Guide to buying the perfect vehicle

Because, as they say, the heart has reasons that reason cannot know, buying a vehicle can be overwhelming.

Adèle Manseau | Desjardins Group

Buying a vehicle can be overwhelming. There are so many choices out there, along with tons of information and promotions, and forums filled with tips and advice. And let’s not forget our own preferences and favourites and last, but not least….our budget!

Because, as they say, the heart has reasons that reason cannot know … here are 5 useful steps to consider when you’re looking for the perfect vehicle.

1. Budget

This will be your biggest consideration, helping you make the right decisions—both in terms of how much to allocate to the purchase, but also (and most importantly) the expenses that come with it: gas, maintenance, insurance and so on.

2. New or used

It all depends on your available budget and how you’ll be using the vehicle. For example, if your annual mileage is low and you feel like getting a new set of wheels every three years, you might be better off leasing. That means a new car.

On the other hand, if your annual mileage is high and you want a long-term relationship with your car, it’s probably best to buy. And then you’ll need to decide whether to go with new or used.

3. Practical vs. stylish

Are you buying for yourself, with a partner or for your young family? That will have a direct impact on what kind of vehicle you choose. But even if you need a lot of space, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style!

It’s helpful to make a list of must-haves in line with your lifestyle:

  • Comfort: if you spend a lot of time driving
  • Handling: safety first
  • Storage space: golf equipment, bike, kids’ sports gear, stuff for baby (who rarely travels light!)
  • Easy driving adjustment: multiple drivers
  • Robustness: if you need to consider the “expedition” side
  • Compact and economical: if you’ll be doing most of your driving within the city
  • Look, style: the cherry on the sundae
  • Etc.

4. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric

If you care about sustainability and want to reduce your carbon footprint, you can take advantage of financial incentives created to encourage consumers to buy “green” cars:
  • Many financial institutions, including Desjardins, offer a green option for financing a new hybrid or electric car.
  • The Quebec Government offers a rebate of up to $8,000 to buy an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, and a reimbursement of up to $600 to install a charging station at home. Find out more!

It’s worth taking the time to consider the specific criteria for this new generation of vehicles, such as distance travelled between charges and the features of vehicles on the market, before making a decision, so you can get the most out of your purchase.

5. Pay in cash or finance

Having the money available to pay cash will save you from having to take out a loan and pay it back with interest. But make sure you don’t spend all the money you’ve set aside for your purchase, because even if you pay cash, you’ll have other related expenses.

There’s no shortage of financing offers and associated promotions, the details of which can vary considerably. It’s not always easy to make sense of it all!

Is 0% financing always better than cashback? Are there limitations on what kind of vehicle you can buy?

The important thing is to evaluate and analyze offers. By comparing two offers, for example, you can decide which one is best for your situation. And finding out the limitations and exclusions is an essential part of the process. Remember, the devil is in the details.

By taking the time to research all your buying and financing options, you’ll make the choice that’s right for you, based on reason and your criteria. Set aside emotion for now—there’s plenty of time for that when you take possession of the car!

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