If you love to budget your money like we do then the fact that I love to compare prices on just about anything will come as no surprise to you.
When I used to live in the UK there were many comparison sites on the web that could compare and select the best choices for just about everything.
Anything from the cost of socks to which domestic gas supplier you choose and which home insurance covers the damage if the gas supplier was a bad choice.
UK to Canada
After moving to Canada there didn’t seem to be anywhere near the amount of choices of utility companies, insurance companies etc. That is until I started looking into insurance for my first Canadian car.
The phone was in full use while I phoned just about every insurance agent in the local area and was disappointed at best and totally disgusted at worst with the quotes they were coming up with. One quote for car insurance for 1 year was in excess of $6,000, which was utterly ridiculous.
I’d held a valid UK driving licence from a young age, never had a crash or even a speeding ticket. My previous insurance company in the UK even furnished me with proof of 10 years NO CLAIMS DISCOUNT certificate, which basically states I’ve never claimed on the insurance.
So why was the insurance rate so far from reasonable? I don’t know, but it wasn’t a true reflection of my driving skills, it was more of a money-making scheme, or at least that’s what it felt like.
If the Canadian government were perfectly happy to allow me to do a straight swap from my British driving licence to a full Canadian licence with no extra testing then why on earth would the insurance companies I called deem me to be a potential disaster on the roads?
I’m happy to say I did find an Insurance company that would honour my UK no claims discount and I’ve been happily insured with them ever since. But the whole insurance process took me through the ringer and I gave up using agents as such and tried my hand at dealing direct with the insurance company.
Trawling the internet also revealed a small but evolving community of comparison sites in Canada.
There are loads of sites in the UK and in the USA but not so many in Canada. That may be due to the lower population density, but I’m always open to other opinions.
Comparison sites Canada
Now back to the comparing, when it came to getting ourselves a mortgage I used ratesupermarket.ca to find what I wanted from a mortgage at the rate I wanted, phoned the mortgage broker and requested that they find the same deal.
Not long after that, we were happily signing the paperwork and the rest, as they say, is history.
The gas tanks is another budget guzzler so I’m always on the hunt for the best prices on gas in our local area.
On a more week to week basis I use ontariogasprices.com to check the price of the local filling stations or those that I will pass on whatever journey I may be taking. That way I can take full advantage of the lower prices at each garage forecourt and save myself a little at the pump every time I fill up. There other sites but it seems to be a little harder to track them down unless you’re prepared to spend hours wading through pages on the internet.
During my brief Canadian adventure in this period of my life, I’ve also had to return to the internet to compare many other things such as TV’s, Computer equipment, household appliances, car parts, in fact quite a lot. There are some sites that are certainly well put together and keep up to date in order to give you, the customer a more accurate picture of what is available out there.
Those giants like Amazon.ca or Walmart.ca often don’t compete as well as some of the other names out there so always hitting the same sites may actually be costing you more than you think.
It’s always surprising to me how many times Sears.ca always comes up as a good price for many items, considering they are a department store. For instance, Sears not only price matched a TV for me against an online retailer for Black Friday one year, but they beat it too by 10% and I had the bonus of taking it home and not having to wait for it from a parcel delivery company.
But just in case you need to shop for household items there is shopbot.ca or pricegrabber.ca who both compare just about everything you can put inside a house. This can narrow down your search, but I tend to find I’m looking at different model numbers, so I try to narrow my initial search by make and model number. Once you have your results you can narrow the possibilities even further.
Would you like to purchase online, it may save you some gas money but you may have to pay the delivery charges. I can remember a specific electronic item I was looking for and found that my local ‘The Source’ shop had it and was only 10 minutes away.
Review of comparison sites
I suppose comparison sites not only save you money on the purchase of the required item but also time trying to find it at that price and the gas that would have been previously needed to run round and find it.
Remember to always read the small print though, just because one price is cheaper than the other, company policies may vary wildly.
Make sure you ask questions or find out the answers to important questions you might have. Are returns accepted? Is return shipping free?
Always do your own research about the product and the company your thinking about purchasing it from.
Comparison sites won’t tell you all the details, so it’s in your own interest to read more and find out the details.
Here are a few other comparison sites in Canada and what they compare:
Maybe you know of others that I don’t so please share them in the comment section of this post for others who want to compare prices.
- Kanetix.ca for FREE Auto Insurance Quotes and they also offer Home, Travel, Health, Insurance quotes and more
- Ratesupermarket.ca for Car Insurance, Mortgages, Bank Accounts, Home Insurance and more
- Insurancerates.ca for Insurance on homes, life and cars etc.
- Isure.ca …. again…. for insurance rates
- Canequity for mortgage rates
- Comparevillage.ca who compare gas and electricity prices as well as Cell phones, Broadband providers and more.
What comparison sites do you use, or would you recommend one or more that I’ve already mentioned?
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