From Start to Sold: Ontario Car Buyers Get Revved-up Support from
First Illustrated “How-to Roadmap” from Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)

New Research of Ontario Car Buyers
Reinforces Need for Active Consumer Protection

Canadian Newcomers and First-time Vehicle Buyers
Encouraged to Use New Consumer Education Tool

TORONTO, ON, October 10, 2014 – Ontario car buyers get a big knowledge boost today from the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) with the debut of an illustrative and consumer-friendly education tool and “how-to roadmap” that colourfully displays the process of buying a car from start to sold.

“The Road to Buying a Car in Ontario” is a priority tool for any car buyer who feels overwhelmed when getting a new set of wheels – or who doesn’t know the right questions to ask about their consumer protection. The infographic, available from OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, is “essential reading,” says Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC’s Director of Communications and Education, who adds that the “how-to roadmap serves as a core checklist that maps out the buying process in an engaging, easy-to-understand format.” It identifies information vehicle buyers should seek, or are entitled to get, at each stage of acquiring their cars, motorcycles or trucks – whether from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer or a private seller.

“This new tool is especially important and timely for Canadian newcomers and first-time car buyers,” adds O’Keefe. “These groups are most at risk and they need to know and ask the right questions. This gives them the basics and understanding of how they are protected under the law by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA).”

“The Road to Buying a Car in Ontario” appropriately displays the entire sequence from start to finish, tying in design and related car-buying information. At each decision point, the infographic features “green lights” for “yes” safe to proceed, or “red lights” that warn you to “stop.” If requested or required information (e.g., proof of ownership) is not provided, a stop sign appears telling the wise consumer to end the transaction process.

The infographic also clearly identifies the safeguards consumers are entitled to when buying from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer and the potholes that potentially line the route to a private purchase. Taking the “private road” means no consumer protection, while going the OMVIC-registered route provides consumers with protections such as access to a compensation fund and mandatory disclosures.

The illustrative roadmap shows that buying privately exposes the purchaser to curbsiders – illegal, unlicensed car dealers who commonly pose as private sellers and often sell vehicles that are accident-damaged, previously written-off or odometer-tampered. And, the roadmap demonstrates that consumers who buy from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer are entitled to all-in pricing, full disclosure of a vehicle’s past use and the confidence that Ontario’s car sales regulator is actively enforcing the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA).

OMVIC’s new “The Road to Buying a Car in Ontario” infographic coincides with the release of commissioned research during the summer that shows that even among avid private buyers, 63 per cent would recommend family and friends purchase from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer specifically to get consumer protection. O’Keefe says the findings “highlight the need to continue to educate Ontario car buyers about the protections available and when they apply. This new infographic is a contribution to that effort.”

Other key findings from the survey of 503 Ontario used car buyers conducted by Vision Critical for OMVIC in August are:

  • About one-fifth (21 per cent) of respondents said they could put a price on accepting the risk of buying from a curbsider: for a savings of $1,000 to $1,999, they’ll buy privately, even if it’s from a curbsider and even if what they’re getting is potentially misrepresented.
  • About one-in-five Ontario car buyers say dangers posed by curbsiders won’t stop them from buying privately; however, an almost equal number of private buyers (17 per cent), once educated about curbsiders, say no savings is worth the possibility of getting a written-off, accident-damaged or odometer-tampered vehicle – common fare of the curbsider.
  • The additional danger of purchasing from a curbsider does not dissuade some die-hard private buyers: 65 per cent would still buy privately, despite advising family and friends to do otherwise.
  • Private buyers are notably more confident they could identify a curbsider than those who buy from dealers: 54 per cent versus 36 per cent.

“There’s a real disconnect when it comes to attitudes to consumer protection revealed by these findings,” observes O’Keefe. OMVIC estimates that as much as one-quarter of all private vehicle online classified ads are placed by curbsiders. “These predators are lying in wait in the private classifieds, ready to pounce on unwary consumers – the threat is very real,” adds O’Keefe. OMVIC’s new roadmap is meant to educate and help protect all Ontario car buyers, whether they’re dealing with OMVIC-Registered Dealers, honest private sellers or dishonest curbsiders.

“The Road to Buying a Car in Ontario” is also a keen reminder to those purchasing a new or used vehicle that all-in price advertising regulations apply when buying from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer. OMVIC most recently levied disciplinary action against Platinum Cars Inc. (fined $21,000 for failing to comply with all-in pricing regulations) and Andre Campbell (jailed for 32 days for operating as a curbsider).

Click here for “The Road to Buying a Car in Ontario” infographic:



OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's 8,000 dealerships and 25,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.


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For More Information:

Terry O’Keefe
Director of Communications and Education



Margo Rapport
VP, Communications
H2 Central Marketing & Communications