Acquiring a New Car During Winter with No Winter Tires

During the holiday season, it is a good idea to speed up your new car delivery, but there are some pros and cons related to it. I will always encourage driving with Winter Tires under 7 degrees Celcius. So, meanwhile almost everywhere in Canada, it is not required, in Quebec, it is mandatory to drive with winter tires on from Dec 15th to March 15th, but there are some good exceptions you can take advantage of.

New Vehicle Preparation and Delivery

And this is a mandatory introduction to this topic, as it won't make any sense to jump straight to the solution.

Once you signed a car purchase on a dealer, it usually takes some time to deliver the vehicle. If there was no availability in the current inventory l, it takes even longer. But to keep things simple, let's just say the car was available in the parking lot.

First, there is a delivery line. Picking up a new car isn't a 15 minutes process. You have to review and sign documents, the car needs to be prepared with time and your salesperson should onboard you on the vehicle details. You will be driving on the road in minutes, so you cannot be trying to understand how the vehicle works on a highway.

Even if you know the model, they assume you need to familiarize first, before driving out. Usually, it takes 1-2 hours in total and, depending on the dealership size, they could be able to deliver 4-8 cars per day.

Even More, if there is a Custom Setup

So, if you asked for a roof rack, winter tires, and tinted windows, the preparation takes longer. The actual delivery would be the same, but the preparation time itself will extend, making it harder to speed up the whole process.

Let's Go Plain

So, after all the previous intro, let's assume you want to keep things simple, but, in fact, you must drive on winter tires, because it is the law in Quebec. So, if you acquire the vehicle during spring, summer or fall, you can drive it outright as it is. Non-winter season makes it easier for the preparation process, helping you to speed up the delivery. But in winter, you will likely need the tires custom work done. 

There is an Option

And while I specifically suggest driving the whole snow/ice season on top of winter tires, the law allows you to drive for seven days after the vehicle acquisition without the required winter tires. I repeat, while the law allows it, this is a decision you will have to make at your own discretion. Please refer to the SAAQ page for the specific details about the tire regulation in Québec.


The winter tires requirement does not apply:

  • for the first 7 days following the purchase of a passenger vehicle from a dealer
  • for the last 7 days before the end of a lease of 12 months or more
  • (...)

Schedule the Tire Installation After the Delivery

Yes, that is the trick. If you arrange the installation to happen on the next couple of days, you may have to return to the dealer again, but you can save lots of time if you were, in fact, in a rush to get it or renting in the meantime.

You could even install your own, purchase these elsewhere and get these installed, but remember, only for less than seven days after the vehicle acquisition. And the same applies to the rest of the accessories. If you do so, you can actually speed things up, get the vehicle sooner and later install the rack and stuff you needed for your car.

About the author

Jorge Diaz is a passionate car lover, winter driver & Software Engineer. For the last 10 years, he has built Online Solutions used by more than 5,000 companies across the globe. He founded LeaseCosts in 2016 with the purpose of simplifying and helping Canadians to better understand the complex market of car leasing in Canada. You can connect with Jorge at or send him a direct message.