Clutch Review: How To Buy Your Next Car Online & Have it Delivered Right To Your Door

Clutch Review: How To Buy Your Next Car Online & Have it Delivered Right To Your Door

Written by Bryan Daly
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated May 30, 2022

Based in Ontario, Clutch is a car financing and buying service created by Steven Seibel in 2016. Their goal is to provide a stress-free and environmentally-friendly experience for Canadians who are looking to purchase used cars online. Currently, Clutch sells more than 1000 cars a year and has helped plant over 5000 trees in exchange.    

Check out the Clutch website to view and compare 700+ certified vehicles in Ontario, with shipping and delivery options in Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

What Does Clutch Offer?

As one of Clutch’s many consumers, you can buy, sell, or trade-in your car online. They also offer their clients the option to finance their car through Clutch.  

Buy

If you want to buy a car upfront, Clutch allows you to do it entirely online. Just make an account, pick your vehicle and go through the validation process. Afterward, a Clutch Customer Advisor can put the car on hold for 72 hours, then help you complete the required paperwork and organize delivery to your address.

Sell

You can also use Clutch to sell your existing car. Once you upload a few photos and details, a specialist will contact you with an offer. If you accept, they’ll arrange for the car to be picked up and pay you shortly after. Alternatively, you can get a basic estimate using the calculator located in the “Sell or Trade” tab.

Trade

If your second-hand vehicle has adequate value, Clutch may even let you trade it in. You can get an estimate of how much your car is worth using their online calculator. Like selling a vehicle, you would simply need to get a firm offer and arrange a pick-up. The money you get from the trade-in can then be used towards your new car purchase, which will also save you a decent amount of money in taxes.

Finance

Since many drivers can’t afford to buy a car upfront, Clutch also features loans for vehicle financing. Applying is easy and getting prequalified only takes 10 minutes and has no effect on your credit score. Plus, Clutch charges zero hidden fees and offers some of the best interest rates on the market.

Financing Your Car With Clutch

Clutch financing allows you to cover the cost of your car using an installment-based loan. While you have to qualify for and eventually pay back that loan, this often makes the car buying process more affordable. Here’s how Clutch auto financing works:

  1. Prequalify – Click “Get pre-qualified” and enter the required information to see if you would qualify for a loan that appeals to you. As mentioned, this won’t affect your credit and it shouldn’t take long to get an estimate (keep in mind that the figures you receive may not be the final costs and conditions of the loan).
  1. Choose Your Car – Remember, there are roughly 700+ cars in Clutch’s inventory at any given time, so it’s best to compare several makes, models and prices before making your choice. Don’t just pick a car that looks great. Make sure it’s reliable, cost-effective when coupled with your loan and has all the features you want. 
  1. Apply For Financing – Once you’re satisfied with your estimate and choice of vehicle, the last step is to apply for your loan. This can be done 100% online through Clutch who is partnered with major lenders like TD, BMO, Scotiabank, and Desjardins. If approved, you’ll receive your funds and payment plan within a few days. 

Clutch Financing Requirements

While your SIN# is optional when you apply for Clutch financing, there could be other documents and personal details required, like your:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Province
  • Income & Banking Information

Additionally, when a Clutch service representative delivers the vehicle and loan contract to your residence, you’ll have to present a:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Direct deposit form or VOID cheque from your designated bank account
  • Copy of a new car insurance policy with the borrower’s name indicated on it (sent by fax or email)

Benefits Of Clutch Financing

There are plenty of positive things about Clutch financing, including:

  • Fast & Easy Approval – Clutch accepts drivers from all walks of life, so you don’t necessarily need a great income or credit score to qualify for a loan. Basically, if you’re able to make payments on time, getting approved shouldn’t be too difficult. 
  • Zero Hidden Fees – Although you may have to pay service fees once you begin your payment term, Clutch will always inform you about every cost associated with your financing plan before confirming your car loan.
  • Best Interest Rates – When you apply for a car loan through Clutch, your bank picks the interest rate that you qualify for. Applicants with good credit scores and high incomes can typically qualify for prime rates of around 4.99% – 7.99%.       
  • No Social Insurance Number (SIN) Required – Unlike other vehicle services, which take ages to apply with, Clutch only requires the most relevant personal and financial information for approval (but your SIN may speed up the process).
  • Open-Ended Terms – Clutch accepts any amount for down payments and loans are open-ended, meaning you can pay them at any time, penalty-free. Payments can’t be reduced but you can ask your bank for larger installments to pay your debt faster. 
  • Flexible Payments – Before confirming your loan, you can also pick a payment frequency that works for you (bi-weekly, monthly, etc.). Every bank sets its own rules and you’re often allowed to change your payment date with prior notice.

The Cost Of Financing A Vehicle With Clutch

Prior to financing a vehicle through Clutch, don’t forget that the sales prices you see on their website don’t include the taxes that get added to your final bill. Here are some other important costs to consider when financing a car with Clutch. 

  • Interest Rates – Your rate can vary based on numerous factors, such as your credit score, payment history, gross income, vehicle type and financing amount. Clients with stronger finances will normally qualify for lower rates and vice versa.
  • Financing Amount – With Clutch, the minimum amount you can apply for in car financing is $7,500 after taxes. While you can offer a down payment once you surpass this limit, the price may still be higher than some clients can afford.
  • PPSA Fee – A “Personal Property Security Act” fee is what banks charge to register a loan financing contract. The size of the fee depends on where you get your loan and how long your term is but generally ranges from $55 – $170.  
  • Car Prep Fee – Another major cost you could encounter when you finance with Clutch is a vehicle preparation fee of $899. When you look through Clutch’s inventory, the Car Prep fee is disclosed in each vehicle’s pricing section.
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How To Buy Your Next Car With Clutch 

Even if you aren’t interested in financing your next car purchase with Clutch, you can still find and purchase an affordable vehicle in Clutch’s inventory. Clutch prices are non-negotiable but very competitive. 

When browsing vehicles, there are several filters to choose from too, including:

  • Price
  • Payment Method
  • Make
  • Model
  • Color
  • BodyType
  • Mileage (in KM) 
  • Boyd & Fuel Type
  • Drivetrain
  • Transmission
  • Cylinders

All of Clutch’s vehicles have passed a 210-point inspection and come with a clear title, as well as zero reported fire, flood or frame damage. By eliminating the overhead charges associated with the average car dealership, Clutch’s great pricing is also due to their business policy: price competitively and sell fast.

Clutch Delivery Service

Once you’ve purchased your vehicle, a Clutch Advisor will contact you to arrange a time and date for it to be delivered to your address. Cars come with free delivery, all the necessary paperwork and a standard 10-day Money Back Guarantee. 

A few hours before delivery, a Clutch Concierge will call you to confirm that you’re home (anyone involved in the agreement must be present during delivery or pickup). Similar conditions apply to financing, only you’ll also be contacted by a Credit Manager to lock in your payments and interest rate.

Find out if you should buy your next car online or at a dealership.

Selling Your Used Car Or Trading It In With Clutch

Remember, if your current car has value, Clutch may buy it from you or let you trade it in for a lower price on your next car. Here’s how it works:

  • Send Photos & Details – Start by sending Clutch some photos and information about your car. On your application, make sure to include all the required details, like its year, make, model and major mechanical components. 
  • Get An Estimate – The Clutch Vehicle Estimator can give you a basic idea of what your vehicle is worth but this figure may not be 100% accurate, so you’ll have to set up an in-person appointment to find out its true value. 
  • Get Your Offer & Arrange Pickup – Once the car is inspected and approved for sale or trade-in, a Clutch representative will give you a firm offer. If you accept it, they’ll pick the vehicle up at your home and pay you on the spot.

Find out if a pre-purchase vehicle inspection is needed to buy a used car.

Benefits Of Selling Or Trading Your Car With Clutch

There are several benefits to doing a sale or trade-in with Clutch, such as:

  • Vehicle Estimator – While the Clutch Vehicle Estimator may not be exact every time, you can use it to decide whether selling or trading your car is worth the money and effort before you commit to buying or financing another one.
  • Trade-Ins Accepted – Clutch takes trade-ins when other car services won’t. That said, offers may be lower than market quotes due to preparation and certification costs. The same goes for cars that have more years, damage, or mileage.
  • Firm Offers & Pickups – When a Clutch specialist makes an offer on your car for sale or trade, that’s the price you’ll eventually get. Plus, you won’t have to bring the car to a dealership, as pickups can be arranged at your home for free. 

Learn why you should check a used car’s vehicle history report

Clutch Care Protection Plans

Another great thing about Clutch is that they offer guarantees when it comes to the safety and satisfaction you receive upon buying or financing a car:

  • Refund Period – Every vehicle from the Clutch inventory comes with a 10-day or 750 km grace period, during which you can return your car without penalty. 
  • Complimentary Limited Warranty – Once your car purchase or financing plan is confirmed, you’ll also get a free 90-day (or 6000 km) warranty. This warranty gives you roadside assistance and covers repairs, replacements, rental car fees and partial tow costs caused by most manufacturer defects, including:
    • Engine
    • Transmission
    • Axles
    • Brakes
    • Fuel System
    • Suspension
    • Electrical Components  
  • Optional Extended Warranty – If you’re worried about car problems after 90 days, you can pay for a warranty that covers those same issues for up to 8 years. 

Vehicle Protection Plan

Clutch’s 90-day and extended warranties provide basic coverage for most vehicle problems that you aren’t responsible for. However, they don’t cover:

  • Components that wear down or get replaced with general maintenance
  • Interior or cosmetic issues that don’t affect the car’s performance or safety
  • Recommended or scheduled maintenance, repairs and servicing
  • Aftermarket accessories or parts that aren’t produced by the manufacturer

Luckily, thanks to the First Canadian Protection Products company, you can secure even better coverage through a Clutch Vehicle Protection Plan. This increases the coverage you get from a basic warranty to include more unexpected costs, like:

  • Hotel expenses following trip interruptions 
  • Wheel damage from road hazards (nails, potholes, etc.)
  • A larger variety of internal issues (timing belt/chain, emission system, etc.)

Visit the Clutch website to find a full coverage list for the Clutch Vehicle Protection Plan.

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GAP Insurance 

If your car gets stolen or written off, Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance can cover the difference between your insurance policy payout and whatever loan debt you have left owing on the vehicle, as well as any deficit transferred from past loans.

Example:

  • You have $20,000 left to pay on your car loan
  • Based on the car’s appraisal value, your insurance payout is $10,000
  • Clutch GAP insurance will cover the remaining $10,000 of loan debt 

Undercoat Protection

Driving in Canada can lead to a multitude of car body issues, like rust. That’s why Clutch also offers Undercoat Protection, which is a clear, wax-based coating that helps preserve the vehicle’s paint against moisture and road salt using a one-time spray. 

Along with that, you’ll receive the following guarantees:

  • Only one application and no drilling necessary
  • 10-year guarantee for current-year model cars
  • 6-year guarantee for older model cars
  • Guaranteed transfer after you sell the vehicle

Clutch FAQs

Is Clutch safe to use?

Yes, Clutch is a trustworthy company that’s been operating in Ontario for over 5 years. They’re also partnered with some popular lenders, including many of Canada’s largest banks and credit unions. Additionally, every car in the Clutch inventory comes certified with a 201-point inspection and a 10 Day Money-back Guarantee.   

Can I buy a car from a different province with Clutch?

Unfortunately, Clutch offers limited purchases and shipping between select provinces. For instance, in Alberta or British Columbia, you can buy a car and have it delivered between provinces but in Nova Scotia, you can only buy and ship a car from Ontario. 

When will I get my title/registration?

Registration times vary depending on the city. For example, cars bought in Toronto arrive plated and registered, whereas registrations in Nova Scotia are sent within 5 – 10 days and a 30-day temporary permit can be provided if the car has no license. If it has a plate already, you can also get a 30-day grace period to transfer the title over.

Is roadside assistance included in my warranty?

Yes, Every Clutch warranty comes with free roadside assistance for its term duration.

Looking For Your Next Used Car?

Then Clutch might be the perfect vehicle financing and buying service for you. Check out their website for more information about the cars, prices, payment options and protection plans they offer. They’re safe, flexible and affordable. Not to mention, Clutch promises to plant 3 trees (each of which absorb 30 lbs of carbon yearly) cars they sell.

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and traveling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer. Bryan uses the BMO Cash Back Mastercard to earn cash back on everything from boring bill payments to exciting excursions. He is also a strong saver, holding both a TFSA and an RRSP account in order to prepare for his future while taking full advantage of tax benefits.

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