We are not Americans. We are Canadians. And when it comes to car buying, we Canucks typically are very, very different from our neighbours to the south.
“From the moment the thought of buying new car enters the mind of an American, they’re on an execution basis. For Canadians it’s a question of, “Let’s find out about this,” says Ben Spatafora, National Director of Dealer Development at the pricing service CarCostCanada (CCC).
Canadians, then, are wont to pause and take a breath before pulling the trigger on a new-vehicle buy. They putter and probe and plod their way through a research process that ends decisively, true. But to get to the moment of truth, Canadians spend a good deal of time pondering which vehicle is most suitable, why and for how much.
“Our research shows that a consumer on CarCostCanada executes (a purchase) within seven days,” says Spatafora. But that’s only because a detailed pricing report signals a decision to crunch the numbers before heading to the dealer. Today’s Canadian car consumer should be always be unusually well armed with costing and rebate information – published and unpublished – explained in plain English.
This hasn’t always been the case. Only in the last few years has Canada begun to catch up to the U.S. in terms of the availability of detailed pricing. Canadian consumers, suggests Spatafora, have become accustomed to the power of the Internet in this information age. Good timing. Any number of sources will confirm that the Canadian marketplace is awash in sales sweeteners, incentives that range from cash-back offers and cut-rate financing deals to free golf club memberships and more. Discounts, notes Spatafora, have “become the game.”
CCC will happily sell you insights into pricing and incentives, but CCC is not the only pricing report supplier in Canada. CCC sells five full pricing reports for $39.95 plus tax, although a current special provides 10 reports at that price. Spatafora, not surprisingly, believes that CCC’s service is the clearest, quickest, most concise and comprehensive available to Canadians today.
What’s certain is that CCC is not alone in this game. The Automobile Protection (apa.ca) gives five free pricing reports to members ($77 plus tax for membership), and has been providing this sort of service for decades.
Meanwhile, unhaggle.com is a serious new player, one that’s having an impact, too. Unhaggle provides free pricing reports to those who provide contact information (email, postal code and phone number). The contact information requirement suggests a dealer referral could be in the works, but unhaggle.com allows users to decline referrals. That said, unhaggle.com’s free pricing information is slightly less rich in detail than the reports from CCC and the APA, but they also offer a more comprehensive service for $99.
Wherever a Canadian car buyer goes for information, “Never buy a car without a price report,” says CCC’s Spatafora. The “art” of buying a new vehicle is a process of clearing away confusion and obfuscation, of being clear on what you want and what is a fair price to pay for it.
Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for all the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2014 BMW Z4 2 door Roadster 35i
- MSRP: $63,900
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $2,315
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,550
- Factory discount: $8,000 (BMW Alternate Cash Back factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $55,665
- Total price with 13% HST: $62,901.45
- 3.90% financing for 60 months not available with Alternate Cash
2013 Toyota Camry I4 Auto XL
- MSRP: $30,470
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,720
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,500
- Taxable subtotal: $30,690
- Total price with 13% HST: $34,679.70
- Factory discount: $2,000 (Toyota Non-stackable Cash Incentive factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final price: $32,679.70
- 0 .0% financing for 60 months cannot be combined with cash discount
2013 Audi A6 quattro 3.0T Premium
- MSRP: $66,200
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,095
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,700
- Factory discount: $7,000 (Audi Alternate Cash factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Factory discount: $1,500 (Audi Loyalty Cash factory-to-dealer rebate for eligible Audi owners only)
- Taxable subtotal: $57,095
- Total price with 13% HST: $64,517.35
- 0.0% financing for 60 months can be combined with cash discount of $1,500
2014 Nissan Titan 4WD King Cab SWB PRO-4X
- MSRP: $43,598
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,745
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,600
- Factory discount: $9,000 (Factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $34,743
- Total price with 13% HST: $39,259.59
- 1.9% cash discount can be combined with a $4,000 cash incentive
Pricing information source: www.unhaggle.com and www.carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Where noted, “dealer discounts” are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.
If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.
Add us to your circles.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.