How Does Canada Drives Work?


If you’ve been looking for a Canadian car loan online or researching car loan terms and current rates, you might have come across the Canada Drives website. You’ll find various articles, posts and infographics on all sorts of things to do with driving and financing a car in Canada. You probably have more questions such as “How does Canada Drives work?” or “Where can I find a Canada Drives review?” or even “Is Canada Drives a scam?”

Here’s what you need to know about the Canada Drives website, how it works and what to keep in mind if you use it.


What is Canada Drives?

Canada Drives is an alternative lender that offers vehicle financing to buyers across Canada. It was established in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2010. It was launched as an online alternative lender to give Canadians in Ontario and Western Canada experiencing a variety of financial situations the chance to apply for car financing online from the comfort of their home. Today it serves Canadians from coast to coast.

According to the Canada Drives website, it has welcomed over 1 million car loan applications, has 500 employees and is “growing” and works with over 350 “happy dealer partners.”

The Canada Drives website includes a blog with new posts about driving, car reviews, car maintenance, car financing and other automotive stories. New posts appear most weekdays. The site also includes a Canada Drives Review page and several resource pages that explain basic car lending phrases and words to help readers better understand the terminology around automotive financing.

Like RightRide, Canada Drives works with a network of car dealerships across the country to provide vehicle financing to Canadian drivers. Other pages on the site include a car loan calculator as well as access to Canada Drives’ inventory of cars available to purchase. 

In 2019, the Financial Post reported that Canada Drives was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by CIBC.


How Does Canada Drives Work?

Drivers looking for car loans can apply online or call a 1-800 number to reach a Canada Drives representative to process a car loan application over the phone. 

According to its website, Canada Drives is committed to helping drivers “obtain the vehicle financing you need” regardless of a driver’s credit score. 

When you start your online application, you’ll select a vehicle type. Next, you’ll fill out some basic personal information such as your name, age, address, employment details and contact information. 

The third part of your application process through Canada Drives is to get you connected with a dealer in your area who has a vehicle that suits what you’re looking for. At that point, the partner-dealer will take over communicating with you about the next steps with financing.


Is Canada Drives a Scam?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a scam is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Although it has mixed reviews from its many customers, Canada Drives has recently won prestigious awards from both a well-known bank (Best Managed Company in Canada, CIBC) and an internationally-known accountant firm (Technology Fast 50 Winner, Deloitte & Touche).

While some people may not agree with some of the finance terms Canada Drives offers its customers, Canada Drives does not meet the dictionary definition of a scam because it has successfully helped people get vehicle financing. It does not appear to be deceiving its customers nor operating deceptively.


Can You Get a Personal Loan Through Canada Drives?

In addition to offering car financing to borrowers who might have difficulty getting a loan through a traditional channel, Canada Drives now offers personal loans online as well through Fresh Start Finance.  

Canadians can borrow up to $15,000 at an APR (annual percentage rate) of between 29.99% and 46.96%. Loan terms, or the time to pay off the loan, range from 9 months to 60 months. Personal loans can usually be used for any purpose the borrower wishes. 


Alternatives to Canada Drives

Is Canada Drives legit? Yes, it is. However, some people may prefer to avoid getting a car loan from Canada Drives because of bad Better Business Bureau (BBB) reviews, negative Reddit comments or the high interest rates. Luckily, Canadians have more choices than ever before when it comes to selecting an online alternative lender.  

For example, RightRIde also works with many drivers who have no credit or bad credit, yet really need financing for a new car. Simply fill out an online application and one of our representatives will reach out to help you with the next steps.


Where to Learn More About Canada Drives

To learn more about Canada Drives, visit their website. To read Canada Drives reviews, accolades and criticisms, visit the following websites:

TrustPilot Business: 4 ½ stars out of 5 based on 1812 customer reviews. 75% of reviewers rated their service as excellent and 15% of reviewers rated it as great.

Better Business Bureau Canada Drives Page: 152 complaints as of January 2020, a C- Rating and 2 stars out of 5 based on 89 customer reviews. 


Who Can Use Canada Drives and Other Sites Like It

Canada Drives is one of several Canadian alternative financing sites. Drivers in Canada who need a new car and financing can use these sites for a fast, convenient car buying and financing experience.

Although qualification requirements might vary slightly from site to site, adults with a valid Canadian social insurance number can apply to buy a car and get pre-approved for a car loan online with the following information:

  • Type of vehicle you’re looking for
  • Monthly budget for a new vehicle
  • Information on whether you currently own a vehicle and if you’ll trade it in
  • Employment information such as company name, job title, years employed, monthly income
  • Whether you currently own your home or rent it
  • Your address, city, postal code and years living at this residence
  • Your contact information including first name, last name, date of birth and phone number

For some car loan sites such as RightRide, you can complete an online application to get a new car without providing your social insurance number upfront. However, you do need to provide a valid social insurance number before your loan gets funded.  


When to Use Canada Drives or RightRide

Sites like Canada Drives and RightRide offer one-stop shopping for Canadian drivers from all sorts of backgrounds. New Canadians, students and drivers who don’t yet have an established credit history choose alternative financing options. That way they can get a car loan quickly and easily and get into a safe, reliable new vehicle within a few days.

Getting pre-approved for an auto loan through a site like Canada Drives or RightRide also saves time and hassle when car shopping. This is particularly helpful for busy parents with small children who have good credit. Get approved online from the comfort of your own home after the kids have gone to bed. Then once your application gets approved, you’ll hear from a local dealership that has a vehicle to suit your needs. 

Instead of making multiple trips to the bank to fill out an application, get a pre-approval, provide vehicle details, then sign for the actual loan, most of the time you’ll take care of all of this in just one trip. Even better? You sign any paperwork right at the dealership when you get your vehicle. 


Getting Vehicle Financing When You Have Bad Credit

Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Unexpected medical expenses, marital breakdowns, and job losses can wreck your budget and ruin your credit score. Yet you still need access to reliable transportation.

If bad credit has been holding you back from getting a car loan, filling out an online application to get a car loan could be a good idea. The approval process works differently with alternative lenders like RightRide and Canada Drives and an excellent credit score isn’t a requirement. True, you’ll pay higher interest rates. Yet getting a car loan through one of these types of sites could help you reestablish your credit

When you apply for a loan through a bank, the money you get comes from one source – the bank. Alternative lenders, however, could get access to funds from a variety of sources. They might get wholesale car loan rates from banks and financial institutions that have traditional lending requirements like excellent credit scores and certain income and debt level requirements. 

Alternative lenders like Canada Drives and RightRide could also work with private lenders to offer loans to customers with credit challenges. RightRide also offers in-house dealer financing by offering loans using its own pool of funds. This means that regardless of your credit situation, the chances of you getting a car loan are high.


Getting a Car Loan After Bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal

You may feel reluctant to even apply for a car loan because you’ve gone through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal and you don’t know how long bad credit stays on your credit report. Yet you still have options to get a car loan – even if you’re in the midst of a consumer proposal. Talk to a representative at RightRide about what the car loan process could look like for you.  

Technology is changing the world and how Canadians shop for cars and car loans. Sites like Canada Drives and RightRide offer you more choice than ever before, giving a wider range of Canadians the opportunity to shop for and drive a safe, reliable vehicle of their choice. Fill out an online application to get started on finding your next vehicle.

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