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Canadian Car buying guide

A comprehensive Canadian car buying guide brought to you by Find out what you need to know to successfully buy a car today. Remember, car insurance is mandatory in Canada, so get your free quote today.

How to buy a car in Canada

Matt Hands

Thinking about buying a car, but feel like you need some guidance? Well you're in luck, this car buying guide has been designed to help you accomplish this exact goal. Most of the time we want a car because we’re either sick of riding public transportation, need it for work, or your current vehicle is on its last legs. Our guide won’t help you decide which car drives the fastest or looks the coolest, but it will help you make a smart and savvy financial decision. 

This car guide gives you the full run down on the whole process of buying a car, as quickly as possible, but it links out to more content to provide you with additional depth and context. It contains the insights needed to allow you to take actionable steps towards a successful car buying experience. worked with several credible sources to put together the most comprehensive car buying guide to help you choose better. 

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The how to buy a car guide starts by helping you figure out if it’s worth buying a car in the first place, if all signs point to yes, then it’s simply time to calculate just how much you can afford to spend. Once you have that number locked in, it becomes easier to narrow the scope of your target list of potential vehicles. Why test drive a Porsche if all you can afford is a used Chevrolet Spark? You may be having fun, but also losing precious time. The cost of owning a vehicle is more than just the sticker price, so we’ll also take a deeper look at the total cost of ownership. You might be able to afford the lease payments, but what about gas, maintenance, and insurance?


Questions to consider before buying a car

How much car can I afford?

What is the total cost of owning a car?

How can I best save up for car?

When is the best time to buy a new car?

Is it better to lease or buy a car?

Is it better to lease or finance a car?

How can I get the best auto loan rates?

Should I buy a car from a dealer or private seller?

Should I buy a new or used car?

What should I do after buying a used car?

How can I trade in a car?

Listen to negotiation tips from's Real Money Talk podcast

Now it’s time to consider the age old car buying questions - new vs. used and lease or finance. We can walk you through the benefits and shortfalls of each side of the equations. We’ll look at how to save for a car, how much you should put down, and if you’re financing, how to make sure you get the best auto loan interest rate.

What type of car should I buy?

Are you a student or recent grad looking for a cheap solution? Perhaps you have a new family member and considering a van? Maybe you’re a contractor or just like the look and feel of a truck. Whatever your situation, we put together a few different buying guides comparing the different vehicles in each of their categories and compare them by the financial elements of each including price, fuel efficiency, safety rating, and car insurance. Consider the following resources to help you narrow down you targeted list of vehicles and find your specific car:

    Don’t worry, with the time tested tactics, you don’t even have to negotiate unless you want to. But you will still want to consider whether to buy the warranty and how to get the most information out of a test drive.

    Car buying tips, tactics, and considerations

    Best ways to negotiate with car dealers

    How to negotiate a used car deal

    How to protect yourself when buying a used car

    Should I test drive a car before buying?

    Buying a car? Compare car insurance quotes.

    As part fo the car buying process you should always consider the cost to insure any car. In as little as 5 minutes, you could compare personalized quotes from Canada's top providers, for free.

    Congratulations, you bought, and now own a car. But, what else do you need? There is a lot that goes into the cost of car ownership per year and as a the potential owner of a car you should be aware of all the added costs. You will need to considered if you should go to the dealership for service vs. your local mechanic? What’s all the fuss about winter tires - do you really need them? What should you do in an accident? How do you keep your car insurance low? The answer to each question comes with price.

    Post purchase car buying considerations

    Do I need winter tires?

    What type of tires do I need?

    How can I get the best car insurance rate?

    How do I switch car insurance companies?

    Do I take my car to a dealer or mechanic?

    Where can I find a good mechanic in my area?

    What to do after you get in a car accident?

    How to get the most out of your car purchase

    We hope you enjoyed our car buying guide, “How to buy a car.” 

    Buying a car is not just a privilege, but also an accomplishment. It’s a feeling of freedom earned. After going through all the steps laid out in our car buying guide one can only reflect on the journey that was and what awaits us on the road ahead. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning and operating a vehicle. Working in insurance, I am hyper aware of my driving habits both good and bad, and the potential impact they could have on the price I pay for insurance. It’s up to us to take care of the cars we own and to obey the rules of the road to ensure not only the safety of ourselves, but also all the other drivers, pedestrians and bystanders. I put my cell phone down to avoid distracted driving. I’m conscious of the speed limits, road signs, traffic lights, conditions and community safety. To continue to enjoy the privilege of driving, and to keep my car insurance premiums low, I do my best to limit my risks. Be safe out there, cherish your new ride, and enjoy the road! 


    Matt, Director of insurance,

    Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

    With 6+ years of experience at, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio

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