Best Trucks for Sale in Saskatchewan

Trucks are a great option for Saskatchewan drivers. Being one of taller vehicles on the road, trucks are known to have better visibility due to sitting higher up in the vehicle, which can especially help in snowy and blustery weather conditions. It’s weight is also a contributing factor for having more control during winter driving compared to smaller vehicles.

In this article, we will explore trucks for sale in Saskatchewan and point out what we consider to be important factors in any truck purchase.

Things to consider:

  • How will you use it? – Trucks are one of the most versatile vehicles on the road. They can be used for work, play, or just as a standard family vehicle due to their spacious cabins. Knowing how you plan to use your new truck will assist our sales team in helping you find the perfect one for your usage.
  • How big of a bed? – Truck beds come in several different sizes. If you have specific work you need to do, or a specific item you plan on hauling in your new vehicle, it’s best to make sure that your new vehicle has enough room in the bed to accomplish the task at hand.
  • How many passengers? – Most standard trucks will have between two and six seats. If you’re looking for a less expensive purchase, the fewer the seats the cheaper the truck usually. On top of the lower price, these trucks with fewer seats also have lower gas mileage due to the smaller size and lower weight, as well as a shorter frame.
  • How much power? – Engine sizes on trucks can vary significantly, which heavily affects how much the truck is able to haul. If you plan on towing larger items, you will absolutely want to look for a full-size truck with a large engine to make sure you can do what you want, when you want. If you don’t plan on towing, then you can save money on the initial price of the truck, as well as fuel.

Most Popular truck choices:

Once you know a truck is the right vehicle type for you, it’s time to narrow down the selection to find out what Make and Model will best suit your needs. Here are a few examples of the most popular trucks currently:

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for Sale in Saskatoon | O’Brians Automotive

Ford F-150 - Used Ford F-150 for Sale in Saskatoon | O’Brians Automotive

Ram 1500 - Used RAM for Sale in Saskatoon | O’Brians Automotive

Where to buy your new truck:

One of the great things about O’Brians Automotive being an independent dealer is that we have no inventory restrictions. If you want it, we most likely have it in stock. If we don’t, then we have no issues sourcing a vehicle through our dealer network. With over 200 vehicles in stock at all times, you can rest assured we will have the right truck for your needs. O’Brians Automotive is one of Saskatchewan’s top choices for finding a new truck. Here are a few reasons why:

Convenience – Visit to view all of our inventory. There you will find the ability to filter the search from make and model all the way down to how many doors and what type of drive train. This enables you to do your own research and come to a well informed decision on what the right truck for you is.

Industry Expertise – O’Brians Automotive is one of Saskatchewan’s oldest independent car dealerships. We have been an industry leader in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and the rest of Saskatchewan since 2008. Our staff are knowledgeable and our Finance team is extremely skilled at securing approvals and overcoming financing issues.

Special Financing – No matter what type of credit you have, O’Brians Automotive will work with you to get you into your new truck. We have more lenders competing for your business than our competitors, meaning the chances of an approval or a better rate are highly likely if you choose O’Brians Automotive.

High Trade Values – O’Brians Automotive recognizes that you take care of your vehicle, and deserve top dollar for it when you trade in. We use several different tools to help us come to the correct value, and offer full transparency on how we come up with that number and include a break down for you to view so you don’t have to worry about whether you got a great price for your vehicle because we’ll show you the proof!

Read more >

How to Become an Uber Driver in Saskatoon and Regina

Hundreds of people everyday request Uber rides in Saskatchewan. Uber allows people to use their own personal vehicle to assist Uber customers to travel around the city as an alternative to public transit or taxis. Additionally, many people are struggling to make ends meet due to COVID-19, so they are looking for additional ways to earn income. That’s where Uber comes in.

Uber Vehicle Requirements:

To drive with Uber in Saskatoon or Regina, the vehicle you wish to use must meet these requirements:

  • 4-door vehicle with independently opening doors
  • Vehicle must be less than 10 years old
  • Good condition with no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial and/or Uber branding
  • No salvaged or rebuilt vehicles
  • Pass a vehicle inspection by a licensed mechanic
Uber Driver

The great news is that all of O’Brians Automotive’ s vehicles meet these requirements (with the exception of some vehicles having fewer than 4-doors.) We always have over 200 used vehicles at any time, and we carry all makes and models of car, truck, van, and SUV. On the off chance we do not have it, we will get it! If you have a specific vehicle in mind, we would be more than happy to help you source it. We also offer a 7 day/5000km exchange window, as well as a 30 day/5000km warranty on all of our vehicles. Additionally, we offer a free delivery service for any vehicle purchased within Saskatchewan!

For the step-by-step guide to becoming a driver in Regina or Saskatoon for Uber, please visit:

Uber Saskatoon: Getting Started | Drive | Uber Saskatoon

Uber Regina: Getting Started | Drive | Uber Regina

Note: Under local regulations for Regina, all driver-partners must display an Uber decal on their vehicle while online.

If you’re looking to make some extra money while we are all experiencing the unique circumstances going on in the world at this time, Uber could be a great opportunity. If you need a new car, truck, van or SUV in order to be an Uber Driver, O‘Brians is only a phone call or text away!

O’Brians Automotive
Call or Text: 306-993-7299

*Lyft is not currently available in Saskatchewan at the time this article was written.

How to Use Your Credit Card Responsibly

A credit card is a way to borrow money, but it is easy to forget that you need to pay that money back! A credit card does not increase the amount of money you have available. In fact, it will most likely decrease the amount of money you have available if you don’t pay your full balance off each month. This is because you will accrue interest on the borrowed money, usually at a higher interest rate than other types of loans. Your credit card payment spending should be included in your household budget to make sure you are paying it off as soon as possible. If you don’t keep an eye on your credit card spending, you will end up building up debt, paying interest on that debt, and eventually hurting your credit score due to your credit utilization and potentially missed payments if the amount becomes too much of a burden for you to handle.

Pay off your balance every month

The balance of a credit card is the amount you have spent but have not paid off. If you have a $500 credit card and have spent $300 on it, and have not made any payments toward that amount, your balance will be $300. It is important to pay it off before the due date because that is when the interest starts adding to the balance, and in turn, increasing the amount you owe each month until it is paid. If you are unable to pay off the full balance monthly, this means that everything you have purchased with the card costs more than the original price because it now has interest added to that price, often times at 20% or higher annually. What this means is if you have a $1000 balance in January and only make the minimum payment for the duration of that year, that original $1000 is now over $1200 after a year of interest. To make things worse, you are not just paying the interest on the original $1000, you are now paying interest on the interest! If we don’t pay any of that loan for another year, after two full years of having a $1000 balance, the true amount owing will exceed $1440 ($200 interest for the first year, then $240 interest on the second year due to being charged interest on the interest. This interest is based on an annual percentage rate (APR) but is calculated monthly.)

Paying your full balance off each month will not only save you a significant amount of money in interest, but it also shows lenders that you are in control of your finances and are a responsible borrower.

Make the minimum payment (at least!)

Sometimes it is just not possible to pay your balance off in full, but it is extremely important that you make at least the minimum payment dictated by the credit card provider. Missing the minimum payment will result in some or all of the following:

  • Interest rate increase
  • Lower credit score
  • Loss of any promotional rates offered
  • Cancellation of the account
  • Credit card insurance cancellation

Check your statements

It is very important to check your credit card statement to make sure there are no errors. Someone might have entered the wrong number into the machine when you were paying, maybe you were charged twice, or maybe you did not purchase something on your statement. In the event you do discover an error, report it immediately by contacting your lender or card provider.

Do not share personal information

Your card number, PIN (Personal Identification Number), CVV (Card security code on the back of the card) and your password for online transactions are all meant for just you to know. Anyone else possessing this information leads to the risk of theft. If you share your PIN or security code, you may be held responsible for transactions you see as unauthorized.

Warning signs that you are overspending

If any of the situations below apply to you, these are indicators that you may be living beyond your financial means:

  • Credit card balance keeps growing month over month
  • You have reached the credit limit
  • You are unable to pay off your balance in full each month
  • You are not making payments
  • You are only able to make the minimum payment
  • You take out cash advances (These are usually subject to a higher interest rate than a standard purchase)

If you find yourself in any of the situations above, you can do the following:

  • Stop using your credit card entirely
  • Avoid applying for new credit
  • Look at how you can cut spending
  • If you must use credit, try other less expensive options (Credit cards will almost always be among the highest interest option for borrowing money.)

Consider other credit options

There are other ways to borrow money that cost less interest. If you are having trouble paying down your debt you can look at a personal line of credit, which should have a much lower interest rate than your standard credit card. There are also low-rate option credit cards where interest rates are in the low teens rather than the high teens or low 20’s for interest rate percent. Credit cards that offer rewards are great, but only if you are not carrying a balance. A low-rate option card will not have rewards, but the money you will save in interest if you are carrying a balance will save you much more then you will earn from rewards. A good rule of thumb is if you keep a balance, try to switch to a low-rate card. If you can pay the balance off in full each month, then you’re not paying interest, meaning you can take advantage of the rewards card.

How to Rebuild Your Credit

Make your payments!

Making your payments is the single most important factor that makes up your credit score. If you can stay on top of your payments, the rest should fall into place.

  • Make all of your payments on time
  • If you cannot pay the balance off, make sure you pay at least the minimum payment before the due date
  • If you think you are going to miss a payment, reach out to the lender before the payment has been missed. In this case, it is much better to ask for permission then to beg for forgiveness.
  • Even if you are disputing a bill, make the payment on time. The credit bureau will not be aware you are in a dispute, and it will not be noted on your credit report. Proceed as usual by paying on time and wait for the dispute to be resolved. Once the dispute is resolved in your favour, it is more than likely you will be credited back the funds in question. If it is not resolved in your favour, then good thing you made your payments on time!

Use your credit responsibly!

It is especially important to use your credit responsibly and not overextend yourself. Whatever the limit is on an account, that is the limit you and the lender agreed on, and it should not be exceeded. If you do end up going above this limit, it will immediately, and negatively, affect your credit score. The exact percentage that lenders like to see a consumer using varies, but the range is between 35% and 65% of your total limit. For example

  • $500 credit card limit – The maximum you would want to be using of that $500 is between $175 (35% - low end) -$325 (65% - high end)

The reason lenders prefer to see you under these thresholds is because if you use most or all of your available credit, you’re seen as a greater risk, even if you pay your balance in full before the due date. What this shows the lender is that you do not have a good enough handle on your finances and that you need to overextend yourself.

You can calculate your credit usage rate very easily to make sure you are under these limits on each individual card as well as all combined:

  • Add up all of the balances for each trade line.
  • Add up all of your credit limits for each trade line (Credit Cards, Lines of Credit, Loans)
  • Take the number of all your trade line balances and divide it by the total credit limit you have. Example:
  • You have a $500 Credit Card, $10000 loan, $10000 Line of Credit. These are the credit limits.
  • You owe $300 on the Credit Card, $7500 on the loan, and $1000 on the line of credit. This is the balance owing.
  • $300 + $7500 + $1000 = $8800 is the balance of these accounts.
  • $500 + $10000 + $10000 = $20500 is the credit limit of these accounts
  • $8800 (balance) / $20500 (limit) = .0429 x 100 = 42.9% credit utilization.

In this case we are a little above the low end of where lenders would like to see your credit utilization, but not above the high end, so you wouldn’t be considered overly risky to the lender based on credit utilization. Lenders will look at the type of loan as well to determine whether it should have a high amount or not. Being near the credit limit on a credit card is not the same as being near the credit limit on an auto loan, because these are different types of loans. A credit card is “revolving” payment, where as an auto loan is an “installment” payment. Installment loans have a set starting amount and a specific amount of payments until the loan is paid in full. A revolving account, like a credit card or line of credit, allow you to control how much is owing each month. If you owe more, the minimum payment will increase, so it is especially important to make sure you are paying at least the new minimum amount each month.

You want a lengthy credit history!

The longer one of your accounts is open, the better it will impact your score. There is a big difference in the lenders eyes when they look at a tradeline that is under one year old versus looking at one that has been around for much longer. It is much easier to determine whether the lender can trust that they will be paid back if there is evidence the customer has not missed a payment in years compared to only a few months.

Account transfers will affect your credit because you are closing one loan in order to open a different one with different terms, like lower fees or a lower interest rate. What this does is closes the existing account and starts a fresh tradeline, possibly lowering your credit score depending on what other existing credit you have.

If you have old credit and are thinking about closing the account, you may want to consider keeping it open in order to keep the age of your accounts high, keeping your score higher at the same time.

Only apply when necessary!

Lenders expect you to apply for credit from time to time. This is a necessary part of how the system works. When a lender views your credit report, this is called an “inquiry”. This is the same thing as a “credit check”, and each time credit is pulled, you are deducted points from your credit score.

Additionally, when there are too many credit checks in your credit report, lenders tend to think you are either urgently seeking credit, or trying to live beyond your means, which are both negatives in the lender’s eyes.

Controlling the number of credit checks:

The good news is that you are in control of the amount of credit checks that appear on your credit bureau. You can achieve this by limiting the number of times you apply for credit. Only apply for credit when you only really need it, and when you do apply, make sure that you apply everywhere that you intend to within a 2-week period when shopping around. This will be recognized as a “buying cycle” and will be combined and treated as a single inquiry for your credit score.

The difference between a “Hard Pull” and a “Soft Pull”:

A “hard pull” is a credit check that will appear in your report, as well as deduct from your score. Anyone who looks at your credit report will be able to see where you have applied within the last couple years. The types of applications that would count as a hard pull are:

  • Applying for a new credit (loan, credit card, line of credit)
  • Some rental applications
  • Some employment applications

“Soft pulls” are a credit check that appear in your report, but only you are able to see them. They also have no effect on your credit score. The type of credit checks that will have a soft pull are:

  • Requesting to view your own credit report
  • Businesses viewing your credit report to update their records for an existing account

Use different types of credit!

Not all credit is the same. If you only have one type of credit, like a credit card for instance, this means you only have a revolving type of loan. Lenders prefer to see a variety of types of credit as it tells a better story of what type of customer you are. There is a very large difference between having a $500 credit card that the minimum payment is $10 a month, or committing to a new car loan, which might be $400 a month. It is hard for a lender to agree to loan you a substantial amount of money if the only history is you having to make a $10 payment. Additionally, having a history of installment payments will show the lender that you are able to make the same payment, on time, each month, further allowing them the confidence that you will pay the debt, and allow them to lend you the money in the first place.

What Is Credit?

What is Credit?

O’Brians Automotive has been helping people repair their credit for over a decade, so we thought we’d put some information together so that you know exactly what a credit bureau is and the importance it holds. Below we break down every aspect of your credit report and go into detail about what appears on it, and just what that tells the people on the other side who are looking at it to determine whether they want to lend you money or not.

What is your credit report?

A credit report is the summary of your credit history. It will list all the recent times you’ve applied for loans, any loans you have currently or that have been closed and the details regarding your payment history on these loans. It also tracks if you have any judgments or collections and whether they are still outstanding or have been paid.

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is a number ranging from 300 to 900. This number is calculated using a formula and is used as a guideline for the condition of your credit, but is not the only factor in what lenders use to determine whether they are going to offer an approval for you. Your score will fluctuate month to month depending on what type of activity there has been. If you make all your payments on time, and nothing negative like a judgment, collection, or late/missed payment, then your score will stay the same or increase. If you have missed payments or have collections and judgments appear on the report, you can expect your score to decrease.

How is my credit score calculated?

Your credit score is based on a number of factors, but overall, it is calculated to determine risk. It is unknown exactly how much weight is behind each of the factors below, but we do know they are factors in how lenders decide whether to approve you or not based on how much risk they perceive. Afterall, the lender is borrowing you their money, so it’s reasonable that they put these checks and balances in place in order to ensure they receive their lent money back.

Factors that can affect your score:

  • How long have you had credit
  • How long each loan or “trade line” has been in your report
  • How much the balance on your credit card(s) are
  • If you miss payments
  • The amount of your outstanding debts
  • Being near, at, or above your credit limit
  • The number of times you have applied for credit recently
  • The type of credit you are using (Revolving payments, installment, lines of credit, credit cards etc.)
  • If your debts have been sent to a collection agency
  • Any record of insolvency or bankruptcy

Another factor to note is that not only is their multiple Credit Bureaus in Canada (Equifax, TransUnion) which will produce different results, but once a lender sees these scores, they use their own proprietary internal scoring systems to determine whether the customer should be approved for a loan. This is done by taking the information provided by the Credit Bureaus and then running it through their own system based on what the client is trying to get approved for. Sometimes these internal checks see something negative that the Credit Bureau didn’t, and unfortunately the lenders aren’t able to offer any approvals.

Who creates your credit score?

In Canada, there are two main Credit Bureaus: Equifax and TransUnion. These are private companies that collect the information, store it, and then charge companies to share this information with them. They only collect information from lenders about your financial history in Canada.

Who can access your credit report?

Don’t worry! Not everyone has access to this sensitive information. Those who can see your credit report in order to help them make decisions about what you are requesting include:

  • Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions
  • Credit card companies
  • Automotive dealers
  • Retailers
  • Mobile phone providers
  • Insurance companies
  • Government
  • Employers
  • Landlords

Having access to your Credit Report allows them to determine whether they will:

  • Lend you money
  • Collect a debt
  • Allow you to rent a property
  • Hire you
  • Provide insurance
  • Offer a promotion
  • Offer a credit increase on an existing trade line

What is “checking credit” or “pulling a report”?

When someone ask you for permission to “check your credit” or “pull a report”, they are asking for your consent to access your Credit Report. This will result in an inquiry being documented on your credit report. If a lender sees too many inquiries on your credit report, it can lead them to believe you are either urgently seeking credit, which can seem suspicious for a number of reasons, or that you are trying to live beyond your means.

Do I need to consent to a credit check?

Generally, permission is required in order to access this sensitive information. Most provinces require written consent to check your credit report, however in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, a business or individual only needs to inform you they are checking your credit report. Your consent allows the lender to view your report when you first apply, but also allows them to access it anytime afterward while your account is still open. Your consent also allows the lender to share new information about you with Equifax and TransUnion. This will only occur if you have been approved. Lastly, some provincial laws will allow government representatives like judges and police to access parts of your credit bureau without your consent.

What information is on my report?

Credit reports contain personal, financial, and credit history. This information is usually updated every 30 to 90 days.

Personal Information
Your credit report will usually contain:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Current and previous phone numbers
  • Social insurance number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Passport number
  • Current and previous employers
  • Current and previous job titles

Financial Information
Your credit report will usually contain:

  • Non-sufficient funds payments or bad cheques
  • Chequing and Savings accounts closed due to money owing or fraud
  • Credit you use (Credit cards, retail store cards, lines of credit, loans)
  • Bankruptcy or court decision against you that relates to credit
  • Debts sent to collection agencies
  • Inquiries from lenders and others who have requested your credit report in the past three years
  • Registered items like liens that will allow the lender to seize the property if the debt is not paid
  • Remarks including customer statements, fraud alerts, and identity verification alerts.
  • Signs of Identity Theft

It will also contain detailed information about your trade lines such as:

  • When your account was opened
  • How much is currently owing
  • How much was initially lent
  • If you make your payments on time
  • If you miss payments
  • If your debt has been sent to a collection agency
  • If you go over your credit limit
  • Personal information that is available in public records, like bankruptcy.

Why does my credit history matter?

It can affect your finances, which will affect your future. Financial institutions look at your credit report to determine whether or not they are willing to lend you money. They also use them to determine what interest rate they are willing to lend this money. As a general rule, the better your credit, the lower your rate. This is because you have less perceived risk of defaulting on the loan if you have a solid history of making smart financial decisions that the lender can access. If you have some hiccups on your credit report, it could be hard for you to get even a $500 credit card, let alone a larger loan or mortgage. It can also affect your ability to rent a property or be hired for a job. Don’t worry though, repairing mistakes in the past is possible, and O’Brians Automotive is here to help with our knowledgeable Sales and Finance teams that have been helping our client base rebuild their credit for over a decade.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter


When the weather starts to turn cold and Old Man Winter starts to rear his ugly head, winterizing your vehicle is an important step in vehicle ownership (especially in Saskatchewan!) When the cold temperatures arrive, snow and ice are not far behind, meaning dangerous driving conditions are present also.

Now that it is beginning to near the wrong side of the 0 on the thermometer, it is a good time to review the condition of your vehicle and get it ready for the long winter ahead. This is something that should be done sooner than later, because once the snow flies it is going to be hard to build up the energy and courage to go and do it in the freezing temperatures. Another reason why we recommend winterizing your vehicle early is to prevent unnecessary damage caused by the cold where plastic breaks very easily, especially if you are trying to get a good cleaning in.

Below are the steps we recommend reviewing before the snow flies:

Detail the Interior

Cold and cleaning do not mix. Whether it’s a tough stain you’ve been waiting to tackle caused by the kids, or just trying to get rid of the dust that accumulates, we find it’s much preferrable to take care of these before the freezing temperatures hit. Stains will be harder to move, and fingers are not as flexible when you’re trying to get to those hard to reach places. Remember to clean out your trunk and add in any winter safety items you might need (below).

Stock up

Here are some recommended items to keep in your vehicle in case you find yourself stuck for an extended period:

  • Food that won’t go bad, like energy bars, which will keep you going in case you’re stuck for an extended period.
  • Plastic Water Bottles that won’t break.
  • Blanket(s)
  • Gloves
  • Extra clothing
  • First Aid Kit
  • Small shovel, scraper, and snowbrush
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Wind-up flashlight
  • Whistle (to attract attention)
  • Sand, salt, or cat litter (to assist in getting you out if you find yourself stuck)
  • Antifreeze and Washer fluid
  • Tow Rope
  • Jumper Cables
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Warning lights or road flares

Give Your Car a Check-up

If you have an existing problem you have been holding off having checked out, you should have it assessed sooner than later. Cold weather not only creates problems that do not exist during the winter months, but it can also make existing problems worse and more expensive to repair. If you don’t think you have any mechanical issues that need to be taken care of, it’s still a good idea to go over a couple of other areas to make sure you’re not left in an unfortunate situation.
Your car battery works harder in the winter due to the increased accessories used (defrost, heat, wipers, heated seats etc.) and this causes additional strain on the battery on top of the colder weather hurting its performance. You’ll also want to make sure your heat is blowing hot, your tires are inflated correctly, your rear window defrost is working, and if you have 4x4 you’ll want to make sure it’s operational before the time comes when you need it.

Check your lights

We all know the long winter brings shorter days, meaning the lights in your vehicle need to work more than ever. Take a minute to do a walk-around of your vehicle to ensure your headlights, taillights, reverse lights, signal lights and hazard lights are all in working order. If you get stuck on the side of the road or hit the ditch, you need passers-by to be able to see you!

Can you see?

If you have a small chip or crack you’ve been waiting to get fixed, don’t! As with almost everything else, cold makes things easier to damage, and your windshield follows this rule. A tiny chip or crack in the summer can result it a very severely cracked windshield in the winter that will need to be replaced. The first time you go to scrape your windshield and apply pressure on an already damaged windshield, it is very likely it will crack much worse and you will need to replace the entire windshield at a much higher cost than had you had that crack filled earlier. Don’t procrastinate! And while you are inspecting your windshield, we’d recommend taking a peek at the condition of your windshield wipers as well and replacing them if necessary. Lastly, remember to switch your windshield washer fluid with one that will suit the upcoming weather and is labelled for -30 or -40 degrees Celsius.

Consider Snow Tires

Many people today believe living in Saskatchewan means a 4x4 or All-Wheel Drive vehicle is a necessity. Although they are great vehicles that offer this convenience, they are not everyone’s ideal vehicle. There is a cheaper alternative that will still make you a lot safer on the winter roads, and those are snow tires. These are tires that are made with different tread patterns and different rubber to ensure you have a better grip while driving and come to a stop when you want to stop. They also come with the option of being studded if you need a little extra control with the added incentive of more peace of mind as well. You might think “I already have good tires, why would I need another set?” but once you’ve experienced winter driving on winter tires, you’ll understand and experience a whole new level of peace of mind and will trust your vehicle much more.

Using the steps above as a guideline will make you more confident about travelling this winter in your vehicle. Not only that, but it will make you and your loved ones safer as well, whether that’s because you equipped snow tires and were able to stop those few feet shorter, or because you hit the ditch but had adequate supplies to wait for the tow truck, or even that you saved a few bucks because you didn’t wait to get that windshield fixed, we are sure you’ll be happy you took the time to prepare in advance.

Keeping Maintenance Costs Low after Your Purchase

A lot of people claim that today’s vehicles have “planned obsolescence”, and that they “aren’t made like they used to be”, however this isn’t actually the case. The vehicles that are being manufactured today often surpass 300000 kilometers just by keeping up with the recommended maintenance schedule. This does not mean you will never have to repair anything, but it does mean that these vehicles didn’t have anything catastrophic happen that resulted in the vehicle repair costing more than it would be worth. While there is always risk with buying a vehicle that you can never fully eliminate, there are some easy things to look for that will help keep your maintenance costs low after you have decided to purchase.

  • Single Exhaust – In the event you’ve driven your car long enough that your exhaust system needs to be replaced, it can often times be less than half the price to replace a single exhaust vs. a dual exhaust setup. Most of the newer vehicles have stainless steel systems which last a considerable amount of time, but when the time comes to replace it, it can be surprisingly expensive.
  • Timing Chain – A timing belt is something that must be replaced when the manufacturer recommends it (usually between 96000 and 160000 kilometers) or it will lead to a much more costly issue down the road when the belt inevitably fails, and takes your engine out with it. For this reason, many newer vehicles come with a “Timing Chain” instead of a “Timing Belt”, which is designed to last the length of the engine’s life. The timing chain is a strong steel chain, instead of a soft rubber belt that breaks down over time. If you purchase a vehicle with a timing belt, prepare to spend over $1000 to get it replaced when the time comes. It is an internal part in the engine, so the labour prices can be extremely high depending on your make and model. This doesn’t need to be a deal breaker if the vehicle you love comes with a Timing Belt, it just means you should check the manufacturers recommended maintenance for the belt, and change it at the appropriate time, just remember it will be pricey so plan ahead.
  • Solid Rear Axle – This is also recognized as the “beam axle”. If you’re just using the vehicle as a daily driver, you are not sacrificing much by choosing this setup over the more complicated independent rear suspension. With fewer (and frequently cheaper) parts, combined with its simple design, the solid rear axle also never needs to be aligned.
  • Regular Gas – Performance cars cost more to purchase initially, but they also cost more to maintain. Many performance engines require 91 or 93 octane fuel, which comes with a much higher price than standard 87 or 89 octane gas. The extra cost per litre can add up much quicker than anticipated depending on your driving habits. You also can’t use regular octane gas in a vehicle that requires higher octane. You will be sacrificing the performance you already paid the money to get, and potentially risking damaging your engine by using a lower quality fuel than it was designed to use.
  • Two-Wheel Drive – Some people need a vehicle that has four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Most do not though. Living in Saskatchewan, where it gets slippery and snowy for a majority of the year, many people feel as though an AWD/4WD vehicle is an essential part of living here. That is simply not the case. If you ask yourself how many times you needed to put your vehicle in 4WD throughout an entire winter, the number is actually quite low, maybe even zero, but we understand it offers peace of mind, and sometimes you can’t put a price on that. When considering one of these purchases, ask yourself about the return on the investment. Is this worth potentially $5000+ to have as a part of my vehicle? What options might I be sacrificing in order to get this one? 4WD/AWD vehicles cost considerably more than their two-wheel drive counterparts up front, and do not cost near as much in maintenance as it would if you needed a repair on the 4WD/AWD system. They have much more complex electrical and mechanical systems in order to work properly, so a much higher chance of something going wrong down the road, meaning higher out-of-pocket expenses if that time comes.
  • Non-Boosted Engines – Engines with turbo and superchargers. These are becoming much more common nowadays because it allows manufacturers to keep their engine size down, as well as the fuel usage on the vehicle, while being able to offer the performance of something more. Just be aware that this is one more part that could potentially cost a lot down the road if you need to repair or replace it.
  • Documentation – Keeping receipts is essential to vehicle ownership. You should make sure to keep a record of the repairs and service your vehicle has received to make sure any warranty your vehicle might have is not voided due to negligence. This will also help you if you end up trying to sell the vehicle. It’s much easier to build value in a vehicle you can prove was taken care of well, never missed an oil change, and had its regularly scheduled maintenance. To a prospective buyer, this information being available could change the value by thousands!

These are just some things to keep in mind when looking at purchasing a new vehicle. It is a stressful time, and we want to help eliminate as much of that as we can by offering you some of the tips and tricks we’ve learned after more than a decade in the industry.

Were You Declined for a Loan? Do Not Worry, There Are Still Options!

When the Covid-19 Pandemic first hit, many Canadian’s were hesitant to pursue credit. Now that we have all began to adapt to the changes, more and more people are now looking to return to some sort of normalcy, and that includes making large purchases that many cannot afford to buy outright. Due to this, many Canadian’s are pursuing alternative lending methods in order to get the automobile they need.

Understanding what comes with an alternative lending loan

People with credit hiccups in their past, or low income by the lender’s guidelines are known as “sub-prime” or “credit constrained” customers. These customers rely heavily on these alternative lending solutions, loans from non-banks or non-traditional lenders.

In exchange for offering approvals to clients who are considered to carry a greater risk of defaulting on their loan, these lenders collect higher than typical interest rates and sometimes add fees that other lenders might not. These can be higher than usual NSF fees, missed payment penalty fees, collection fees, and loan closing or origination fees, sometimes known as the document fee. These fees are legal, and part of the loan contract that you are agreeing to when you sign and are usually there as added incentive to make your payments on time.

We want to make sure our customers are aware of these differences because the alternative lending market in Canada is less directly regulated and can expose customers to greater risk if they are not aware.

According to, a large percentage of customers who enter alternative lending loans feel as though they were pressured into the loan because the offer would be taken off the table shortly (whether this is just a tactic by other dealers or they truly felt the offer would be pulled remains to be seen.) What is worse, is in these high-pressure situations, the customer was not able to carefully review the material before agreeing to the loan, and now they have agreed to conditions they were not aware of or did not fully understand.

Being under pressure and making a financial decision does not make sense.

We recommend that before you sign on the dotted line, that you step back for a few hours to review and understand the terms and conditions, ask us questions, and relieve yourself of some of the stress that comes with a new purchase. If English is not your first language, we would recommend having someone you trust review the information with you so you can be confident you understand the terms you are agreeing to. Do not be afraid to ask us questions either, we are here to help!

Key things to make sure you pay close attention to:

  • Total cost of the purchase
  • How much the payments are
  • Payment frequency (Are you paying monthly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly?)
  • Interest rate
  • Does this fit your budget?
  • Additional costs (fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.)

Purchasing a new vehicle is stressful, we get it! It is not something that happens very often compared to other purchases, it is a high dollar amount, and it is something you are going to use every day once you take possession. Then you find out that you do not qualify at a typical lender your friend might have, and you need to look at alternative options. Finally, you get into loan agreements with unfamiliar terms and legal jargon and things get even more stressful.

Let’s eliminate a lot of the stress and work together to make sure that when you do decide to upgrade your vehicle, that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to make a well-informed decision and not suffer buyer’s remorse days, weeks, or months down the road.

How to Buy a Used Vehicle

Shopping for a new vehicle can be a stressful time. Not only do you have to decide from hundreds of different makes and models, but once you do, you then need to go through the purchase process, which can be frustrating.

We will take you through the buying process and give you some tips that will tilt the odds in your favour, hopefully making the entire experience a bit less stressful.

Let’s start with preparation. Preparation is key. Knowing what you need vs. what you want is especially important and can help save you a lot down the road.

When is the best time to buy? When you don’t really need to! Desperation leads to quick decisions you might regret down the road. When you have time to think about the decision, you’re less likely to experience buyer’s remorse. If you put yourself in a situation where you need a car today, you will have a lot less flexibility when it comes to selection and pricing, because you’re forced to take whatever the dealer you choose has that day.

What’s your budget? Determining your budget is essential to making sure you’re comfortable down the road. Are you more concerned about the total amount you’re spending or the monthly payments on your new vehicle? Once you know that, it’s much easier to set realistic expectations for what you might be driving home.

What are your choices? Do you have a family that you’ll be using this vehicle to transport them in? Then a 2-door convertible probably isn’t something you should look at, even though it’s so tempting! Do you travel? Do you have pets? Do you need 4x4/AWD? Is safety a concern? Ask yourself these questions, and it will help you eliminate a lot of vehicles that aren’t really suitable for you:

  • What is most important to you? Fuel mileage? Safety? Style? Performance? Size?
  • Is it for work or personal?
  • What do you like/dislike about your current vehicle?
  • Try and narrow it down – Are you looking for a Car/Truck/Van/SUV?
  • Is colour important? (Different colours can cost more money)
  • Are premium options important? Are they a need or a want? (Navigation/Leather/Moonroof/Power Seats)
  • Are you financing or paying cash? (If you are financing, we recommend doing a credit application in order to find out what you can be approved for before having your heart set on something the lenders won’t approve you for.)

New or Used? Buying a brand-new vehicle is a wonderful feeling, but is brand new really worth it? On average, a new vehicle loses 30% of its value when it leaves the lot for the first time, and another 10% before the first year of ownership is complete. They do come standard with manufacturer warranty, and you have the peace of mind knowing no one else has owned it other than you, but is that really worth a difference of several thousand dollars to you? Did you know that a Manufacturer warranty transfers through ownership, and many, many used cars will still have plenty of warranty left on them? Combine that added peace of mind with the huge savings difference, and you might consider that a used vehicle is worth looking at as an option, even if you had been planning to purchase new.

Will a used vehicle be reliable? In Saskatchewan, all vehicles that come from outside of the province need to pass the Saskatchewan Government Safety Inspection, so you can rest assured it will be safe and reliable. Additionally, any trustworthy used car dealerships will include some sort of quality guarantee, whether it be a time frame or a kilometre limit. Make sure you ask about the dealers policy when speaking to them about a possible purchase.

Once you’ve found the vehicle you like, it’s time to go over numbers. Traditionally, the next step would be negotiating on price, however many dealers are steering away from this model now. In the past, the only way to find out how much a car would cost you would be to go into the dealer and negotiate. Nowadays, with the prominence of the internet, dealers are forced to be extremely competitive in their pricing in order to get you to come visit them in person instead of their competitor, meaning that there is little to no “wiggle room” for negotiating. Don’t let this get you down, you’re still getting a great deal, but the market has done the negotiating in advance for you meaning you’re starting your negotiation at a lower price. Some dealers also refuse to haggle at all, so don’t be surprised if you see that “the price is the price”, because that is the way the market is trending.

It’s important to remember that no two vehicles are the same though, and even though two vehicles might look similar in year, kilometres and price, there are many factors which can make one vehicle better than the other such as condition and options.

Once you’ve decided that the vehicle you came to look at is the one for you, and have spoke to the Sales team and came to an agreement on price, the final step is to consider additional protection for your purchase:

Some of the options are:

  • Extended Warranty – This will add a time frame and/or kilometre range to your vehicles existing warranty, or will just give you warranty the vehicle didn’t previously have. There are many different types available from very basic to covering every component, as well as different levels of deductible should you need to use it.
  • GAP Insurance – This will protect you in the event your vehicle is a total loss. For instance if you have a vehicle that you owe $40000, and your insurance is only willing to pay $30000 due to depreciation on the vehicle, the GAP Insurance will pay off the difference of that $10000, meaning you don’t have to add that amount onto your next loan, keeping your payments low and not having to pay interest on that amount either.
  • Disability – In the event you become disabled, these plans can help pay for some or all of your payments for the duration of your loan or your disability.
  • Critical Illness – In the event you get a critical illness during the term of your loan, this type of insurance will pay your auto loan while you’re treating your illness, or should you pass away, pay the loan out in full.
  • Loss of Job – In the event you become laid off from your work, this coverage will make your payments until you regain your employment.

Remember, you’re not shopping for a deal, you’re shopping for a vehicle. If price is the only thing you’re concerned about, there is a good chance you will end up unhappy because you’ve focused so hard on getting the best price, you’ve neglected to realize the reason this one was the cheapest. Whether it’s due to it being in worse condition, having a less than desirable accident history, a dealer that cuts corners on reconditioning, or many other factors, sometimes cheapest isn’t best, especially when you’re looking at one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make.

Slow down, take your time, and remember that dealers are here to work with you, not against you! You’re not going into battle with an adversary, you’re building a new relationship that doesn’t end when you sign the dotted line. You will be returning for maintenance, if you experience any issues, and hopefully a new car down the road if you were treated right, so don’t look at the dealer as your enemy, but a new friend.

Buying a new vehicle is as stressful as you want it to be, but can also be stress-free if you are prepared. It’s entirely up to you!

Read more >


O'Brians Automotive Idylwyld Dr.
3440 Idylwyld Dr N, Saskatoon, SK S7L 5Y7


O'Brians Automotive Circle Dr.
815 Circle Dr E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3S4


O'Brians Automotive Victoria Ave.
551 Victoria Ave E, Regina, SK S4N 0N9

Prince Albert

O'Brians Automotive 6 Ave E
3033 6 Ave E, Prince Albert, SK S6V 6Z4


O'Brians Automotive Broad St.
1455 Broad St, Regina, SK S4R 1Y8