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Car-Buying Checklist for Newcomers38

One of the first big purchases you're likely to make after settling in Canada is a car. Here are some things you can do (and ways we can help) to make your car-buying experience a positive one:

  • 1. Research vehicles online.

    Visit the websites for car dealerships and other car-buying resources to compare the features, pricing and consumer reviews of vehicles so that you can narrow down your top choices before you start shopping.

  • 2. Decide whether you want a car loan or a lease.

    In Canada, people typically borrow money to buy a vehicle. Two of the most common financing options are taking out a loan or signing a lease.

    • With a loan, you can borrow up to 100% of a vehicle’s purchase price. When the loan is paid off, you own the car.
    • With a lease, you don’t actually own the car, but you’re still responsible for all of the maintenance and repairs during the term of your lease.

    Think about how you’ll use your vehicle and what you can afford. Here are some things to consider to help make the decision easier38:

    Car Loan

    A loan may be a good option if you plan to drive your car a lot or want to keep it for five years or longer.

    Here’s how it works:

    You can apply for an RBC car loan at over 4,500 dealerships.40

    • Repay your loan over a set time frame, typically one to five years.
    • Pay back some or the full amount you borrowed at anytime.
    • At RBC, you may be eligible for a loan with no Canadian credit history!4


    A lease may be a good option if you want to get a new car every two or three years.

    Here’s how it works:

    You pay a monthly amount to a leasing company for a specific term, typically one to five years. At the end of the term, you return the car to the dealer or buy it at the price listed in your lease agreement.

    • Often there is a maximum number of kilometres you can drive a leased vehicle per year, after which you may be charged for extra kilometres.
    • The vehicle must be serviced regularly.
    • There are penalties if you break your lease before the end of the term.
  • 3. Know what you can afford for a monthly car payment.

    Before you visit car dealerships, get a general idea of how much you can afford and what your car payments will be. (Be sure to also factor in the costs of fuel, insurance, parts and maintenance when deciding what you can afford.) Try our quick calculator now to estimate your car loan paymentsAnother RBC site.

    • Make as large a down payment as you can to lower your monthly payments.
    • Make prepayments whenever possible. Even a small lump-sum payment, or slight increase in your regular payments, can make a big difference in interest savings over the loan term.
  • 4. Get a car insurance quote.

    To own and operate a car in Canada, you must have car insurance to protect yourself financially against certain risks.

  • 5. Test drive different vehicles.

    If you’re considering a used vehicle, also make sure to get it inspected before you buy it.

  • 6. Ask for RBC.

    Once you know the vehicle you want and have negotiated a price, ask your dealer for an RBC car loan. You can apply for our financing at over 4,500 dealershipsAnother RBC site —no Canadian credit history required!4

The RBC Newcomer Advantage

Get everything you need for a great financial start in Canada. Discover products and services that can help you settle in faster–including offers valued at up to $55083. Plus, get up to a $15,000 credit limit on a new RBC credit card9.

How to Apply for an RBC Car Loan

Let us help you buy your first car in Canada and get on the road faster!

Advisor Find a Dealership

Ask for RBC financing at over 4,500 dealerships.