The Complete Guide to Buying a Car

February 7, 2020 | Jacqueline Anderson

For the average Canadian, a vehicle is among the top most-expensive purchases, next to a home. With continuous advancements made within the auto industry, the car buying process can be tedious depending on your needs and wants. To help you find the right vehicle, we've compiled a step-by-step process that can help you narrow down your decision.




Set a budget

Consider the size of your down payment, and what how it may impact monthly payments and insurance costs. Depending on your short-term and long term needs, you may decide to lease or finance, each of which have different costs. 

Choose wisely

Pinpoint a type of vehicle and features to narrow the field. Do you value seats with heat or air conditioning features? Are you willing to upgrade packages for a sunroof or park assist programming?

Shop around

Research to find the right make, model and price. Consider the model and crash ratings, fuel efficiency, and owner satisfaction scores. and Natural Resources Canada are great places to start your homework. 

Take a test drive

Drive around your work, home and on the highway. A car may look great on the outside, but you'll be quick to notice the number of blind spots, how high or low you feel on the road, and so much more. 


Remember your budget and stick to it. Be honest with your sales associate, and let them know your budget and must-have features to save time. Depending on your situation, you may be able to negotiate add-ons such as tinted windows, accessories and more. 

Factor in Insurance

After narrowing your choices to three or four vehicles, compare the cost of insurance for each. Insurance costs can vary depending on the make, model, and features. 

When you're setting your budget, understand what you are currently paying for car insurance, and set a reasonable amount you can afford. Get a quote online or speak with an Agent who can assist in finding the policy that suits your needs.

Tags: CAA Insurance, automotive, Car Care

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