One of the most common advice a new immigrant hears as soon as coming into the country is to get a vehicle, for easier commute and mobility. They are told how convenient it is and how a personal car can make your life much easier – from doing the grocery to work, home, school and much more. One does not have to be a new immigrant to understand the importance of owning a vehicle and the comfort it provides for you and your family especially in the harsh Canadian winters. The advice, though valid, may not be for everyone. Or maybe just not yet!
So, when is the best time to buy a car for a new immigrant?
The simple answer is – whenever it makes sense to you!
Here’s a list of things to think through before you make that decision of owning a car.
- If you’re low on funds, don’t do it yet. Take advantage of the public transits that most Canadian cities provide and conserve your funds.
- Weigh the cost of public transportation against private or personal ownership.
- Think of the maintenance cost that will come with a vehicle, used or new.
- Car insurance is usually high for new immigrants because they are low on trust with insurance companies. If you live in a bigger city like Toronto, the insurance cost is exponentially higher.
- How much would the recurrent cost of buying gas for the car be?
- Where are you going to park your car? If you don’t have a house with a garage, the parking spots in condos usually require additional rental fee.
A final word on this. If you don’t have the money to buy a good car, save for it! Don’t go for a car loan. The argument of building your credit rating by taking loans, holds no water. There are more valid ways to build your credit rating than getting a car loan when you can actually do without the car. Be sensible with your needs and spending.