On the Web

Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
Fine Print

Ways to Get a Car in Canada

Written by CNN Team

Ready, set, drive! There are three ways to get a car as a newcomer in Canada. Here’s what you need to know. 

Public transportation can take too long and taxis can be too expensive. Getting a car will cut your travel time in half and save you money. Not to mention that travelling around a city is much easier when a car is available to you. When you decide it’s time to invest in a car, then prepare to research which type of vehicle you want based on pricing, gas mileage, etc. Once this is settled, you get to choose between renting, buying, or leasing a vehicle in order to get the best car prices in Canada for your situation. 


You can always start out by renting a car temporarily. To rent, you must be at least 21-years-old, have held your license for at least one year, and agree to the car rental information. Even though renting a car might be the simplest option, it can be expensive when you are renting it for weeks at time. However, renting might be your best option if you only require a car for short periods of time.


In Canada, most people have to take out a loan to pay for a new car. This loan can come through their bank or the dealership where they are making the purchase from and they pay it off using monthly installments. Consequently, when you are finished paying back your loan, the car is yours without worrying about regular monthly payments. 

The only issue with purchasing a car is that you must consider all future repairs and service maintenance that will need to be paid for as well.  

Tips For Buying a Car

When you are ready to own a car, what should you keep in mind?

  • Your financial stability. What can you reasonably afford? Also, what will you receive for the money you are willing to spend? 
  • Research a car that works for your lifestyle. 
  • Find deals at car dealerships, manufacturer’s websites, and third-party listings to compare their pricing and offers.
  • Go for a test drive. Inspect the car you are interested in buying by taking it for a spin. 
  • Only purchase a car when you find the one you want and negotiate the price. This is when you have to choose between buying it outright or paying monthly installments.
  • Research insurance, ownership registration, and license plates.
  • Enjoy your new ride!


This option allows you to use and enjoy a car without actually owning it. When the lease is over, you are required to return the car to the dealership or buy it out. In Canada, it is common to lease a car for between two to four years. This time period is known as a lease term and payments are made monthly. 

When your lease expires, the dealership is likely to offer you a lease on the latest model of the car you have been driving or a similar vehicle. 

Leasing Conditions

Keep in mind that conditions apply when you are leasing a car. For instance, you may be informed that there is a set amount of kilometres you can drive during your lease term, and if you drive beyond that agreed amount, you are required to pay a fee. 

Most importantly, this vehicle is not yours, so you are not allowed to make changes to it such as customization. Also, if you are always leasing a newer car then your payments will never end. You will constantly be paying monthly fees. Whereas when you purchase a car, you stop payments when you have paid the car off. 

So, Which Option is Best?

It is important to research and compare the benefits of your options. 

Renting is great for short durations of time.

Leasing usually means that you will end up paying more money over the years. However, you are likely to have lower monthly payments than if you purchase a car. Also, when you are leasing, you no longer need to concern yourself with the car’s reliability because you can trade it in. 

Buying a car does not afford the same opportunity, so you will have to take the utmost care of your vehicle to ensure it lasts longer. On the bright side, you will end up saving money if you pay it off quickly.

This is a big step, so don’t rush into any car buying decisions. Choose the right option for you and your financial situation!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.