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Things to know before you go car shopping

Overview

Published: 06/21/2016

by Arielle Duke

Also use thes budget calculator on the website to help plan your next car purchase. You can also visit ItPaysToKnow.gc.ca for more information.

 If you wake up in a sweat with a case of car-buyer's remorse the morning after visiting the showroom, don't count on a “cooling off” period to get you out of the loan contract you signed to buy the vehicle.

Some contracts have a “cooling off” period to allow consumers to cancel them within a short period of time without facing any penalty. Examples include contracts for health clubs, funeral and cemetery services, time-shares, condominiums and door-to-door sales.

However, in most provinces and territories there is no “cooling off” period for financing agreements such as car loans and lease agreements. Once you have signed the contract, you are committed and bound by the terms of the agreement.

Here are some things to consider.

• Don't go shopping for a new car until you've established a budget.

• Establish a budget for the total cost of the car over the life of your loan, not just your monthly payments.

• Shop around for the best price on the vehicle and the best term and interest rate on the car loan.

• Before signing a loan deal, check the contract to understand the total cost of borrowing, including interest.

• Avoid signing a partially completed contract.

• Keep a copy of all documents you have signed, ensuring that you have the contract and loan agreements.

Ask your provincial or territorial transportation ministry whether there is a “cooling off” period for the purchase or lease of a car, including for any relevant financing agreement, and keep that in mind when you're shopping.

Before you sign any contract, read 10 things you need to know on FCAC's website.

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