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Prospects of buying a car are all kinds of awesome even if you’re a newcomer in Canada. Nothing beats the feel of glistening car keys and that famous new-car-smell. Yes, that car you’ve been swooning over since you landed here, can finally be yours. Or maybe you’re just looking to get a car that meets your basic needs for the first few years. Whether back home, or in Canada, you just have to play it smart and do your homework.

Assess your vehicle needs and requirements

You have a few questions to ask yourself. What car fits your family’s needs? What are your traveling needs regarding mileage, comfort, safety, environmental friendliness, etc.? These factors will help narrow your choice down from an almost inexhaustible list of Cars, SUVs and Trucks in all types and sizes. This is where you do tons of car-market research. You can also opt for used cars as an option.


Know your affordability regarding monthly payment, fuel cost, maintenance and insurance. This cumulative sum should not disrupt your finances too much. Buying a car is usually the second most significant expense headed your way after buying or renting a home. Pull out your calculator and punch your way towards a feasible and stress-free amount.

Money matters

It is essential to understand the basic payment options in front of you. Cash, Financing and Leasing. Each mode of payment has its respective pros and cons, and your decision should be carefully evaluated. Don’t let the unfamiliarity of some of these terms bog you down. Reach out to your dealer for their advice and ask family and friends for their personalized experiences.


Approach family and friends for their recommendations on car dealers and salespeople. Search for automobile dealers online or visit them directly to get one-on-one information. Some dealerships offer multi lingual service to better assist new Canadians on their first car purchase. Be straightforward with your salesperson and tell them exactly what you are looking for. Keep an eye out for special discounts, rebates and lower sales seasons (like Winter) to receive the best deal.

Test drive

This is one test you might not hesitate taking more than once. Buckle up and ask your dealers for a test drive! A route that has a variety of paths - rough, smooth, patches, hilly, would be ideal. You don’t want to seal the deal unless it feels just right.


Driving insurance can be intimidating if newcomers are told right off the bat about this big bad monster. Ask around to different insurance companies to get the best possible rate. Your driving record, licence duration, car size and popularity all contribute towards varying insurance rates.

Check out the Newcomer Program booklet.

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