What your car really costs

By Mark Ameerali

For many drivers, the number they see on the windshield is their biggest consideration when it comes to buying a new car. But the sticker price doesn’t tell the full story when it comes to how much your new vehicle will cost. Far from it, in fact.

To help you work out exactly how much your new car will set you back, we’ve put together a list of four factors to look out for the next time you’re on the hunt, alongside a few reasons why choosing a hybrid for your next car purchase might help save you in the long term. 

Overall Price

The price tag is important, but what you’re getting for it is what really counts. From future-proofing technology such as Bluetooth connectivity and rearview cameras to advanced safety features, it’s important to go beyond the bottom line to make sure that the car you are getting will be able to handle everything you might throw at it in the future. You may eventually find that by spending a few extra bucks now, you could save yourself a small fortune further down the road. 

Retained Value

The majority of Canadians will trade or sell their vehicle within nine years, and so it’s important to consider depreciation as part of the total cost of any purchase. Some vehicles, such as hybrids, are far better when it comes to retaining of their value. In fact, the Toyota Prius c was recently awarded Best Retained Value for a Sub-compact Car by Canadian Black Book, the definitive guide to car depreciation in the country.

Maintenance and Repair 

From oil changes to tire replacement, the cost of car maintenance and repair can add up to a lot of extra expense over a vehicle’s lifetime. However, drivers choosing hybrids can expect significantly lower maintenance costs than they might be used to. 

The very nature of hybrid vehicles means that they do not experience as much wear-and-tear as a traditional gasoline engine. For example, the electric motor means that the secondary gas-engine is put under much less stress; it also means that owners will be able to go twice as long between oil changes.


Given that the average Canadian spends more than 2.5% of their annual salary on gas, working out what you’re going to be paying at the pump can have a huge impact on the cost of a car over its lifetime. Of course, we can’t control the price of gas, but we can control how much of it our vehicles guzzle. 

While people traditionally associate hybrid vehicles with the eco-conscious, the truth is that many Canadians are turning to electric motors to save money as well as the environment. And with hybrid vehicles using almost 50% less gas than their non-hybrid alternatives, it’s easy to see why.   

Make sure you look beyond the bottom line before buying your next vehicle, because a few smart choices could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

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