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Buyer beware: vehicle prices have been on the rise at an eye-popping pace in Canada. The problems began during the pandemic when shutdowns affected inventory and led to empty car dealerships and long wait times for new vehicles. According to one news report, the average price of a new vehicle reached over $66,000, while even used vehicles hit over $39,000.

As an average, that includes luxury vehicles, and there are plenty of cheaper options. You can still save when you buy a vehicle. These tips should help you find better ways to save without compromising on the quality or condition of your next vehicle.

1. Start by Looking at More Affordable Cars

Vehicle prices have a wide range, and if those average prices listed above have you wondering if you can even afford a car, don’t worry. There are plenty of brands and models that offer budget and mid-range options that can be kinder to your pocketbook.

For example, the average Honda Civic price in Canada is less than half the average of all new vehicles, ranging from $25,000 to $35,000 depending on the year and the trim. That’s also the price for a new vehicle; you can save even more by buying used.

Other brands known for reputable cheap and mid-range options include Kia, Nissan, Chevrolet, and Subaru.

2. Get Better Financing

Financing options make up a significant portion of your monthly car payment. Saving on your financing options can make your vehicle a lot more affordable by cutting down on the amount of interest you have to pay.

Take the time to shop around with your financing options and get the best possible interest rate. Vehicles are depreciating assets, and it’s common for drivers to owe more than their car is even worth.

Always use a car loan calculator to make sure you know the full price of a vehicle. Once you include interest rates, your vehicle can turn out to be much more expensive than you thought.

3. Search Both on the Lot and Online

The days when your search for a car started and ended with a car dealership are coming to an end. You can buy cars mostly online these days, giving yourself a chance to browse from a wider inventory, sees what models are available and compare prices. You can move at your own pace and avoid pushy sales tactics, or you can even avoid the dealership altogether and buy a used vehicle directly from a private buyer. Just make sure you get the vehicle inspected when you buy from an individual rather than a business.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

When you do go to a dealership to buy a vehicle, you should go in armed with the knowledge that you’ve got the upper hand. You may not have as much knowledge as the salesperson, but it’s your money that they need.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better price or features that would otherwise cost extra. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

5. Pay Attention to the Contract

Last but not least, always pay attention to the contract you sign. Make sure there are no hidden fees or add-on products that will raise your costs. Take your time and if you’re feeling pressure ask for some time alone to read through it completely.

This content is a joint venture between our publication and our partner. We do not endorse any product or service in the article.