How much can you afford?
When it comes to figuring out how much you can spend on a car, be realistic. We know plenty of students get by on ramen noodles and Kraft Dinner to pay for tuition and pub nights, so be honest with yourself. Calculate how much you can actually afford a month, including all those late-night pizza calls and beer runs. And don't forget that your budget amount will have to include things like federal and provincial sales taxes, delivery charges and pre-delivery inspections, air-conditioning taxes (if applicable) and a whole gamut of other fees and charges before you even take possession of your new ride.
To give you an example, a 2012 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback with no additional options starts at $15,999, but on Ford's consumer site, the calculated manufacturer's suggested retail price of $19,887 "includes Freight, AC Tax and Green Levy (if applicable), Stewardship Ontario Environmental Fee (in Ontario), and applicable government sales taxes but excludes license, fuel fill charge, insurance, PDI, PPSA, administration fees, and any other applicable environmental charges/fees and taxes."