You would be hard-pressed to find a Canadian who hasn't wondered to themselves just why it is that prices are always so quick to increase, but so slow to come back down. This is truer today than ever before since the dollar gained strength and reached, and even surpassed, parity with the US greenback. There are even some that have done more than wondered; they've had it with the waiting game and have simply opted to take their business across the border.

In an effort to keep Canadians shopping in Canada, many retailers have introduced incentives to offset the perceived disparity between Canadian and US prices; and Canadian automakers are only the latest to follow suit. The following are some often reported examples*:

  • In late September 2007, Porsche announced it was lowering Canadian prices on 2008 models by an average of 10 per cent.

  • In mid-October 2007, BMW Canada announced cash rebates to buyers who pay cash or finance their purchase from non-BMW sources. For example, if buying a 2007 model of their popular 3-series you could save about $3,000. BMW's site also says they'll provide a 1 per cent reimbursement on all new vehicle purchases or lease deliveries until December 31st, 2007 (this is to offset those buyers who may be waiting for the GST to reduce to 5% on January 1, 2008.)

  • Since November 2007, reports had Honda Canada offering incentives on some Civic, Accord and Pilot models, ranging from $1,000 to $5,500 if you pay cash. This is in addition to the 1 per cent GST they're said to pay on eligible purchases until December 31st, 2007.

  • Ford Motor Company announced $1,250 off with an e-bonus certificate on most 2007 and 2008 models as well as a rebate of 1 per cent off of the purchase price to entice car buyers who might be waiting until January for the cut in GST to officially kick in.

  • Nissan introduced their Fair Deal Program designed to "reflect the strength of the Canadian dollar." The incentives include savings of up to $8,000 on cash vehicle purchases, and finance rates as low as 1.9 per cent on select models. They've also sweetened the pot recently too, by offering a bonus prepaid credit card on eligible purchases.

  • General Motors of Canada announced new cash incentives ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 on select models, as well as a 1 per cent GST reduction for all cash and finance customers until the new GST rate takes effect in the New Year.

Shopping for a new car? Shop for your insurance too.

If you're planning on buying a car, don't forget to shop around for your auto insurance. After all, why would you spend all that time to get the best deal you can on your new wheels just to overpay for your auto insurance?

Too many of us overpay for our auto insurance coverage because we simply do not shop around for the best premiums. Typically, this is a result of one of two widespread myths:

  • It doesn't matter which insurance company provides the insurance coverage, you'll end up paying the same rate.
  • Shopping around is for people with tickets or accidents only.
Believing these myths could be costing you money, each and every year. Even with a ticket or accident-free driving record, you may be paying way too much for car insurance.

Don't waste the savings you got on your car by overpaying for your auto insurance-shop around for your auto insurance policy.

* Offers subject to change at any time. For up-to-the-minute sales visit your local car dealership.
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