We’re budget-minded buyers

Think of Toronto as one sprawling auto mall of polished showrooms, colourful banners and snappy business-card dispensers.

It has one of the highest concentrations of automobile dealerships on the continent — a boon to car shoppers who can take advantage of the unbridled competition here.

With 5 million people concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area, it’s a car-hungry critical mass that has spawned 330 new-car dealers slugging it out for your dollars.

“Toronto is the cheapest place in Canada to buy a car,” confirms Mark Derry, a professional auto broker who purchases vehicles on behalf of clients. And word has gotten around. Derry gets queries from far afield, places like Atlantic Canada.

“I had a client come from Ottawa to buy his Infiniti G35 here,” recalls Mohamed Bouchama, executive director of consumer group Car Help Canada Download apps for free. “He saved $2,500. He could afford to fly here to pick up his car.”

It would be an understatement to say Canadians are budget-conscious car buyers. Squeezed by high taxes and energy costs, we enjoy less disposable income than our neighbours to the south. When it comes to vehicle purchases, every penny counts.

Lucky for us, there are more affordable cars on the Canadian market than ever before.

“Manufacturers had neglected the entry-level segment for a long time,” says George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association (APA). “But because Toyota has done so well with its Echo, other car makers are getting on board with `B-cars’ of their own.”

He points to Honda’s new Fit, the Smart car and BMW’s Mini adobe flash player download kostenlos deutsch windows 10. Chevrolet boasts three car lines (Aveo, Optra, Optra5) positioned below its former entry vehicle, the Cobalt, thanks to Asian partner Daewoo. Toyota’s Yaris (formerly Echo) family is expanding. And there’s more on the way.

“When you have high-profile manufacturers entering the segment, it adds legitimacy. Consumers take notice,” says Chris Travell, vice-president of the automotive group of Maritz Research.

Industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers says Canadians are rapidly abandoning the traditional mid-size market, with the majority of them shifting to surprisingly opulent entry-level vehicles like the Honda Civic and Mazda3.

“Canadians are very attuned to gas prices, insurance and other costs of driving,” says DesRosiers. “The entry-level segment is growing rapidly, making up 45 per cent of the Canadian market — 50 per cent if you remove fleet sales.”

“It’s a different strategy here than in the United States,” agrees Iny Download windows media player.

Automakers are targeting Canada with a flurry of new products that, conveniently, distracts shoppers from inquiring about incentives.

Fresh nameplates trade on their newness — especially if they’re uniquely styled — and consumers are willing to pay list price to be among the first to have one.

`Because Toyota has done so well with its Echo, other car makers are getting on board with B-cars of their own.’

George Iny, Automobile Protection Ass’n.

DesRosiers suggests there’s a “slim chance” employee pricing will return this summer. While wildly popular, the program cost the domestic automakers plenty just to retain market share.

Manufacturers like GM cling to the notion that if they can get people to buy into their brand, they’ll stick with the company. Not so, says Travell Christmas videos for free in 2019.

“GM founder Alfred Sloan’s idea of introducing the brand to a young person to create loyalty doesn’t hold true anymore. Canadians tend to stick to the segment, or move up just one,” he says.

In other words, a Chevrolet Cobalt buyer is more likely to move laterally to a Ford Focus or Mazda3, rather than shift up to a Chevy Impala or Equinox.

Knowledge is power and, increasingly, consumers seeking the best deal are girding themselves for a showroom showdown, armed with automotive information.

Yet while many Canadians research their car purchase well, Bouchama notes they sometimes forget to factor in their insurance costs.

“Who are the first-time buyers ipad filme herunterladen? Students and newly arrived immigrants — precisely the people who pay the highest insurance rates,” says Bouchama. “They face premiums of $250 to $350 per month.”

He cites the experience of a new-Canadian couple who leased a Dodge SX 2.0 at an attractive monthly rate. But they were shocked when they learned how much their insurance bill would actually be.

“They lost their $2,000 deposit on the car after they found out they could not afford coverage and backed out,” says Bouchama.

He recommends spending time with your insurance representative to uncover what various models on your short list will cost to insure. The premiums may shape your final decision.

Unlike Americans, Canadians have not always been able to access dealer invoice pricing, which can help them make an informed offer on a new car herunterladen.

Today, the information is available — for a fee — through organizations like CarCostCanada.com, but broker Derry cautions the data have to be up-to-date. That’s because the dealer cost fluctuates from

month to month due to market conditions.

Derry says the industry data reveal markups of 6 to 12 per cent and no more.

“Some consumers unfortunately have the idea the (profit) margins are much higher than they are,” he says, adding that they may spend weeks travelling fruitlessly from dealer to dealer to extract a deeper discount.

“I recommend a soft negotiating style,” says Derry. “Do the research, then come in and say: `I’m prepared to pay this amount.'”

`Never sign the (purchase deal) in the belief you have time to think about it’

Mohamed Bouchama, Car Help Canada

Derry says consumers ready to buy that day are heaven-sent to dealers bücher pdf herunterladen kostenlos. “Something like 80 per cent of shoppers don’t come back, so they only have one chance to close the deal.”

If you have the means, Derry even suggests walking in with a certified cheque for the amount you wish to pay. “It shows extreme commitment.” (You can always augment the cheque with cash or a credit card if it doesn’t work out to be the final price.)

Auto brokers like Derry, along with car-buying clubs like Car Help Canada and the APA, can usually wrangle fleet prices from selected dealers, which are typically 1.5 to 3 per cent over invoice.

It’s a discount an individual consumer would be hard-pressed to get, since her purchase represents a onetime transaction, rather than a promise of multiple sales.

DesRosiers says success in negotiations always comes down to three factors: time (don’t buy anything spur of the moment), information (do your homework) and money (know how much you want to pay) mahjong titans deutsch kostenlos download.

Here are some other new-car buying tips from our panel of experts:

  • Shop at the end of the month, when many dealers will reduce their profit margins to hit their sales targets and win points with the manufacturer.
  • Some models new to the market won’t be discounted. But that can change in as little as six months, so be patient — or expect to pay the full MSRP to be the first to own one.
  • You may be able to wrangle reduced pre-delivery inspection (PDI) and administration fees. Don’t accept the argument that the fees are preprinted on the form.
  • Some dealers will tell you vehicle etching (usually a $299 charge) as a theft deterrent is mandatory and “is already on the car.” If you don’t want it, they can’t force you to take it itunes program for free.
  • You may be introduced to the business manager, the “Finance and Insurance” person. Resist the temptation to buy the dealer rustproofing, which is marked up 200 to 300 per cent. Negotiate a better price or buy it elsewhere afterwards.
  • Extended warranties are expensive, but potentially worth it if you’re buying some domestic or European vehicles with shoddy reliability ratings. Be mindful of limitations or you’ll void your warranty before you know it.

Bouchama recommends writing the date of delivery on the contract; otherwise, they have 90 days to find your car. With a date specified as a condition of sale, the dealer is obliged to return your deposit if he misses the agreed upon date, Bouchama says.

He also recommends limiting your deposit to $500 on any vehicle purchase mac operating system. His guideline is based on “liquidating damages,” the cost of undoing the deal, at $250 per hour.

Auto dealers are exempt from the 24-hour “cooling off” period after a purchase contract has been signed, meaning that you’re on the hook from the moment the pen touches the paper.

“Not sure? Never sign the paper in the belief you have time to think about it,” insists Bouchama.

“Monday is the busiest day of the week in our office. Everybody phones in with regrets after buying a car on Saturday.”


Apr. 27, 2006