I want to buy a car

Can you afford to have a car?

Owning a car brings with it lots of little expenses. Apart from the cost of buying it, you have to plan enough money to keep it running!

Purchase costs to expect


You can save money if you or a friend are knowledgeable about auto mechanics. Otherwise, you should expect to pay for an inspection that will tell you the condition of the car and what repairs are needed. Prices will vary depending on the extent of the inspection. This is an important step in your decision to buy a used car and in negotiating the final price.


Depending on whether you buy your car from an individual or from a dealer, and whether it is new or used, taxes may apply. This could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars; so include that amount in your car budget.

RDPRM (Register of personal and movable real rights)

If you are buying a used car, allocate a minimum of $3 to consult the RDPRM on-line. This is a Québec government register containing information on the vehicle you are preparing to buy. You can check whether it might be seized because someone else has defaulted on his financial obligations. The fee could save you thousands of dollars.

Got your licence?

Driver's education courses are now compulsory and can cost up to $825. The exams cost around $40, the driver's guide up to $60, your Passenger Vehicle Learner's Licence $58 and your Probationary Licence $172.70.

Recurring annual costs

Vehicle registration

Vehicle registration fees vary from $220 to $265 in Québec in 2017, according to your region. Why so high? A large portion of the fees goes to pay for insurance covering road accident injuries suffered by Quebeckers; so this is your contribution to the Québec auto insurance plan.

Maintenance and gasoline

It can cost you several thousand dollars per year. The CAA offers a calculator to help you budget these costs.  


Insurance must be purchased for all vehicle owners in Québec. Depending on the coverage you choose, costs may vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Tip: Find out the cost of insurance before you buy your car. Check with several insurers: you could save a lot.

Borrowing costs

If you need to take out a loan to buy your car, you must consider the interest costs on your loan. This is money you will not be able to spend elsewhere; so you might as well include it in your budget right away. For example, if you borrow $10,000 at an interest rate of 9% over a period of three years, by the time you finish making your payments you will have paid $1,450.88 in interest costs. Find out about the various borrowing options available (line of credit, car loan, personal loan) and shop around for the best interest rate.

Solutions for making it work

  • Save as much as you can before buying.
  • Avoid paying interest charges.
  • Draw up a budget to determine whether you can afford the annual cost of using your car.
  • Buy a car that you can afford.