How to check cross-border car prices
By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance
In most cases new cars in the U.S. are still less expensive than they are in Canada, but the gap has narrowed significantly.
Now that the Canadian dollar is quickly catching up to its U.S. counterpart and struggling car companies have either lowered their prices or boosted their incentives, it's a toss up as to whether they are any bargains to be had south of the border. In fact, cross-border comparison shopping has always been a bit awkward – until now.
One way to make sure you’re getting a good price on a new car is to unearth the best deals other buyers are negotiating. That information has been available only sporadically, primarily from car-crazy user groups.
But a new site, TrueCar, now offers you a straightforward snapshot of what others are paying for particular models, in their area, regionally, and nationally. Unfortunately, the site only deals with the U.S. side of the equation at the moment. But Toronto residents, for instance, can easily get a quick baseline for the car they want by looking at prices in nearby Buffalo.
After you enter a zip code and details about the exact vehicle
you’re considering, including optional equipment, TrueCar presents
“good” and “great” prices, after factoring in rebates,
factory-to-dealer fees, and other variables. It will also tell you
whether prices are trending up or down.
Here's a sample report on the top-selling sedan, a 2009 Toyota Camry.
A quick glance can tell you if the price for your vehicle is on par
with the price others have paid in the past. And then you can see how
this compares with prices for a similar car at home.
Check out the company’s blog, called The Truth, for car pricing facts and trends and then do some comparison shopping at your local dealer.