Things to Know Before You Buy

Cars on lot

When it comes to automotive services, CAA strives to help you. That includes bringing you helpful information about purchasing a new vehicle. After all, after a house, a new automobile is undoubtedly the second most expensive purchase the average Canadian consumer makes in their lifetime. With the large number of new high-tech vehicles on the market, it's easy to lose sight of your original needs. That's why it's so important for prospective car buyers do their homework ahead of time.

The first step in buying a new vehicle is to decide what type of vehicle meets your needs. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you do a lot of driving?
  • Do you tow a trailer or haul heavy equipment?
  • Is fuel efficiency important to you?
  • Are you interested in a luxury vehicle?

Gather general new vehicle buying information from sources like the Consumer Reports web site.

From there, decide what type of vehicle meets your needs and obtain pricing information. Set a budget by determining what you can afford. Consumer Reports offers a finance calculator that can help determine your budget. Remember to factor into your budget:

  • Insurance
  • Registration
  • Maintenance
  • Operating costs

Visit the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) web site for new models performance rating.

Selecting the right vehicle

After you've narrowed down your options to a few prospective vehicles, it's time to start your research. Consider:

  • Model ratings
  • Reliability information
  • Owner satisfaction
  • Fuel economy reports

Compare like vehicles, weighing their options, pricing, benefits and drawbacks.