Buying a new car can be stressful, especially if you haven’t done it in over five years. There’s the issue of choosing a colour, make, extra features (if you want them), and of course the messy business of negotiating a price. If you don’t do the research before heading to the dealership, you could fall into a trap many buyers before you have succumbed to and leave the dealership with much more than you bargained for, and not in a good way.
Before you even start talking to a salesperson, arm yourself with enough knowledge about the car to reduce the likelihood of you getting taken for a ride (no pun intended). The first thing you need to do is the research on the car cost. Canada dealers get their units at wholesale prices. You can find out more about this via invoice price reports. Companies like Car Cost Canada offer invoice price reports at $39.95 while Unhaggle.com lets you access it for free. Once you get the factory price of the car, factor in what the dealer needs to make in profit and you can start benchmarking your price for negotiation.
Next, it is also important to understand which fees are mandatory and which fees are optional dealer fees that can be negotiated out of your purchase. The more information you have, the better your chances are of getting a reasonable price, and one that you can be happy with.
Here’s a quick rundown of the mandatory fees you’ll need to pay when purchasing a car according to the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry:
1. HST or Harmonized Sales Tax – 13% on car price
2. Air tax – Air conditioner excise tax of $100 for cars with air-conditioning
3. OTS tax or Ontario Tire Stewardship fee – For passenger vehicles and light trucks the fee is $5.84 per tire
4. OMVIC fee – A transaction fee to support OMVIC’s (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) dispute resolution activities
5. PPSA fee – If you finance/lease a car, the bank/leasing company will charge a fee for setting up the loan and registering the lien $50 to $75.
6. Licensing – Most dealerships will take care of this for you and will charge an admin fee of $50 to $75.
If it’s not listed above, consider it a dealer fee. An important thing to remember is that mandatory fees should not be added to the car’s price after you’ve negotiated it, it must already be included. The same goes for advertisements that include the price of a car – whatever is advertised should be the all-in price.
Don’t be pressured into buying additional products or features you don’t believe have value. If you’re being made to believe that a certain add-on is compulsory because it’s already been installed, you have the right to report them to the OMVIC for deliberately misleading you.
Dealer fees and add-ons like security packages which include a police traceable code in case of theft could already be part of your insurance coverage so make sure you do the due diligence and read your contracts before signing them.
A great way to avoid paying for more than the car is worth is to do extensive research online and see what other people are paying for the same car. Find out also if there are any on-going Canadian dealer incentives that you could take advantage of.