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The ultimate guide to buying a new car

Jul 22, 2020 5 minute read

The ultimate guide to buying a new car

Buying a new car is a big deal. It’s not like buying a pair of jeans. If you discover you don’t quite like it, you can’t just bring it back to the store. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to buying a new car. Our guide will walk you through the research essentials, what questions to ask the salesperson, how to get the right insurance plan before you hit the road and how to keep your car in the best shape possible once you’ve got it.

We asked one of our insurance experts, Alex Rei, to help with some common questions you might have when you’re car shopping. He’s been asked every question in the book when it comes to buying a new car, so he has some great advice to share.

Whether it’s a brand new car or if it’s just new to you, check out these helpful tips before you buy.

Do your research

Before you start visiting car dealerships and test-driving, you should do some research. Figure out exactly what you want in a car and make a list of the features that are most important to you. Read reviews, look for news articles and talk to your friends and family.

There are tons of resources and tips out there – so many in fact that it can be a little overwhelming!

Ask Alex:
Do you have any advice for someone buying a new car?

“Get the car you actually like,” Alex says. “I’ll get customers who ask what the cheapest car is for insurance. You don’t want to end up with a car you’re not happy with to save a few dollars on insurance. It’s the broker’s role to find you the right insurance. Find what you like and we’ll find the most competitive quote available based on where you live and your driving record.”

Luckily, there is a ton of research and information just a few clicks away. Some websites we like for researching different vehicles are:

Should I buy new or used?

That’s a great question. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that only you can answer. To help make that decision a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of the pros and cons of getting a new car versus used.

New car

Advantages Disadvantages
Manufacturer warranty Depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot - cars lose a lot of value quickly
May have newer technologies and safety features More expensive
Financing flexibilities, including leasing  
Potential for maintenance package included  

Quick Question: What does depreciation mean? Depreciation means a loss of value over time.

Used car

Advantages Disadvantages
Less depreciation than new car Higher likelihood of maintenance issues
Less expensive Can’t customize options or choose the colour you want
You can find more data and reviews of an older car May have higher financing rates

Quick Question: Is insurance cheaper with a new or used car? It depends. There are factors, such as whether or not you bought the car outright, and which coverages you select.

Ask Alex:
Should I buy new or used?

“If you get a new car, you’ll be eligible for coverages that are not available for a used car. However, a used car is less expensive to buy. Everyone wants a new car, but at the end of the day, it’s about what you can afford.”

Questions you need to ask before buying a car

There are a few questions you should ask before you buy a car. Some of these questions you need to ask yourself, and others you need to ask the person selling the car.

How much can I afford to spend?

Review your budget and what you can afford to spend every month. Don’t forget to take insurance costs into consideration. (Ask yourself this question early on so you don’t fall in love with a car that’s outside of your budget.)

How much is my trade-in worth (if available)?

Are you upgrading? If so, do some research on your current vehicle. You’ll need to consider the make, model and year of the vehicle, as well as the current mileage and condition of the car. Knowing how much it’s worth can help you determine your budget.

What safety features does this car have?

A really important question to ask before you buy. New technologies are making driving safer than ever, so there are a lot of options out there.

Does this car fit my life?

Is this car just for you, or does it need to fit a child car seat, stroller, dog and hockey gear? It’s important to buy something that makes sense for you and your needs.

Does this car come in my favourite colour?

This is a big purchase, and hopefully you’ll have this car for a long time (in your favourite colour).

Get the right insurance for your new car

You’ve done your research, you’ve asked all the right questions, and now you’re finally ready to get behind the wheel and drive off into the sunset. Before you hit the road, there’s one important thing you need to do: make sure you have the right insurance.

In Canada, car insurance is the law. Insurance protects you, your car, your passengers and others on the road. With the right insurance plan, you can drive with greater peace of mind knowing what matters most is protected.

Ask Alex:
How do I get insurance for my new car?

“The first thing you want to do is have a conversation with an insurance expert. They can listen to what you are looking for. Then they tailor a package that works specifically for you."

Finding the right insurance can be really overwhelming, especially after you’ve done all that work to research your car. An insurance advisor can help make the process easier for you by taking the guesswork out of insurance.

Keep your new car running smoothly

Congrats! You did it! You did the research, bought your new car, insured it properly, and now you can simply enjoy your new wheels. Except there’s one last thing.

A car is a huge investment, so it’s important to take care of it. We’ve put together some tips you can do to help maintain your car:

  • Read the manual! Don’t just toss into the glove department. The owner’s manual provides useful information about your car, including maintenance schedule
  • Check the oil regularly – the manual will tell you how often it needs a change
  • Check the tire pressure once a month
  • Keep your fluids topped up – check things like anti-freeze, coolant, wiper fluid and power steering fluid on a regular basis
  • Get winter tires in the winter – this can also save you some money on insurance
  • Don’t ignore the check engine light! Bring it into the dealership or a mechanic to figure out what’s going on

Buying a new car? BrokerLink can help get you on the road

Buying a new car (whether it’s brand new or just new to you) is a big deal! Take your time, do your research and find something that feels right. Once you’ve found a car that works for you, give your friendly neighbourhood insurance advisor a call. We are always here to help, with expert advice. The only thing we can’t do is help you pick the car’s colour. That’s all you.