Knowing I'd be moving to Ottawa, further away from friends and family and wanting to be able to leave the city on weekends, I knew that getting a car was in order.
I didn't realize just how stressful it would be narrowing it down to what I wanted. After contemplating new (I just couldn't add in a car payment to my tight budget), pre-owned, car, SUV, automatic, manual, make, colour, etc. I found a 2009 Chevrolet Aveo LS Sedan in dark grey metallic. It is a very simple car. I have manual windows, and locks, no heated seats, no cruise control, no remote starter....but, it is automatic and has air conditioning (this was a non-negotiable). It's a bit high on the mileage for a 3 year old car - it was first registered in 2008, at 70,000km, but was well maintained by the previous owner, aside from a couple of small dings in the bumper.
I paid $6,200 for the car, in addition to $955 in vehicle registration fees, taxes, and a licence plate sticker taking me to August 2013. I elected to put winter tires on the car as well, and paid $350 for a set a 4 tires. I have $150 set aside for a tune-up come spring when I'll need a oil change and the all-season tires put back on.
For those 10+ years that I did drive, I was always listed on my parents' policy, so my first check into car insurance was with the same broker they've worked with. By bundling my condo insurance policy with my auto insurance was a given, since I was looking at anywhere from a 5-15% savings.
Quote #1: Insurance company who has known me for 10+ years: $1,735.29
Quote #2: Belair Direct: $1,689.24
Quote #3: TD Meloche Monnex: $1,250.52
How was it that the quote from TD Meloche Monnex was so low? I graduated from Brock University and UWO....they both have alumni associations. One of the perks of being an alumni at both is a discount for insurance!
After 1 week of driving round trip to work each day, as well as a couple of trips running errands around the city I'm very happy with the car. I filled up the tank the day I bought it for $43 (gas was at $1.15) and have 1/2 tank left - I had initially budgeted for $240 in gas, but at this rate I can probably lower it to $150! We'll see how the next couple of months go.