Questions to Ask When Buying a New Car

Buying a new car is a major purchase, usually the biggest purchase that you make aside from your home. So, it only makes to go slow and ask a few key questions.

What can I expect to pay in interest?

This can vary wildly. Manufacturers will offer a wide range of interest rates that will often change throughout the model year of a particular vehicle. They can even vary with trim level and how popular a vehicle is. However, the general rule of thumb is that the longer the finance term is the higher the interest rate is. As such, if you can shoulder a high monthly payment you’ll probably end up paying less for your car when all is said and done. Long term financing with a higher interest rate may fit more easily into your monthly budget but you’ll pay more for the vehicle in total.

Are there other charges that I might not have thought of?

Purchasing a new vehicle will involve some other charges. Some dealers will add administrative or documentation fees. This is not the case at T&T Honda. As a “no-fee” dealer we only charge what we are required to by regulatory bodies. These include environmental levies for air conditioning and tires, $100 and $20, respectively. The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) also requires a fee of $6.25. Of course, there is no escaping the General Sales Tax (GST) of five percent.

How far is the nearest dealership/service centre from my home or work?

For those of us living in major urban centers and surrounding communities, access to parts and service for our new vehicle probably isn’t a concern. However, you may live and work in a remote area or rural setting but still want to service your vehicle at a dealership for that brand (which we recommend whenever possible). In that case, it would be smart to scout out where your nearest dealership is.

Is a test drive necessary?

Strictly speaking, no, but we strongly encourage you to take any vehicle that you are seriously considering on a test drive. As mentioned, a vehicle is big financial commitment, and something you’ll be living with for a long time. You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes of even your favorite brand without trying them on, would you? We value Honda customers’ loyalty and we share their confidence in our products but vehicles do evolve and it’s important to find a car that is good fit you today.

Given current public health concerns, we have changed our test drive protocol. Salespeople used to accompany customers on the drive but we now send customers out on their own after providing them with a rundown of key controls and suggesting a route that reveals the vehicle’s strengths and personality. Of course, we thoroughly sanitize our test drive units between uses.

Does this vehicle make me happy?

A test drive is crucial for answering this question. A vehicle might meet all of your needs, objectively, and fit your budget comfortably but ideally it should also please you on an emotional level. Again, you’ll be spending many km together and laying out a significant amount of money. The best car purchase is one that takes both practical needs and driving pleasure into consideration. Should you find that your heart and your budget are at odds, you may want to consider options such as leasing or purchasing a lightly used car.

How’s the warranty?

All new vehicles are sold with some sort of manufacturer’s warranty but not all warranties are created equal. As such it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the terms of the warranty in the context of the sort of driving that you’ll be doing. Your new Honda comes with standard with two main warranties. The first is the comprehensive warranty, good for 60,000 km or three years, whichever comes first. Some refer to it as the bumper to bumper warranty but this is misleading. Most parts are covered for manufacturer defect but certain wear and tear items such as tires and brake pads are excluded. The comprehensive warranty is paired with a five year/100,000 km powertrain warranty, which includes most of the components and systems that keep your vehicle moving, primarily the engine and transmission. Of course, extended warranties are available. If you are a high km driver and/or tend to keep your vehicle for a long time purchasing additional coverage can go a long way to providing peace of mind.

Do your research, ask questions, and have fun!

Buying a new car is big deal for most people and it can be a bit intimidating. However, customers have access to wider range of information and purchasing tools that they ever have before. Take advantage of those resources and take your time. Our sales team is one of those resources. “Steering You Straight” is something that we take seriously. We welcome your questions and are here to guide you through the process at your pace.