Are you and your family finding that having one vehicle isn’t feasible, given your schedules? Is your commute becoming a hassle? It sounds like you may be in the market for a new car!
When you begin your search, as there are so many possible options, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle and budget—not to mention, how the car may (or may not) live up to that over time.
Below are three tips to help you weigh your decision.
When choosing a new vehicle, dependent on how many other vehicles you own, it’s helpful to consider your lifestyle and how you and your family operate daily. If you have a smaller family or are single, your decision may be more driven by aesthetics, meaning a sleek hatchback or sporty two-seater may be an ideal choice. Conversely, a growing family is more concerned about space, especially if they need to stash things hockey gear; even without kids, the vehicle may be used for deliveries or small business purposes. Understand where you’re at and where you plan to be during the car's lifecycle (assuming we’ll drive most cars for about seven years on average).
Safety should be another consideration; a bigger, heavier vehicle like a truck provides more crash protection than a smaller, lighter vehicle (like a Toyota Yaris, for example).
Lastly, size can impact overall fuel economy. While some like the look of, say, a Ford F-350 or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, they cost significantly more to keep on the road.
Cost of Ownership
Looks can be deceiving, and sometimes a cheaper vehicle may not be as affordable once you factor in the actual cost of owning and driving it. The first thing to look at is fixed costs, like the sticker price, financing and interest, license and registration, depreciation (possible resell value) and the cost of insurance—which can fluctuate based on your location and the total value of the car.
Second, there are maintenance costs. Some cars, for example, may require specialized parts and services like Audi or Porsche. Others, dependent on the make, model and year, may be prone to a specific issue or failure.
While a car may initially feel like a comfortable purchase at the dealership, it may be a different story at the pump if it needs to be filled up more than expected to get you through your commutes. With the ever-fluctuating cost of gas, which hit all-time highs this summer across Canada—and the globe—mileage should be a significant factor influencing your decision.
There could be substantial savings involved with spending a little more upfront. An electric car, for example, may cost $20,000 more than a standard vehicle but considering that the cost of getting 450 km out of your Tesla Model 3 can sit around $4 dollars, the savings could be massive over the timeline of your ownership.