How to buy a car in Toronto
How to buy a car in Toronto is something that has surely crossed every 5 p.m. College Station commuter's mind. The logistics of owning a new or used vehicle — buying plates, getting registration, paying sales tax, obtaining Drive Clean and Safety Standards certifications (if not already acquired) — seem suddenly less daunting with a fellow commuter's elbow pressed squarely into your kidney. Obviously the first step is to decide what make and model of car you want to buy, followed by how, exactly, you want to make your purchase. It's also a good idea to look into insurance beforehand since the annual costs can fluctuate based on the type of car you buy.
New or Used?
Whether you decide to buy new or used determines where you go looking to find your next vehicle. Buying new has its perks, of course, including the manufacturer's warranty, low or no interest rates, and that new-car smell that pine-shaped air fresheners just can't replicate. But a used vehicle is clearly a more affordable choice (as long as you don't buy a lemon), any becomes a little more desirable once you realize that your "new" car essentially becomes "used" the moment you drive it off the lot. If you're buying new your first and last stop will generally just be the dealership, but if you've decided to go used, you have a few more options in terms of where to look.
Private Sale or Dealership?
Some of the top places to list a used car for sale are also the places to buy, including general classifieds such as Kijiji and Craigslist and Auto Classifieds such as Auto Trader and Car Pages. Dealerships might offer better piece of mind for some when buying a used vehicle, but they also usually come with higher price tags. For those with the number of a trusty mechanic, a private sale can offer the same type of assurance. Then there's the option of buying a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle, which might cost a little more than the average used, but comes with a manufacturer's warranty.
Buy or Lease?
The decision of whether to lease or buy a new car depends on a variety of factors, all of which, likely, trace back to one — money. If you can spring for a cash deal
(I'll send you my number in a private message) all the power to you. If not, you might want to consider leasing. You'll probably pay more in the long run, but it has certain advantages (i.e. a new car every few years) And then, of course, there's always the option of a purchase loan. Your monthly payments for a lease will likely be lower than those for a purchase loan, but with the latter, the regular monthly expense will eventually stop. An owned car, however, will undoubtedly incur maintenance costs in the long-term, whereas leased cars are often covered under warranty for all or the majority of the term (two to four years, generally). That doesn't mean you're off the hook on maintenance, but there's some protection there.
A big thanks to the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic for sponsoring the blood, sweat, tears and elbow grease that went into writing this post.
Photo by DdotG in the blogTO Flickr pool
Join the conversation Load comments