- Helping you drive happy

Buying a Car: A Few Great Tips!

Achat d'automobile | Photo:
Get the best interest rate
Khatir Soltani
Before buying your future vehicle here are some tips to consider

Buying a car is a bit like buying shoes. You need the right price, the right size, but also the right model for your intended use. Is it for leisure, a family of 6 or a construction site? After the budget, the main use of the vehicle is the starting point of your considerations. To guide you in your purchase, you need to be well-informed.

Here are some tips... 

👉 The very first source of information is your entourage: relatives, friends, neighbours. Their experience, good or bad, with a car, a dealer or a manufacturer is invaluable. Talk about it with people you know.

👉 Check out groups that analyze automotive products like Consumer Reports, APA, , AAA/CAA, etc.  One publication in particular stands out: APA and Protect Yourself's New and Used Cars 2023 guide is definitely worth a look. This guide offers 300 ratings of new and used vehicles. APA experts analyze the performance, reliability, and safety of each one. At $12.95, it's worth every penny and can save you from costly mistakes.

👉 Check out the specialized car guides: let's mention The Auto Annual, The Car Guide, The Used Car Annual. They provide analysis, tests and reviews that help you weigh the pros and cons of each model.

👉 Visit manufacturers' and dealers' websites to see what vehicles are available on the market, how much they cost and what deals are available. For example, manufacturers often offer discounts on certain models, and they allow you to do financing calculations with different terms and rates offered, both for purchase and for leasing. This is very useful because you know where you stand financially before you even walk through the dealer's door. It also helps you keep your cool!

For used car values, two references are helpful.

👉 Le Guide Hebdo: This guide gives you the trade-in value when buying or selling vehicles, for free and in a few clicks. The Quebec government uses it to determine the sales tax (the QST) on used cars. 

👉 The Canadian Black Book : This guide allows dealers to evaluate the price of a trade-in vehicle and obtain the future value of all models sold in the country.

Criteria to consider ... 

In order to find the vehicle that suits you best, you need to take into account several criteria: your budget and your intended use are undoubtedly the first points to consider; then there are the warranties, the car loan, manufacturer offers, model availability, reliability, safety, interesting opportunities (my colleague is selling his car...), etc.

Car Loan

If you're in the market for a new vehicle, once you've finished thinking about it, it's time to make an appointment with a reputable dealership to begin the financing and purchase process. You won't be able to take advantage of the low rates offered by manufacturers unless your credit is impeccable. 

2nd Chance Credit: If your credit record is damaged and you are denied regular credit car financing, you should know that some dealerships specialize in 2nd chance credit while offering new and guaranteed vehicles. Don't be embarrassed, your situation is very common. 

A friend sells you his car? This is advantageous because you will know the true history of the vehicle (such as the reason for the sale, maintenance history, etc.) and you will save the seller's commission in addition to the GST. However, you will have to get a personal loan or use your savings to finance your purchase.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
As a car enthusiast, he tests and compares vehicles from different categories through the eyes of the consumer, ensuring relevant and objective reviews.
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada