercedes or any car for that matter. You can get any one of them here, including Honda, Toyota and more. Most people prefer buying used cars as it gives them a better deal. You’d find cars with a really long running mileage here. So finding a 2,00,000 kilometer on a car is a norm and still they run just fine. So if you are coming here or have recently moved here. Whether you are a student or a new resident. Uber has a restriction I think that you cannot run an Uber taxi older than 7-8 years. I’ll confirm this. But if you don’t have such restrictions or your usage is different, a second hand car always makes good sense and gives you value for money. So get a used car, drive it around, because when people are new here. The hardest part is driving through snow. During winters, the roads are covered in ice and snow, so cheaper cars are better. Plus it will reduce the cost of monthly insurance as well. I got my current car in $7,000 for here, my Hyundai. I’d recommend that when you come here, opt for a used car, build your Canadian driving experience as it’s quite different from what we are used to in India. So if you follow that, it’s a good idea. Don’t be in that heat of the moment saying that I’m in Canada, I’ll get a top end, expensive luxury car. No. Buy, a second hand car, that’s gonna be good. So let’s get in our car. Keys are with Nikhil. Hand me the keys please. Let’s go. If you liked this video, Please don’t forget to hit that Like button and for more such videos and their timely updates, Please don’t forget to hit the Subscribe button and the Bell icon. This is really important to say in the end. We are done for the day. Let’s go? So work is the first priority, I’ll go take a 2 hour nap now. I’ll have to edit in the night. I’m starving. I’ll call Mom and ask her to make something delicious so that by the time we reach home, food will be ready. So first food, then sleep and then the rest. You can close the camera Mr. Nikhil. We are done here.