Americans have a true love affair with their vehicles, believing to the core that it's a God-given right to own a new one, says auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers. But in Canada, he adds, vehicles are generally viewed as a necessary evil.
And that in large part explains why Canadians "are the smartest car consumers perhaps in the world," says the president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
We buy less on emotion and more on logic and need. We also retain our vehicles far longer than the typical American, so vehicles have fewer owners .
DesRosiers notes that the average Canadian who buys new keeps that vehicle for eight to nine years. In the U.S., buyers hold onto their vehicles between four and five years. So an American vehicle has typically four owners during its lifecycle, while in Canada a new vehicle will have three.
We also take care of our vehicles better than Americans. The typical Canadian is more likely to use a professional do the service work – 90 per cent, in fact. In the U.S., do-it-yourselfers do 30 per cent of the service work.
"We are very sensible," says DesRosiers. "We're probably 50 per cent smarter on our vehicle ownership than Americans. And I can document that with data on how long we own a vehicle, how we buy it and how we take care of our vehicles. Canadians buy the least amount of vehicle they can and we hold onto our vehicles and we take care of them."
DesRosiers believes our vehicle ownership traits are the product of a 50-50 blend of psychology and economics, or the finances of owning a car. On the former, it's pretty normal for a Canadian to say, "I don't need the big honking SUV in the driveway. I care about fuel efficiency." Thus, about two-thirds of the Canadian market is comprised of small, entry-level vehicles, versus a third in the U.S..
"On the financial side, it's the entire cost of ownership, not just the capital cost," says DesRosiers. "We have higher insurance prices. We have higher taxes. Our vehicles depreciate a little faster because of weather and other factors. We have lower after-tax income. So we buy less expensive vehicles and we hold onto them longer to manage ownership costs."
And we simply do not require a fleet of vehicles in the driveway. In the U.S., there is about one vehicle on the road for every person of driving age. In Canada, total vehicles on the road amount to about 78 per cent of the driving age population – which is up from 66 per cent a decade and a half ago.
Our vehicle ownership attitudes and behaviours have a profound impact on how car makers and their dealers market and sell cars in Canada. For instance, if the typical Canadian keeps a new vehicle for on average 84 months, it can make sense for that consumer to take advantage of low-interest financing for 84 months, as is being offered by Chrysler Canada in one of this weeks' deals, the Jeep Wrangler.
We look for good deals across the board, in fact, and if we don't find them, we walk about without feeling cheated out of our "God-given" right to a new ride. With all that in mind, Deals of the Week rustled up a few deals that could tempt even a Canadian to drive away in a new ride – including more than $15,000 available on Ford's F-Series pickup, perhaps $9,000 on a Jaguar XF and more than $5,000 on a Mercedes-Benz E350.
Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, 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 the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2014 Ford F-150 4WD SuperCrew Styleside 6-1/2 Ft Box Platinum:
- MSRP: $62,190
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,835
- Employee Pricing discount: $7,643
- Factory discount: $7,500 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $48,882
- Total price with 13% HST: $55,236.66
- Factory incentives available with a 2.49% finance rate for 48 or 60 months. A 4.49% lease rate for 48 months is available with Employee Pricing and a $6,500 factory incentive.
2014 Jaguar XF 4 door Sedan V6 AWD
- MSRP: $61,500
- Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $2,680
- Dealer discount (estimated): $3,350
- Factory discount: $3,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Factory discount: $2,500 (Loyalty incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $55,330
- Total price with 13% HST: $62,522.90
- Incentives available with 0.90% finance rate for 48 or 60 months. A 4.90% lease rate for 48 months is available with the Loyalty rebate, a $5,250 factory incentive and any dealer incentives.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC Sedan
- MSRP: $66,800
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,625
- Dealer discount (estimated): $3,200
- Factory discount: $2,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $64,225
- Total price with 13% HST: $72,574.25
- Factory incentives available with a 0.90% finance rate for 48 or 60 months, or a 2.90% lease rate for 45 months.
2014 Jeep Wrangler 4WD 2door Sahara
- MSRP: $32,395
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,830
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,400
- Factory discount: $3,500 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $29,325
- Total price with 13% HST: $33,137.25
- The factory incentives are available with 3.99% financing for 48, 60 or 84 months.
Pricing information source: unhaggle.com and 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.
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