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Whether buying from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer or privately, consider the following car-buying tips:

Tips for Buying from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer

Buying registered provides consumer protection, but a signed contract is still FINAL! Consider the following car buying tips:

  • Ensure salesperson understands your needs. Not being listened to? Buy elsewhere
  • Take thorough test drive – not just around the block
  • Understand “all-in” pricing, negotiate finance terms, don’t accept additional charges (except HST and licensing)
  • Only pay for optional products or services you want and believe have value
  • Used vehicle? Ask for history report; consider inspection by trusted mechanic
  • Get all conditions in writing (e.g., repairs to be conducted)
  • Get all disclosures and promises in writing (e.g., no accidents)
  • Carefully read contract (and loan agreement) – there’s no cooling off period once signed

Tips for Buying Privately

You’re ONLY protected when you buy registered, so take extra care when buying privately. Consider the following car buying tips:

  • Ask questions: how long was the vehicle owned? Are there maintenance records? Why are they selling?
  • Confirm seller’s identity: check ID and proof of ownership
  • Take thorough test drive – not just around the block
  • Do research: order vehicle history report before deciding (CARFAX)
  • Carefully review the 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
  • Avoid cash purchases: issue cheque to registered owner
  • 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.

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