Consumer Info: Frequently Asked Questions

 Frequently asked questions about our services are located here.

Is invoice pricing the same in the United States and Canada?
A: No

Is the invoice pricing the same all across Canada?
Yes, however the incentives may vary by geographic area.

When is the best time to buy a vehicle?
A: In most cases APA can provide you with a favourable price for a vehicle any time. We are able to do this because we receive a discount from the dealer based on the volume of referrals. However, manufacturers often provide greater incentives during slow periods (e.g. September, January, etc.). APA members can combine the discount at the dealer level with manufacturer’s incentives offered at the time.

How Does a Broker Differ From a Dealer?

The APA New Car Buying service uses a combination of new car dealers and brokers to deliver vehicles to our members.

In some cases, we use car brokers because the manufacturers will not permit their dealer to do business with the APA. They do not appreciate our efforts to obtain discounted pricing for our members.

The APA’s brokers have been working with our members for many years. Buying through our broker does not disadvantage you in any way. A broker is an independent business person who deals with many new car dealers and acquires the vehicle on behalf of the purchaser. In most cases, the broker arranges the transaction but the title passes directly from the dealer to the consumer. Feel free to contact us for more specific information.

Like our dealers, our brokers have agreed to pre-negotiated APA pricing on new vehicles and there are no additional charges to you other than what is indicated in the pricing information we send to you.

Our brokers can provide finance and lease payments based on the APA price and they can also arrange trade-ins through the dealer who is supplying the new car.

Should I Rustproof My Car?

We believe that an annual application of an oil-based protectant is the most effective way to protect your vehicle over a long period of time. If you are not planning to keep your car for more than 5 years, you can probably let the next owner worry about rustproofing.

Dealer installed rust protection packages are usually a wax-based product applied to the surface of the vehicle. They typically combine that product with paint protection and fabric protection for the interior of the vehicle. Since almost all vehicles come from the factory with a clear coat finish, additional paint protection is not necessary. We recommend that you hand wax the vehicle 2 -3 times a year to preserve the paint finish. Fabric protection usually takes the form of Scotch Guard (or a similar product) which you can buy for $10-20 from any automotive retailer and apply yourself.

We recommend an annual application of an oil-based product such as Krown Rust Control. For further details see the information on our website or go to  

Some dealer packages offer electronic anti-rust devices. We do not recommend them.
The APA is not convinced that electronic anti-rust devices provide good protection compared to the available alternatives. The people at Krown had an independent study done that shows a less than satisfactory result from this type of technology. You can view the test results on their website,

See our reccomnded rustproofing locations and more information on our rustproofing page.

Can I Donate My Old Car?

Due to the (age / condition / high kilometres) of your vehicle it has minimal value as a used car. If you are just looking to dispose of this vehicle, one worthwhile way to accomplish this would be to donate the vehicle to the Canadian Kidney Foundation which has operated Kidney Carlines for many years.

They will collect your car and issue you a tax receipt for $300. (or the value that your car bring at auction). If the car is not sold at auction it will be sent to a automobile recycler.

You can contact them at 1-866-788-2277 or visit their website.

My Lease is Ending, What Should I Do If My Car is Damaged?

We would suggest that you have your own mechanic inspect the vehicle for excess wear and tear - like tires, brakes, exhaust system, etc. If the vehicle will be able to pass a safety inspection, then the leasing company should have nothing to complain about mechanically. Having your garage do the work that is needed will be less expensive than what the dealer will charge. Take pictures of the tire treads and the windshield (for stone chips and cracks) so that you can document their condition.

A good body shop may be able to buff out minor scraps and scratches in the paint. Ask for a written estimate before you okay the work. Small dents that have not cracked the paint finish can often be pulled out as well. The idea would be to minimise the damage that they see when the car is returned. They may let some minor things go that they would not let go if you returned the car in it's present condition. Again, take pictures of the body after you have repaired whatever damage you can.


APA's Tips

Cleaning your interior is a good call for safety!

That’s strange, but true!
Dirty inside windows can obstruct your vision and can fog up more easily.
Dirt and salt encrusted floor mats can curled up and get in the way of your brake, gas, and clutch pedal if you still have a car with one.
Salty carpets can when wet or damp transfer the salt under the carpet that will effect the body/frame structure and corrode hidden wiring and computers.
Dirty pedals and pedal assemblies can trap sand, stones, and calcium that will have an effect on pedal movement. Also greasy pedals may cause your foot to slip off.
Empty food wrappers and packages attract insects and rodents. Rodents love interior insulation and wiring. Why attract a rodent to “tasty” wiring!


Keep your service records!

Maintaining a complete history of your vehicle’s service will help you in:
Having proof of maintenance and repair in a warranty or warranty “goodwill” situation.
Note when service was completed by task.
See when repetitive maintenance is usually required based on your usage. (Brakes)
Easy way to track your vehicle expenses to claim from Employer or the Taxman.
Allow you to ask more for your vehicle at trade-in time or private sale, by having positive proof of repairs/maintenance.


Nasty Salt on Your Carpets & Mats?

After surviving the winter of 2017/8, has your carpets? Removing salt residual is a relatively easy task. There are two method. Use a mixture of warm water and vinegar to wash/loosen the salt on your carpets with a household small brush. Repeat several times and pat the area down with a towel. Elbow grease is needed! Or be a “Pro” and use a commercial salt remover available at auto parts retailers. The remover usually comes in a can and works effectively. The best product we have used is from KROWN Rust Control. Remember to vacuum the area prior to salt removal.


Book your service appointments in advance

Always make sure you ask for your seasonal oil/filter change and a good examination of your under-car (Ride Control & Brakes). Batteries usually last 3-5 years on modern vehicles. Have your battery looked at too! batteries usually fail more often in warm weather. A very good habit to get into his always booking your next seasonal service in advance. By booking in advance you are always assured an appointment when you prefer, and it will assist you to keep your service up-to-date and warranty compliant. Always keep your service records!


Do I need this work done, or is my garage just upselling?

You should follow the Brand’s service schedule as published in your Owners manual, or available on line at your Brand’s website. In the case of most regions of Canada follow the “Severe” Service requirements! Additional work may be required from time-to-time. Inquire to the reason for the additional work. If you still are not sure, check with an other Service Provider for the need of the repair.


Get a "Second Delivery" of your new car

Why? Today cars are complex. Even the most basic of transportation has all sorts of features chances your last car didn’t come with. Usually you are rushed and excited to get into your new vehicle. Therefore a thorough review at delivery is less than what is needed. Ask your Sales Professional to schedule a “Refresher” in about 30days. By that time you will have lots of questions! Don’t forget to read the Owners manual for that new vehicle!


They are telling me I need to change my cabin air filter? What is it?

It is a filter that filters the outside air prior to entering your ventilation system.
Usually these filters last between 18-24 months, depending on where you drive.
A clogged filter will result in less heat, defrost and/or cooling. This will lead to a greater chance of fogging.


Tire Pressure - You are riding on it!

Tires should be checked for pressure and damage monthly.
The correct tire pressure can usually be found the driver’s door post.
Correct pressures ensures best fuel economy, handling, comfort, tire wear and safety.


How come my trunk or hood doesn’t stay up anymore?

Modern vehicle hoods and trunks often utilize a thin shock, usually in pairs.
Over time these shocks no longer can hold the weight and need to be replaced.
Easy to change, the parts cost between $40-$70 plus installation.


When should I change my wiper blades? They seem fine!

Wiper blades are considered a wear item and should be replaced every 12-24 months.
They may not be smearing, but they have been wearing due to road film, temperature changes and lack of blade cleaning.
Folks, this is a safety item!


How do I know if my tires are worn?

When the tread is even with the wear-bars located between the tread.
If the tire is showing cracking or damage on the side.
Most consumer don’t realize a tire’s service life is 8 years.


My check engine light just came on! What should I do?

The orange light illuminated on the instrument panel is known as a “Check Engine Light”.
This light comes on for more reasons than just your engine/power-train!
This light announces that your engine is not operating at its best. In such cases you can bring your vehicle to a service centre at your convenience.
If the same light is FLASHING, please park your vehicle in a safe area as soon as possible and have the vehicle towed to a service centre.