Having a car is becoming a luxury

The consumer price index rose 8.1% in June in the country. This is the largest increase in the cost of living since January 1983. As for the cost of cars, the picture is even less encouraging.

“It’s a tough test for consumers who have to pay a lot more for a vehicle and for fuel,” sums up George Iny, director of the Association for the Protection of Bilists (APA).

While inflation reached 8.0% in Quebec last month, Finance Minister Eric Girard noted that inflation is high in Quebec […] and understand that rising prices are affecting Quebecers in their daily lives. »

The great sinner fuel

This extraordinary increase is largely due to the increase in gasoline costs. It was necessary to pay 54.6% more for fuel in June in Canada compared to last year, which made the car bill much more salty.

Besides gasoline, it costs more for a used car than for a new car. Inflation on the purchase of a vehicle was 8.2% in June, a price effect “which we would never have thought possible”, comments Mr. Iny.

The director of the APA hopes that the price of used vehicles will start to fall again next winter, but he warns that “for new cars we can expect sharp increases in 2023”.

Maintenance and repairs have also increased significantly: 6.1%. A trend that may prove to continue.

“Maintenance will increase because there is a huge shortage of qualified staff,” explains George Iny, and there is a very serious shortage of car parts.

Conflicting behavior

Despite much higher costs, the head of the APA observes a “certain contradiction” on the vehicles purchased by Quebecers.

With the price of gas rising, “one would think that people would take the trip towards smaller cars, but at the moment that does not seem to be the case”.

Carpooling as a solution to reduce the bill

Other construction workers collect and work overtime to cope with rising car costs.

“We work in construction, we go from construction site to site, we always take our car every day. So the price of petrol means we have less left in our pocket,” answers carpenter Léo Beauchemin when asked about the rise in petrol prices.

The worker is sitting in his car on a break at a gas station on Montreal’s south coast with his two colleagues. They have chosen to gather together to save on the cost of their car trips.

Also limit wear

“With inflation, we do more carpooling,” Léo explains. We do not live in the same place, but we manage. We park somewhere halfway and we drive together to save on the cost of gas and the durability of the car, because there is also wear on the vehicle. »

Are they planning to buy a new car given the current prices? This time it is Pascal Gauthier, sitting to the right of Léo, who sends: “Me, I have a pick-up to order”. It is a fuel-intensive vehicle, but the cement manufacturer believes he needs it for hunting. Like many others, he is still waiting for his new self. And if it does not come into production very quickly, the bill will increase.

“Delivered in August, I will go to the prices in 2023,” explains the construction worker. That’s a $ 5,000 increase, I think. They can not guarantee the order price. Yet he still smiles. To compensate for the increases, he and his colleagues will earn “moreover time “.

Exploding costs

More 61.9% for gasoline

The rise in the price of petrol in Quebec in June was, to say the least, marked: 61.9%. Yesterday, the price at the pump was $ 1.91 in Montreal. There was a slight drop in July as prices exceeded $ 2 per barrel. liters in June.

New or used, it is more expensive

Inflation for the purchase of vehicles exceeds 8% over a year in the country. The impact of the pandemic, lack of semiconductor chips and the rise in the cost of production equipment is to blame.

In the second-hand market, The newspaper reported a 25% increase in prices in May last year. The upward trend continues: plus 1.5% from May to June, according to Statistics Canada.

New house prices follow the same curve: 1.6% increase from May to June.

The battle for mechanics increases maintenance costs

Fuel carpooling

Already on the rise with inflation of 6.1% in June, we expect a continued rise in the price of car parts, maintenance and repairs.

According to George Iny, director of the Association for the Protection of Bilists, the hourly rate for a mechanic is currently “$ 125 and up” at a dealership, a rate that is expected to continue to rise as young qualified mechanics are short-lived. the call.

“It’s a real struggle to get mechanics,” he says Alain Blondeau (photo), owner of the Sonic garage in Saint-Lambert. The contractor is sometimes required to offer $ 8 to $ 10 more to attract workers. He states that he had to raise his prices: + 30% for tires, + 20% for filters and oil, and a price increase of 10% to 20% for changing brakes.

The end of the insurance period?

After significant increases in car insurance premiums since 2015, the decline in the claims rate during the pandemic causes prices to stabilize in 2022. The latest data from Groupement des assureurs automobiles indicates an average premium of $ 775 in 2021. However, the case continues: Insurance costs may soon rise , to follow the increases in the repair of damaged vehicles.

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