Make sure you consider these important factors to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money.
The EnerGuide label
The first question to ask yourself when buying for a new car is whether or not you want new or used. If you’re buying new, check the fuel efficiency rating on the car’s EnerGuide label (look for the fuel-pump logo).
This will show the estimated annual fuel cost for the car and estimated fuel consumption on city streets and on the highway. This information will help you compare costs of vehicles and identify the most fuel efficient car for your needs.
If the new vehicle has no label, check with the dealer for the manufacturer’s fuel consumption ratings. You can confirm the info in Natural Resources Canada’s annual Fuel Consumption Guide, which details model-specific fuel consumption information about 2014 cars.
Fuel consumption ratings
If you’re buying a used vehicle, consult Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Consumption search & compare tool, which allows you to look up the actual fuel consumption rating for the most vehicles from the 1995 model year to now. It will help you to see how a vehicle compares to other vehicles in its class size, and how it compares in all size classes.
Manual vs. automatic
While it’s generally thought that manual transmissions are superior to automatic when it comes to gas mileage, this is no longer always the case thanks to advancements in automatic transmission technology.
Now, semi-automatics or automatic manual transmissions combine the best of both worlds, granting automatic vehicles up to 6 – 8 gears, which better equip the car to keep its engine running at or near its most efficient level. This is one of the benefits of purchasing a new car.
Size & weight
Carefully consider how much extra cargo room, towing capacity, and passenger space you need, as smaller, lighter vehicles are generally more fuel efficient. Small cars on the market nowadays are often equipped with as much technology as their bigger counterparts, but move through the air with ease.
Another option is to look for a hybrid or a diesel engine, which can make midsize and large cars more fuel efficient.
The hybrid option
Hybrid cars are a cross between a conventional car and an electric car, making use of two energy sources – gas and electricity. Hybrids are more fuel efficient because they have a transmission capable of splitting power between a electric motor and the gas engine.
The electric motor powers the car at low speeds, and the gas engine picks up at higher speeds. Hybrids often cost more, but depending on how often you drive, the savings on gas may be well worth your investment within in a few years.
Your insurance policy
Many insurance providers are happy to reward eco-friendly driving with a discount on car insurance. Find out the eligibility of the vehicle you have in mind by contacting your licensed insurance advisor.
Desjardins strives to offer members and clients products and services that incite them to adopt eco-responsible behaviours and reward them when they do so. Desjardins already offers a diversified range of green products and services, which it is committed to increase.
For more ways to boost the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle, find out more ways to increase your gas mileage.