Financial February: choose the vehicle that’s right for you

| Consumer bulletins

February is the month for falling in love! Before you fall in love with your next vehicle, AMVIC wants you to keep in mind the financial costs of buying and owning a vehicle.

When shopping for your next vehicle, consider what best suits your needs. Is it a minivan to haul all your children’s sports equipment around or is it a small car that’s good on gas? Used or new?

Next, decide if you want to lease or buy. If you’re going to buy, will you require credit and how will you obtain this credit? Will you get financing from your own bank or straight from the dealership? Leasing may sound like an attractive option because you can have a different vehicle with every lease contract. But it’s possible leasing can cost you more in the end when you factor in charges for going over the kilometre allowance, or for any excess wear and tear.

Once you’ve made these initial decisions, you will be less likely to buy a vehicle you don’t want and maybe can’t afford. Buyer’s remorse can happen and it’s important to remember there is no “cooling off” period in Alberta. Once you sign the contract, it is binding.

To help yourself set a budget, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada for tips, guidance and an online vehicle financing calculator.

Understand your consumer rights by visiting amvic.org.