Important Tips for Vehicle Buyers


Important Tips for Vehicle Buyers
All Ontario dealers and salespeople
must be licensed by OMVIC.
Buying Privately?
Beware of Curbsiders
Ensure you’re buying from an
OMVIC-Registered Dealer.
Look for the decal.
When you buy a car privately, you may be
the target of a curbsider:
• Illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers who
often pose as private sellers
• Often sell misrepresented vehicles:
rebuilt write-offs, accident-damaged or
For more information about
OMVIC and your consumer rights:
1-800-943-6002 x5105
[email protected]
Ontario Motor Vehicle
Industry Council (OMVIC)
Complaint-Handling Service
• In the rare case of an unresolved dispute with
a registered dealer, OMVIC’s Complaints &
Inquiries Department may be able to help
• Once a complaint is received, an OMVIC
Complaints & Inquiries Team member will
seek a mutually acceptable resolution
• Complaints can be submitted by phone, email
or online
Note: OMVIC cannot compel a dealer to return
money, conduct repairs or provide
compensation; only the courts have that
Translation Service
OMVIC provides assistance to non-English
speaking Ontarians. A multilingual translation
service is available in over 150 languages.
Contact OMVIC at 1-800-943-6002 x5105 for
more information.
Motor Vehicle Dealers
Compensation Fund
• A consumer protection program financed
by OMVIC-Registered Dealers
• Pays up to $45,000 if there is a financial
loss as a result of a trade (sale/lease/
consignment) with a registered dealer
• Claims are submitted to the Compensation
Fund’s Board of Trustees and reviewed for
eligibility against legislated criteria
• Consumers who purchase privately cannot
make a claim to the Fund
Important Tips for Vehicle Buyers
What is OMVIC?
OMVIC is Ontario’s motor vehicle sales regulator.
OMVIC administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle
Dealers Act (MVDA) and Consumer Protection Act
(CPA) for the Ontario Ministry of Government and
Consumer Services.
OMVIC’s Mandate
• Maintain a fair and informed marketplace
• Protect consumer rights
• Enhance industry professionalism
• Ensure fair, honest and open competition for
registered motor vehicle dealers
Achieved By
Before purchasing a vehicle,
either from a dealer or privately:
Budget Realistically
• Maintaining strict registration requirements
• Consider all expenses – not just loan payment:
• Insurance
• Fuel
• Maintenance
• Parking: Home? Work?
• Repairs: Can you afford repairs or should you
consider a warranty?
Get Educated
Buying a Vehicle From an
OMVIC-Registered Dealer:
You’re Protected
• Know your priorities: price, features, mileage,
warranty, depreciation, etc.
• Ensure vehicle meets current and possible
future needs
• Running consumer and dealer education/
awareness programs
• Research any additional products, services or
warranties you’re offered
• Investigating and prosecuting industry
non-compliance and illegal sales (curbsiding)
• New versus used:
Are You Protected?
ONLY when you buy from a registered dealer do
you benefit from consumer protection.
If you choose to buy privately, you’re on your own.
• Some charges apply only to new vehicles
(e.g., freight, pre-delivery inspection (PDI),
air tax, tire tax, green levy fee, etc.)
• Demonstrators (“demos”) are used vehicles
• Ontario dealers must advertise an “all-in” price;
they cannot add additional fees, except HST,
licensing and agreed-upon options
Research History & Value
• Canadian Black Book (
may provide the wholesale value of your trade-in
Tips for Buying from a Registered Dealer
(Buying registered provides consumer protection,
but a signed contract is still FINAL!)
1. Ensure salesperson understands your needs.
Not being listened to? Buy elsewhere
4. Only pay for optional products or services you
want and believe have value
5. Used vehicle? Ask for history report; consider
inspection by trusted mechanic
Full disclosure of vehicles’
history and condition
• Transport Canada ( may list known
defects or recalls
6. Get all conditions in writing (e.g., repairs to be
• Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) provides
ownership history and lien information, and may
provide retail and wholesale values –
by law, a private seller must provide this
8. Carefully read contract (and loan agreement) –
there’s no cooling-off period once signed
Note: Ensure all pages are provided
1. Ask questions: how long was vehicle owned?
Are there maintenance records? Why are
they selling?
2. Confirm seller’s identity: check ID and proof
of ownership
3. Take thorough test drive – not just around block
4. Do research: order vehicle history report before
deciding (CarProof, Carfax)
6. Ensure no liens on vehicle (info usually available
on UVIP or CarProof)
7. Have vehicle inspected by trusted mechanic
before purchase
8. Avoid cash purchases: issue cheque to
registered owner
9. Don’t avoid taxes: request receipt that includes
seller’s information
You’re ONLY protected by OMVIC and Ontario
consumer protection laws when you buy from
a registered dealer.
3. Understand “all-in” pricing, negotiate finance
terms, don’t accept additional charges (except
HST and licensing)
All-in price advertising
Access to Motor Vehicle
Dealers Compensation Fund
(Remember: You’re ONLY protected when
you buy registered, so take extra care when
buying privately.)
2. Take thorough test drive – not just around block
• CarProof and Carfax often show reported
incidents or collisions
Cancellation rights (for
specified non-disclosures)
Tips for Buying Privately
5. Carefully review Used Vehicle Information
Package (UVIP) – seller must provide it (ensure
all pages provided)
• Compare finance rates: dealer, bank, other sources
• Offering complaint assistance to consumers
Purchase covered
by consumer law
• Research vehicle reliability
• Inspecting all Ontario dealers
7. Get all disclosures and promises in writing
(e.g., no accidents)
Buying a Used Vehicle Privately:
Protect Yourself
You’re ONLY protected
by OMVIC and consumer
protection laws when you buy
from a registered dealer!