Been a busy time one way or
another since my last report. I was surprised at receiving my Ontario
Health Card so quickly but in it came with yet another photograph of my
balding head :-) As I am here on a work permit it does expire at the
same time as my work permit. However if my work permit is extended
then I just need to contact them, as with all the other organisations, and
they'll issue a new card.
I have been looking for a
used car as it is time to make decisions seeing that my house purchase
will be through at the end of this month. I figured a car costing
around CAN$12,000 or thereabouts would get me a monthly payment of around
$350.00. As always in Canada if you don't have a credit history then you
are going to have to pay well over the odds to get finance but it can be
done. I've been fortunate in finding someone to be a co-signatory
and so can enjoy much better interest rates.
I was looking at a Ford
Focus and was told that a new wagon (estate) version of the car could be
leased for 3 years at the rate of $368.00 a month with a 20,000k a year
rating. What this means is if I go over 20,000k in any year then I have to
pay an additional 8 cents a mile. Other than that all costs for
servicing and maintenance are in that price and it's 0 down and price
includes tax. You do of course need to find car insurance.
You should note that 15%
tax is paid on cars in Ontario.
On the car insurance front as a
new arrival in Canada you should make sure you bring your old policy from
your own country as that will get you a discount as otherwise you will be
treated as a new driver.
I have also been looking at
Buick models... I find I can get a 2000 LeSabre or Regal LS with between
64,000 and 92,000 kilometers on the clock for around the same price as I
can lease a new Ford Focus. With a used car you can do finance or lease
and I was told that after 6 months worth of payments you will then have a
credit history in Canada. It takes the banks 2 years before they give you
a credit history so this is a good way to go. Often lease deals can be
done so that by the end of the term you will own the car and so the
kilometer limited will not apply. Usually in-house leasing with the
larger car dealers is cheaper than you can obtain elsewhere.
I was advised that if buying second hand to
look at taking out extra warranty on the power train as that costs a lot
to get fixed. Buying a newer used car will often mean you can use any
outstanding warranty on the car.
In a previous update I did
mention that a lot of Canadians keep there cars 8 - 10 years and so
these larger American cars can take that type of use and up towards
200,000k quite easily. Cars in Canada are usually winterised meaning
you often get heated drivers seat and a block heater. Essentially
you plug the block heater in to keep the oil at normal temperature when in
winter it can get down to 30 or more degrees of frost.
I do find that in the
winter in Canada most people pay a lot of attention to the weather
You also want to check if
the car uses regular petrol or premium as the price difference is
significant if you do a lot of miles.
I guess like any other
country buying second hand is a bit of a lottery but some used car dealers
will offer some warranty, usually 30 to 90 days depending on where you go.
Being new to Canada I was
also interested in what one of those GPS navigation systems would cost and
was surprised when told they could be got for around $400 from Radio Shack
and one dealer said they'd fit them free if you brought it along. Mind you
another had a system around $3,300 with lots of bells and whistles so lots
Should you become a member
of the CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) you can get free maps of
various parts of Canada. I note also that my Rogers mobile phone will give
you roadside assistance anywhere in Canada and the USA for a $5.00 a month
charge. This goes with the phone so as long as that is with you
you'll be ok. It also means if you lent your phone to a friend when
they drive your car then they are also covered as the key to this is the
phone and not the person.
I noted with interest that
all newer cars in Canada have a small see through window near the outside front
windscreen that shows the car serial number. This way it makes it
easy for the police to check the owner of the car. I hadn't noticed that
before but now that it's been pointed out to me I see it all the time.
Not sure when this was brought in but sounds like a good idea to me.
Instead of "used cars" you often see the term
"pre-owned cars" and often here in Canada you can get a full service
history of the car to examine. For example the one at RoyFoss I am
interested in has low mileage and was purchased new from them and also
maintained by them and so it has a full service history.
Web sites you can check for "used cars" in
Roy Foss GM Dealer
| Addison on
Bay Ltd. |
all three and they all provided very good sales service and advice. On
balance I liked the Roy Foss dealer the best as I feel he gave the best
advice and also responded to an email I sent him whereas the others
didn't. His name is Nick Bojovich and you can reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1
888 733 3677.
The car I am buying is ...
It comes with...
A/C WITH CLIMATE CONTROL, ANTI-LOCK BRAKES
(ABS), BLOCK HEATER, BODY SIDE MOULDINGS, BUCKET SEATS, CARGO NET, CHROME
EXTERIOR TRIM, COLOUR KEYED BUMPERS, CONVENTIONAL SPARE TIRE, CRUISE
CONTROL, CUP HOLDER(S), DIGITAL CLOCK. DUAL AIR BAGS (SRS), DUAL MIRRORS,
FACTORY ALLOY RIMS, FLOOR CONSOLE, FLOOR MATS, FOG LAMPS, FOLD DOWN SPLIT
REAR SEAT, FRONT WHEEL DRIVE, HEATED SEAT(S), INSTRUMENT CLUSTER W/TACH,
INTERMITTENT WIPERS, LEATHER INTERIOR, LEATHER WRAPPED STEERING WHEEL, MAP
LIGHTS, POWER ADJUSTABLE SEAT(S), POWER DOOR LOCKS, POWER MIRROR(S), POWER
SUNROOF, POWER WINDOWS, PREMIUM SOUND SYSTEM WITH CD, CASSETTE AND RADIO,
REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER, SIDE AIR BAG(S), TILT STEERING, TRACTION CONTROL,
keep my payments lowish I have taken out a 4 year lease which buys it
outright at the end of the term. Built into the price is extended warranty
on most things that can go wrong and so only need to pay for normal
servicing over that term. For example the power train is covered, air
conditioning, etc. In one review they said that the engine will go on for
ever even if the car fell apart around it. It was also built in the Oshawa
(not sure if I spelt that correctly) plant which I'm told has always been
rated in the top 3 of all auto plants in the world including Japan.
So I am hoping this car will last well for me. My last car in the UK
was a Mazda 626 which I had for 10 years and the way it was working I felt
it could have gone another 10 years no problem. Hopefully this one will do
just as well. While the car does have a 200-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine it
does use regular fuel.
I found a good site at
where you can get full specifications of the car you are interested in
purchasing together with a review of the car.