A Car-Buying Guide for Toronto Drivers

By: Lange & Fetter Motors   |   27 Dec 2023

If you live in the GTA and are on the hunt for a new vehicle, you’ve likely already become acquainted with how challenging the process can be. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or just need an upgrade, finding the right vehicle for life in the city comes with a lot of factors to consider. From financing options and costs of ownership to deciding on the right model and features to potentially trading in your current ride, buying a vehicle can appear to be a daunting process. Not to mention, with limited options and ongoing supply chain issues the automobile market has been facing, it can feel like all odds are against you. Thankfully, the team at Lange & Fetter Motors is here to help. With over 60 years of servicing customers from all over Ontario – including Toronto and the GTA – we’ve learned a thing or two about the car-buying experience and how to make it go a whole lot smoother. With our comprehensive car-buying guide aimed at Toronto drivers, you’ll have your dream car parked in your driveway in no time!

Determine Your Needs & Budget

To get started on your car-buying journey, the first two things you’ll want to determine are your overall budget for the purchase and what your general needs are in a vehicle.


When it comes to budgeting, financial planners and industry experts suggest that vehicle ownership should typically account for between 10 and 15 percent of your monthly income. This is a good rule of thumb, though it will vary depending on factors such as your income, other monthly financial obligations, and whether you’ll be sharing vehicle costs with a partner. The important point to remember is that your budget should include more than the monthly payment. You’ll want to account for costs such as fuel, maintenance and insurance – which can be quite high for Toronto residents in particular, as opposed to smaller cities. If you already own a vehicle and plan on trading it in, consider getting a non-commital appraisal online so you can get a good idea of what your car is worth. Trading in at a dealership rather than selling your vehicle privately is a good idea as it will allow you to save on the taxes on your purchase. (Plus, you can avoid the time-consuming task of advertising the sale and meeting with potential buyers!).


This is the fun part. In today’s market, there are more vehicle types and options than ever before, all designed with a plethora of features to enhance and simplify your driving experience. Before getting too carried away, start by listing your non-negotiable features and then move on to the less important nice-to-haves. Life in the city may require a car with excellent fuel efficiency as you find yourself stuck in downtown traffic along your daily commutes to work or AWD as you navigate the highways during the snowy winter season. Depending on your lifestyle, you may also want a family-friendly vehicle with seating for 6 to 8 passengers as well as notable safety features. Whatever your needs, take some time to think about them so a dealer can help you find the right car to match.

New or Used?

While many buyers think buying brand-new is the only option, here at Lange & Fetter, we believe in changing the negative narrative surrounding pre-owned vehicles. The truth is most vehicles these days change very little in terms of features and design year over year. So that new model you’ve had your eye on likely is just as good as the one that came out three years ago. Buying used also opens the door for more inventory options and shorter wait times than you might encounter with new vehicles. On the other hand, preowned cars do come with more maintenance requirements and potential repairs. For new vehicles, repairs are not an immediate concern, as new cars come with warranties, typically a three-year comprehensive warranty and a five-year warranty on the powertrain, but for a used vehicle, maintenance is a factor you’ll need to consider.

Financing With a Dealership

Many customers are torn between financing a vehicle through a bank loan or through a dealership. In most cases, a dealership will give you the best terms and most competitive rates on a new car loan. This is simply because of our long-standing connections with lenders that are in the business of auto financing. Additionally, dealerships are typically more willing to negotiate, especially if a competitor is offering better terms.

Consider Going Out of Town

With limited inventory options and widespread supply chain issues, trying to buy a car from an inner-city dealership can be challenging. For this reason, many Toronto and GTA residents are opting to take a little road trip and vehicle shopping with out-of-town dealerships like us at Lange & Fetter Motors. Not only will you find a vast inventory of new and used vehicles without dealing with long wait times, but you also get the added benefit of small-town friendly customer service. 

Are you a Toronto resident on the hunt for a new car? Consider the team at Lange & Fetter Motors! For inner-city customers from as far as the GTA, we understand the challenges of vehicle shopping in your own backyard. That’s why we offer numerous benefits and incentives (including covering your gas!) for our out-of-town shoppers as we help them get behind the wheel of quality cars they’re sure to love! Browse our inventory and contact us today with any questions!



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