The Cost to Own Isn’t the Cost to Buy – Capital GMC

What's the cost to own?

When shopping for the perfect new car, there are a few ways to budget. A naive buyer may only consider the monthly payments. This strategy is bad for a number of reasons. Most importantly, thinking only about monthly payments makes it more likely you get locked into a long-term loan with payments that don’t keep up with depreciation. Slightly more shrewd buyers will consider the purchase price (the amount it would take to buy the vehicle outright with cash) plus the cost of borrowing (the amount of interest you’ll pay on your loan). The most savvy buyer will consider each of these things, but she’ll also consider the cost to own.

The Cost to Own

If you’re sticking to a budget, you should know exactly how much your car is costing you. Obviously, the first thing you’ll consider is your monthly payment, but that’s only one element. You should also consider insurance and registration, the cost of fuel, depreciation, and maintenance. Once you add all these costs together, you’ll have a better sense of how much it costs to own a vehicle.

Car Payment

This is the easiest part to calculate. Most dealerships advertise the monthly and biweekly payments up front. Just make sure that the number you’re given includes tax and you’re comfortable with the term of the loan. But you also need to make sure that the payment alone doesn’t exhaust your budget, because there are more expenses to consider.

Insurance and Registration

Saskatchewan has some of the highest insurance rates in Canada. Frequent accidents, thefts, and lawsuits significantly influence the price of insurance. In 2014, the average rate in Saskatchewan was $1,050 per annum or $88monthly. However, rates have climbed slightly for most vehicles in 2017.

Unlike other places, Saskatchewan does not consider your age and gender when determining your insurance rates. SGI does, however, consider your vehicle (it’s likelihood of being stolen, it’s overall value, et c…) and your safe driving record. So, if you drive a new, expensive vehicle and have a history of accidents or traffic violations, expect to pay more than the average.


Of course, you also need to calculate the cost of fuel. But that can be a little tricky because the amount you’re spending on gasoline (or diesel) depends on the price, which is volatile. It also depends on your driving habits and vehicle. If we take an average gas price $1.08, average yearly distance (15,000 kms), and average vehicle fuel economy (10.7L/100KM in 2015), we get $1,733.4.


Depreciation is a bit more difficult to fit into a monthly budget because it’s not a fixed cost. The rate of a depreciation is highest at the moment you take possession of your car, and decreases rapidly thereafter. But depreciation in the first three years of new vehicle ownership will cost you more than registration, insurance, gas, or repairs. So, it’s important to estimate the cost in your cost-to-own analysis


Maintenance also plays a part in your cost-to-own calculations. New vehicle warranties usually cover important powertrain issues, but you may be charged for other repairs. Oil changes and tire issues can add up if you don’t budget for them. Some experts say you should add $1,500 per car to your yearly budget for maintenance

Cost to Own

A vehicle purchase is a major decision, and Capital GMC Buick Cadillac wants you to make the right one. And doing a cost-to-own calculation is a great way to make that easy. This handy tool from CAA will even do all of the math for you. Most importantly, being Canada’s #1 New and Used GM Retailer means that we have vehicles (and prices!) for everyone. Finding the perfect one is as easy as visiting our lot or browsing our inventory online.


The Cadillac CT5

Will the Cadillac CT5 follow the excellent Escala concept?

Car sales are slowing every year in North America. The sedan has been unceremoniously supplanted mostly by small SUVs. The low cost of fuel has made the extra cargo space, ride height, and versatility very attractive for Canadian buyers. In fact, Cadillac sells more XT5 crossovers than all of its sedans combined. As a result, Cadillac, like all automakers, can’t afford to have a broad and robust sedan portfolio. This is particular shame for Cadillac, a brand that has begun consistently delivering comfortable, powerful sedans, with unique styling. Perhaps the greatest current exemplar is the Cadillac ATS. And with the Cadillac CT5 on the horizon, the future looks safe, too.

Cadillac ATS

Further, the entry price point for Cadillac is affordable relative to other luxury sport sedans. While other brands have begun favouring gentler suspensions and numb handling, Cadillac is doubling down on its unique driving dynamics. That means aggressive powertrains, and sporty driving dynamics. You’re never arrested by potholes or uneven pavement, but you can still feel the road. Perhaps the greatest example right now is the 2017 Cadillac ATS.

The 2017 Cadillac ATS starts with a standard 2.0L Turbo engine with 272 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque. If that isn’t enough power for you, you can upgrade to the 3.6L V6 with 335 horsepower, Active Fuel Management, and Auto Stop/Start. Cadillac has paired each engine with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission that guarantees a smooth supply of power. But performance doesn’t stop with the powertrain. You also get Brembo brakes, a fully-independent sport suspension, ZF premium steering, 17” alloy wheels, and more.

Cadillac CT5

Despite the excellence of the ATS, Cadillac is planning to consolidate it with the CTS sedan into the new CT5 (and perhaps the XTS). The name will bring the sedan in line with the nomenclature favoured by the stellar CT6 (which isn’t going anywhere in case you were worried) and the XT5 crossover. Although it will be disappointing to see these sedans go, it’s hard not to be excited with what we’ve seen of the CT5.

Spy photographs, showing the CT5 prototype completing road test, indicate that it will follow directly from the Cadillac Escala concept unveiled in 2016. It has the same malevolent, slit-like headlights, and dark mesh grille. Pushing the styling a little further in this direction will do greater justice to the remarkable driving dynamics in Cadillac’s sedans. It will also help convert more non-believers unfamiliar with the brand’s renaissance. Of course, we don’t expect the Cadillac CT5 to be available for customers until 2020. By then, Cadillac may have made a few other changes to its stable.

After the Cadillac CT5

Once Cadillac is left with the CT5 and CT6, they will add a third sedan, the CT4, to complete the lineup. As the name would suggest, the CT4 will be the smallest of the three and compete against the Audi A3 and BMW 2-Series. Not only will the lineup be trimmer, but it will be far easier to understand. For the average customer, it’s difficult to remember the difference between an XTS and XT5, for example. However, while it’s a good thing that the lineup will be easier to understand, it’s a shame Cadillac is letting go some of its great cars.

The ATS has really hit its stride. And the ATS-V and CTS-V are two are the best performance-oriented production cars available – hands down. But as long as Cadillac continues to deliver exceptional cars for drivers, customers should continue to be excited.

Coverage Coverage: Understanding Your GM Warranty

GM Warranty

Without a warranty, you’d be responsible for out-of-pocket repair costs that can really add up. So, knowing your warranty is an important part of responsible vehicle ownership. Most owners of new vehicles don’t think too carefully about the warranty. What’s included in the powertrain? Can you void your warranty? Is an extended GM warranty worth the cost? We have the answers to help you understand your warranty.

Powertrain Warranty

In the simplest terms, the powertrain is the system that propels your car. Primarily, the powertrain is made up of the engine, transmission, and transaxle. These are the most critical components of your vehicle. Consequently, manufacturers rigorously test their performance and durability and offer greater coverage for defects and faults. New GMC vehicles come with a five-year/160,000 kilometre powertrain warranty.  – whichever comes first. Click here for a full list of powertrain components. But the powertrain warranty is not the only coverage you get.

Basic GM Warranty

Basic warranty, or New Vehicle Limited Warranty, primarily covers defects in most factory-installed parts. New GMC vehicles are covered by a three-year/60,000km base warranty. GM base warranties cover the provided tires, a service some manufacturers do not offer.

Void Warranty

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you can void your warranty through negligence or misconduct. Most importantly, you can’t neglect routine maintenance. If you never get an oil change, your GM warranty isn’t going to cover the destroyed cylinder heads. So, follow your manufacturer’s service schedule detailed in the owner’s manual.

You don’t need to have all service performed at Capital GMC, but choosing GM Certified Service offers some important advantages:

  • Service records and receipts in one place
  • Manufacturer-approved repairs from factory-certified technicians
  • Saskatchewan’s largest parts department

If you do have service performed at any other shop, make sure you keep the receipts and service records, so that you can demonstrate you had the appropriate work performed at the regular intervals. However, certain types of work will void your warranty regardless.

Before you install a lift kit, aftermarket shocks, and a turbo kit, you should know that certain modifications can also void your warranty. If you want to customise your vehicle, bring it to Capital Customs and we’ll be sure to use manufacturer-approved parts and accessories, as well as install them correctly. Just ask our knowledgeable team and they’ll make sure that your warranty remains intact.

Extended Warranty?

A GM Protection Plan offers extended coverage for your vehicle. But is it worth the investment? Well, that depends on a lot of factors. First, only buy one if you’re planning on owning your vehicle for the long term. Second, if you rely on your vehicle for your livelihood, you may not be able to afford the surprise of serious repairs.

The most fiscally prudent drivers budget $2,000 per year for vehicle maintenance (for vehicles not under warranty). So, if your warranty will cost you less than that (it will!), then it may be a good idea. GM Protection Plans come in three varieties Total Plus, Custom, and Powertrain. You can learn more about GM Protection Plans here.


Choosing the Best Tires for Spring – Capital GMC Service

Choosing the best tires

It definitely doesn’t look like it, but spring is up next. That means it’s time to start thinking about removing your winter tires. It’s recommended that you make the changeover when the temperature rises about 7 °C. For Saskatchewan, that’s mid March. Above that temperature, winter tires will perform worse and wear down more quickly. If you don’t have non-winter tires, or your set is worn down, you should begin thinking about finding the best tires for your vehicle.

All-season tires

All-season tires can be identified by their combination of deep, straight grooves and shallow cross treads. They are made with stiff rubber that won’t expand or become too soft during the high temperatures of summer. For standard passenger vehicles, all-seasons are the best choice outside of winter.

All-season tires can provide acceptable performance in mild winter conditions. However, the winter driving conditions in Saskatchewan are invariably severe, not mild. At temperatures below freezing, the rubber becomes incredibly stiff and cannot adhere to the road even when the pavement is dry. Therefore, winter tires are essentially mandatory in winter. That’s part of the reason why manufacturers have started labeling all-season tires “three-season tires” instead.

Summer Tires

Summer tires consist of more pliable rubber than all-seasons. The treads are shallower and far less complicated than other styles of tire, making them pretty easy to recognise. The uncomplicated, shallow treads give you more contact with the road

Soft rubber and more contact with the road translates to superior grip and resist wheel spin for more efficient launches. On dry or wet pavement, they brake, corner, and handle better than all-seasons.

If you aren’t driving a performance car, you probably don’t want summer tires. If you are a regular driver, using your car to commute, you’re not going to notice the difference between summer and all-season tires. What you will notice is summer tires don’t last as long as all-seasons. Soft rubber in greater contact with the road doesn’t translate to great longevity. For everyday driving in non-winter conditions, the best tires are all-season tires.

Don’t Cheap Out

Unsurprisingly, cheaper tires are made from cheaper rubber. That translates to worse performance and a shorter life. It also increases the chance that you’ll experience a flat tire. Mid-range and expensive tires have better rubber and more carefully engineered treads. They also have reinforced sidewalls that are less likely to crack.

Reports have shown that the best tires can last twice as long as entry-level models. Ultra high-performance all-season tires can last more than 80,000 kilometres. But those projections assume you rotate your tires regularly, maintain proper inflation, and don’t drive recklessly. If you do those things, it’s to recoup the $100 dollars you were hoping to safe with a cheap set of rubber. Plus, better performing tires make you safer and improve your fuel economy.

You can use our tire finder to price out the right set for your vehicle. We carry all makes, models, and sizes of tires. Additionally, Capital GMC Buick offers climate-controlled tire storage to keep your off-season tires in perfect health, ready to reinstall next season.
We’ll make sure the tires we sell you are the correct size recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

GM’s Self-Driving Taxis: Cruise AV

Cruise self-driving vehicles

General Motors and Cruise AV are currently in the pole position to dominate the self-driving vehicle market, with a plan to deploy a fleet of 2,600 autonomous taxis in 2019. But they need some help from the government. Taking steering wheels and pedals out of vehicles contravenes some national safety regulations. So, Cruise needs to petition the American government to grant it an exemption.

Cruise AV: Self-Driving Taxis

The Cruise AV is a heavily modified version of Chevrolet’s Bolt EV. It boasts 383 km of range. However, the sophisticated computers and sensors in the Cruise AV are guaranteed to draw a significant amount of power form the 60 kWh, lithium-ion battery. So, you can expect its range to be shorter. Of course, that’s not a problem for a fleet that will be operating within the city. Plus, Cruise won’t have to waste money paying drivers to go fuel up. They will, however, need to invest in a fast charging network wherever they deploy their robot taxis.

Cruise teamed up with GM in 2016. In a few short years, they have developed working self-driving prototypes that look ready to revolutionise the driving landscape. But the prototypes (consciously) flout a number (specifically, 16) of NHTSA safety regulations. Reportedly, the NHTSA has approximately 16 regulations that GM would be unable to meet without having drivers, pedals, and steering wheels. For example, the NHTSA requires that all passenger vehicles have airbags located in the steering wheel. Obviously, that’s pretty tough for GM to achieve without a steering wheel. Of course, it can just install the same type of airbags that go on the passenger side.

Ironically, the chief counsel of GM’s mobility division, Paul Hemmersbaugh, is the former chief counsel for NHTSA. The regulations he helped build now stand in his way: “We’re seeking to maintain the same, equal safety but to achieve the safety objectives of some standards in a different way. We can’t achieve them without a human driver or without a steering wheel.

The Tech

So, how can Cruise AV guarantee total safety while replacing the human driver? With tons of sensors: “Each car alone has 10 cameras that take pictures at 10 frames per second. The car sees more of its environment at once than a human driver can, and therefore can respond more quickly and safely.” Cruise trains the software and sensors by driving on real and test roads. But they can also simulate “horrific traffic accidents” without cost or danger. That way, each self-driving Cruise vehicle will have been exposed to many more driving scenarios than the average person.

The Future

It’s unclear when the Cruise AV will make its way north of the border, but within a year of the American debut seems reasonably conservative. However, fruits of GM’s investment are already visible in the current GMC lineup. On the 2018 Yukon, for example, GMC offers available features like Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control among other advanced safety features. With all of its sensors and cameras, it can basically drive itself on the highway. So, the idea of driverless taxis being a year away isn’t actually that surprising or aggressive.

Would you take a ride in a modified Chevy Bolt with no pedals or steering wheel? Let us know what you think in the comments below.