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OMVIC Academy Video - 3

The OMVIC Academy

Professor OMVIC isn’t acting like himself and gives the students strange advice about buying a car privately. Should they trust him?

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Avoid Curbsiders: Illegal, Unlicensed Dealers

Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers. They often pose as private sellers, though some operate from small automotive businesses (e.g. repair shops).

Curbsiders not only misrepresent themselves – they often misrepresent the vehicles they sell: many are previous write-offs with undisclosed accident repairs or are odometer-tampered.

Why Should Consumers Care About Illegal, Unlicensed Dealers (Curbsiders)?

Because curbsiders are not licensed by OMVIC, consumers who buy from them are deemed to have conducted a private transaction and are therefore NOT protected by OMVIC, its Compensation Fund, or the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.

Should problems arise after the purchase, curbsiders can also be very difficult to track down after the sale.

What is the Difference between an OMVIC-Registered Dealer and a Curbsider?

OMVIC-Registered Dealer Curbsider
  • Bound by the regulations of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, OMVIC’s Code of Ethics and other consumer protection legislation

  • Operate visibly in the community with a permanent lot

  • Possess and display OMVIC registration

  • Contribute to the Compensation Fund; a consumer protection fund
  • Operate illegally - ignore consumer protection legislation
  • Often misrepresent themselves and the vehicles they sell. Pose as private sellers though some may operate from a small automotive related business
  • Difficult/impossible to track down after sale
  • Purchase not protected by the Compensation Fund

Signs You May Be Dealing With A Curbsider (Illegal, Unlicensed Dealer):

  • Seller has multiple vehicles for sale
  • Vehicle is priced below market value
  • Vehicle is not registered in seller's name or has only been registered in his/her name for a short period
  • “Private” seller appears to operate from a business
  • “Private” seller uses yellow mechanic’s licence plate (or red/white dealer’s plate) to drive vehicle
  • Seller discourages purchase of CarFax or UVIP
  • Seller refuses vehicle inspection by purchaser’s mechanic
  • Seller doesn’t want to provide a receipt or proof of purchase that includes their name/address

Learn how to spot the telltale signs of a curbsider

Report a curbsider: 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or

OMVIC regularly prosecutes curbsiders. This often results in significant fines or jail time if convicted.

Search Curbsider Convictions

How To Avoid Illegal Unlicensed Dealers (Curbsiders)

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