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Meeting a private vehicle seller or test driving a vehicle during the COVID-19 pandemic may pose serious health risks to you and the community. Health Canada advises all Canadians to practice physical distancing. To learn more about how to protect yourself, visit Health Canada's website

Tips for Buying Privately

You’re ONLY protected when you buy from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer, so take extra care when buying privately. Consider the following car-buying tips:

  • Ask questions: how long was vehicle owned? Are there maintenance records? Why are they selling?
  • Ask seller for ID and compare it to vehicle ownership: they must match
  • Take thorough test drive – not just around the block
  • Purchase and review vehicle history report before deciding (CARFAX)
  • Carefully review Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) – seller must provide it (ensure all pages provided)
  • Ensure no liens on vehicle (info usually available on UVIP or CARFAX)
  • Have vehicle inspected by trusted mechanic before purchase
  • If it is a heavy-duty diesel vehicle (weighing more than 4,500 kg) and is at least 1 year old, the vehicle must pass an emissions test when sold or transferred
  • Request a receipt that includes seller's information and actual selling price

If you choose to buy privately, educate yourself; don’t become a curbsider’s victim. Click here to spot the telltale signs of curbsiders.

OMVIC Academy Video-5
Buying from a Private Seller

Roleplaying: the class helps Justin prepare for an appointment with a private seller. Will he remember the right questions to ask?

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