Comparing the comparison sites in Canada

Comparison sites Canada applesCOMPARE ONLINE PRICES AND SAVE

 

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.

After reading many stories online about other people’s successful emigration to Canada and how they saved money on their car insurance, following their footsteps should have been fool-proof.

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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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. A family where I live who moved here from Ireland also got absolutely obscene vehicle insurance quotes, I think their mini-van was $5000 until they could round up 100 pieces of paper from Ireland.
    My university’s book store website was actually one of the best Canadian comparison sites I’ve ever seen; it was able to compare against a few different major retailers, like amazon.
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted…10 Expensive Wedding GiftsMy Profile

  2. Coming from the UK, you should know a thing or two about customer complacency. It’s even worked into the business models here… That, and the low population density and huge geographic space does have something to do with prices, but high corporate taxes and customer complacency are huge factors.
    hungry hungry artist (@blerghhh) recently posted…The freelance lifeMy Profile

  3. Mr. CBB,

    If I may suggest so, check out http://www.RateSpy.com as well.

    Unlike the others, lenders and brokers don’t have to pay to participate on RateSpy. Plus we track literally every Canadian lender that publicly advertises mortgage rates, 345 and counting.

    More rates and more competition generally equals better deals for mortgage shoppers.

    Cheers,
    The Spy

  4. Christine Weadick says:

    I’m glad you finally got an insurance company that had fair rates. We have had the house and vehicle insured with the same place for almost 30 yrs and they have been good. Back when we lived in the country and were hit by lightning, they were fast and efficient in dealing with our claim. We hear from the agent maybe once a year to check in with us for any changes we want. When we changed the truck over to me being principal driver all it took was a phone call.
    I might just have a look over those sites for mortgage rates for curiosity as we still have a couple of years before we renew, assuming we don’t sell in the meantime.
    I’d like to see what kind of comparisons I can get for things like the cable, phone and internet but I’m not sure hubby would go for that as he doesn’t like change unless it’s his idea…. Usually if he is thinking of getting something he talks to the older boy about things like electronics as the boy does know more. Plus as soon as he realizes his father is thinking about something he goes on an internet search for info to share with his father. I will be interested to see what kind of offers Rogers comes up with about the cable packages what with the government dealings and such.
    As for gas prices fro the truck I use to check prices in Stratford….. I already know the price is town here is too high!!!

  5. Mr CBB — interesting your story. I have been down a similar path, living in the UK and now back in Canada. I am Canadian, and when I moved to the UK I couldn’t believe the comparison sites.. Moneysupermarket, uswitch, comparethemarket, etc…. What was cool is they offered information on services like gas, electricity, water, phone, tv/internet & of course personal finance items.

    When I moved back to Canada, nothing like http://lowestrates.ca was available, and having come from the UK it was very frustrating to try and compare the different options in Canada. Now, there are some players, but no one has yet to crack the market quite like it’s been done in the UK.

    Thoughts?

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