The Process of Buying an Audi – on the Internet, Ontario, Canada
After my car was rear ended in a car accident coming home after a weekend of skiing, it came time to find a new car. It wasn’t as easy as I expected buying a car in today’s environment for a whole host of modern day reasons that included a messed up supply chain, a global climate change wet weather flood and lack of vehicles in the market place today. How did I end up in the end? Read on to find out…
This post is one chapter on our trip during the pandemic to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Buy a Car. This trip was enhanced through Air Canada Aeroplan Elite Status and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Travelling 4,300km to Buy a Car
- Air Canada Signature Business Class Pandemic Edition: Vancouver – Toronto
- Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- The Process of Buying an Audi on the Internet, Ontario, Canada
- Plaza Premium Toronto Concept Pop Up Lounge – Terminal 1, Toronto, Canada
- Air Canada Signature Business Class Pandemic Edition: Toronto – Vancouver
- My Experience Shipping a Car Across Canada
Activity: The Process of Buying an Audi – on the Internet, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
For several months on the Pacific Northwest region of North America, it was virtually impossible to purchase a vehicle. A combination of several factors made car buying extremely difficult.
Firstly, a massive flooding event through the Fraser Valley caused a lot of flooded vehicles that were written off as a total loss. The flooding was so large, it had it’s own wikipedia entry. Secondly, there were challenging supply chain disruptions as a result of the pandemic that saw car deliveries delayed or deferred as a result of semi conductor chip shortages. Thirdly, I was looking in January / February which was in the middle of the car year model switch over from years 2021 to 2022. Typically, this would be a great time to find a left over model, but even these were going for full price with over a year of depreciation on them. Lastly, my own particular and eccentric tastes in vehicles led to a difficult first world situation to over come.
Buying a Car in Today’s Environment:
I have always been a bit of a car fanatic with tastes towards the rare and unusual. I’m usually found zipping up to Whistler, Canada on a year round basis, so I needed something that had the ability to store a fair amount of sports gear that included skis, mountain bikes and stand up paddleboards, among the ability to handle well along a twisty mountain highway.
Over the years, these particular car tastes have manifested themselves through ownership of some different cars. My favourite was a 2001 BMW 540i Touring; a fabulous car that met all the requirements for space, terrific power but fell a little short on the winter roads with a rear wheel drive drive train. I owned a 2003 BMW 325xi Touring, which great but a little snug in size and less exciting in the pwer department. Most recently, it’s been a 2011 BMW 535i Gran Turismo; the closest thing to a wagon since BMW stopped bringing in wagons to North America as everyone except for myself prefers a heavier Sport Utility Vehicle. While it was great as a comfortable cruiser, BMW lost a lot of it’s Ultimate Driving Machine DNA in favor of a more luxurious ride.
Searching for a Replacement Vehicle:
When my car was written off, I went to the internet to find a replacement vehicle. There wasn’t a whole lot out there in the wagon department with only Mercedes, Audi and Volvo really selling things that I was interested in.
Eventually, after looking at a few Mercedes E450 wagons, I found that they looked a little old school. The interior was pretty low tech and for a model that started it’s life in the year 2017, it was already starting to look a little dated 3 years into the model cycle.
Deciding on an Audi A6:
Despite being with BMW for over 20 years, I ended up test driving an 2021 Audi A6 sedan in Vancouver, Canada. I found that the BMW had lost a lot of it’s DNA spirit lately with the newer generation of cars and they just don’t seem to be tuned for exciting driving anymore. Instead, they’ve opted for a softer, more luxurious smoother ride.
Calling in at Audi Downtown Vancouver, the dealership offered up a white 2021 Audi A6 Progressive model that included a 21 inch sport wheel package, head up display and black shadow package. The car was a beautiful car that was nice and speedy. Unfortunately it was white in colour and the fact that it was just a sedan caused me a lot of thought on whether the smaller trunk storage space was something I could work with.
Even MrsWT73 could sense my trepidation with the car and whether it was the right fit when she snapped this photo during our test drive. She captured me in a expression of indecision of whether this test drive was joy or despair.
In the even, I passed on the white model much to the dismay of Vancouver Downtown Audi and went on the search for an Audi A6 Allroad wagon.
Locating an Audi A6 Wagon:
I considered buying a new vehicle using the European Delivery features allowing you to pick up your car in Europe and evenutally ship it home. Unfortunately, the pandemic put an end to all that with BMW and Mercedes discontinuing these options with Volvo being the only manufactuer still offering the ability to have a car delivered in Europe.
I resigned my search to dealers within Canada. I eventually located an Audi A6 wagon at an Audi dealership in the Metropolitan Toronto area at Audi Durham dealership. The 2020 Audi A6 Wagon with a clean CarFax accident report met all the qualifications and configurations to my liking. The only problem was that it was 4,300 km or 2080 miles from my home.
After some dialogue with the dealer, they agreed to hold the vehicle for me while I came out across Canada for a test drive.
Travelling to Audi Durham:
I travelled out to Toronto on Air Canada Signature Business Class Vancouver – Toronto, and eventually departed the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel. The next morning, I set out in the winter towards the Audi Durham dealership. It was a rainy winter day in Toronto and it was a pretty bleak drive out to Audi Durham through Toronto’s clogged east / west super Highway 401.
After about thirty five minutes up the highway in the rented Infiniti Q50, I found myself at Audi Durham. Audi Durham is a small family run dealership that has been “family owned” since 1972. As a suburb of Greater Toronto, the dealership is a little bit on the smaller side.
Inside the show room, I met my sales representative. While there was a shortage of cars in Vancouver, there certainly wasn’t the same issue here. The show room was full of cars.
After the introductions, I was led into the back where I got to take a close look at the Audi A6 Allroad for the first time. The car being offered was a 2020 Audi A6 All road Progressive in Firmanent Blue with a Driver Assistant Package and a 20 inch V Spoke Design Upgrade Wheel Package. The dealer had it in great clean condition for a pre-owned vehicle that was located in a wet winter climate of Ontario, Canada.
I really enjoy the understated look of the interior of the Audi A6, which is the right blend of luxury, technology and “avant garde” lines that compliment each other harmoniously. The fact that it was also a rare car numbering less than 527 production Audi A6 models (sedan and Allroad) for Model Year 2020 sold within Canada, made the A6 Allroad wagon even rarer with numbers likely below 100 All Road production units for the model year that were sold throughout Canada.
The car was in reasonably good shape for a car that only had 14 months of life on the warranty. A careful walk around didn’t yield any major nicks or marks in the dark colour. While I’m not usually a fan of white or black, the dark blue was wasn’t a deal breaker, despite the ease in which a dark coloured car shows marking. The car also didn’t have any aftermarket window tint, which is over rated in my humble opinion and takes away from the clean look of any luxury vehicle.
After a through walk around and inspection, it was time for a test drive around the neighbourhood. After having driven the other Audi A6 model in Vancouver, I knew what to expect.
The car was already left in dynamic driving mode by the previous driver and was terrifically sporty for what I needed. During the careful test drive, I ensured that it tracked straight and had no usual odours or other issues with it.
After that test drive around the neighbourhood. the decision was easy.
This was it.
It had the space, the exclusivity and enough driving pizzazz to keep me entertained for at least a while. I had the paperwork all prepared by the dealership within the hour. With e-document signing, electronic signing was really easy.
Before I knew it, I was headed back to the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel for some afternoon work calls. I was relieved not to have to rely on the public transit bus back home knowing that my days of riding the bus were coming to an end.
I had an afternoon at the hotel prior to returning home after the work day on Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver. I would have the car Shipped by Rail to Vancouver in a separate process.
My Thoughts on Buying a Car:
It’s never a fun experience buying a car. However, the internet makes sourcing inventory a lot easier and with e-documents, it’s pretty easy getting transactions done. While I can appreciate that dealers have inventory to move, I was very appreciative to Audi Durham for providing a great service and holding the car subject to an inspection.