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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, October 18, 2018

gavel On a wintery day in 2016, roads slicked with freezing rain, Tian Cheng Kuang was behind the wheel of his 2013 Mercedes Benz C350 and found himself sliding into the Hyundai Sedan stopped in front of him. Kuang stated he wasn’t going fast but when he stepped from his car he found “the front end almost fell off,” and he wondered, “how come my Mercedes Benz isn’t stronger than a Hyundai?” The answer, it turned out, had everything to do with the history of the Mercedes and resulted in the dealer who sold Kuang the car being charged by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, for making false, misleading or deceptive representations in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, October 5, 2018
Talking Turkey

The way people communicate today…has changed, especially when texting. It’s almost a
new language: “TTFN” “IMHO” “SMH” “AFAIK.” We may pretend we understand, but secretly we’re making a mental note to look up those abbreviations later.  All those capital letters, numbers and abbreviations— it makes one long for the days of handwritten correspondence when we actually took the time to spell out words.

Little is more confusing than acronyms. You know what an acronym is, right? That would be an  abbreviation formed from the first letter of other words and pronounced as a word, as in OMVIC [spell this out phonetically] the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council—not to be confused with an initialism—an abbreviation consisting of the first letter of other words, but pronounced separately as in MTO, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, September 28, 2018
Antique Car
All-in pricing—it’s your right

Get your car-buying questions answered this Saturday at the Canadian Automotive Museum. OMVIC staff will be on hand at the museum in Oshawa, to help celebrate “Doors Open".

 

By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
shiny pink car
Buying a car is a huge financial commitment. As such, no one wants to end up with buyer’s remorse due to unexpected repairs, or realizing soon after purchase that the vehicle has undisclosed accident damage. Ontario’s consumer protection laws requires registered dealers to disclose if a vehicle requires repairs to major components or if it has been involved in a collision that resulted in more than $3,000 damage.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

man leaning on car Leaning back against the hood of your car, one foot lifted behind resting on the bumper, silhouetted by a setting sun—a potentially awesome picture for a car lover. But despite the photographic and artistic appeal, it’s not a picture many car owners would risk today, because we’ve learned a sometimes painful and costly lesson: those little metal rivets on our jeans love chipping and scratching away at a vehicle’s paint, and that road grit we didn’t even notice, will grind into a beloved car’s clear coat like a small piece of sandpaper. Yes, leaning on your car can be a bad idea, and leaning on someone else’s car—well that’s a whole other level of social faux pas—but even that is not as serious as a lien on a car.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, August 30, 2018
Taking delivery

Pre-Delivery Inspection: Important Steps to Take

Bought a new car and waiting to take delivery? Make sure the excitement you feel lasts for days and isn’t snuffed out by any unexpected disappointments. Keep calm and take your time; ensure all your questions/concerns are answered to YOUR satisfaction. To help with this process, OMVIC recommends making a ‘vehicle delivery’ checklist: 

 


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 24, 2018
Dealer fees

Recently a consumer wrote to OMVIC:

We recently purchased a used vehicle from an OMVIC Registered Dealer

We were charged an administrative fee of $199. We questioned this and were given a vague answer; the salesman insinuated this was a normal charge. I thought dealers couldn’t add fees.”

There can be some confusion when it comes to All-in Price Advertising. So let's clarify.




By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 17, 2018
Back to school

You’ve known for a while that this day would come.  And when your kids argued with you about the unfairness of curfews or doing chores, you might have even longed for it, but now that it's time for your darling daughter or son to head off to university or college, you realize you’re not prepared for them to leave home. Don’t worry about them…they’re more than ready. In an effort to stave off empty nest syndrome, you decide to get your offspring a car—nothing too fancy, just a cheap yet decent set of wheels, so they can drive home to visit at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Reading Week, or when they need to get four loads of laundry done.  


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, August 9, 2018
EV rebate

Electric Vehicle (EV) buyers who are expecting to receive a rebate from Ontario soon-to- be-cancelled Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP)should take steps to protect themselves from possible increased costs when signing a purchase contract. According to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), in order for an EV buyer to qualify for the incentive (most rebates are between $7,000 -$14,000 depending on the EV purchased):

1. the vehicle purchased must be on MTO’s list of eligible vehicles
2. the dealership had to confirm the vehicle as part of its eligible inventory (in stock or ordered) with the MTO by July 16th
3. the customer has to take delivery of the vehicle before the program ends in September.


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, August 2, 2018
girl taking picture of car advertisement Car-buyers have the right to expect Ontario dealers to include all fees and charges the dealer intends to collect, with the exception of HST and licensing (and safety standards certificate if the vehicle is advertised unfit/as-is) in any advertised price. It’s been the law since 2010.

Unfortunately though, research conducted by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, has uncovered two significant problems: less than half of Ontario car-buyers know they have a right to all-in pricing; and, many are being overcharged because some dealers continue to add fees on top of their advertised prices.


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, July 26, 2018
Questions to ask before buying a new car from a registered dealer

The new car you’ve seen at the dealership makes your heart pound; your pulse race and the thought of driving it makes you a little giddy. It must be love. You know what they say, first comes love, then comes…car ownership. However, before the dealer can pronounce you ‘car owner and car’, you need to take a step back and ask some serious questions.

Because, let’s face it, buying a new car is a lot like getting married: if you don’t do proper research and ask the right questions you can end up making an expensive mistake you’ll regret for years.

So, think of OMVIC as your marriage coach—here to help you start that discussion that will ensure the relationship between you and new your car is a happy and long lasting one.


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, July 20, 2018
Mandatory Disclosures

Thinking about buying a used car? There is so much information out there, paring down what is essential can seem like a daunting task.

Once you have narrowed down your options on budget, brand of vehicle and are ready to start visiting dealerships, knowing about disclosures is essential.

The mandatory disclosure requirement is one of the key pillars of protection offered to Ontario consumers who purchase from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer. Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) requires dealers to disclose in writing a vehicle’s past use, history and condition. For example, if a vehicle has been in a collision and the damage exceeded $3,000, the dealer must disclose that.

 


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, July 13, 2018
Buying a car in Ontario? Do your homework

When it comes to buying a vehicle in Ontario, it is important consumers do their homework before purchasing. But what exactly does that entail? We've come up with a h-o-m-e-w-o-r-k mnemonic will help consumers make an informed purchase whether buying from a private seller or an OMVIC-Registered Dealer. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to do some H-O-M-E-W-O-R-K!


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, July 5, 2018
Lean on me

Warning. This story requires the reader to hum and sing along. Readers may become better educated car-buyers, but, may have a song stuck in their head for a minimum of 12 hours.

Hmm hmm hmm hmm
Hmm hmm hmm hmm
Hmm hmm hmm hmm
Some…times in our lives, we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But, if we are wise
We know that there's, always tomorrow

Go ahead—sing it out loud. No one on the train is watching ;)

Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on….

“Lean on Me”—the immortal classic by Bill Withers. Ranked 208 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time; it still feels as good today as when it was released 45 years ago. But there are times when you most definitely don’t want to be leaned on; or technically, ‘liened’ on. Like when you trade in a car for a new(er) one.


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 29, 2018
car salesman illustration

You’ve found the used car of your dreams at a dealership at a price you can afford.  In fact, you’ve been circling the dealership for a few days to check that “The Cruisin' Canary” (the perfect name for your car) hasn’t left the lot with the wrong owner.

Today is the day you’ve decided to take the plunge and move towards committing to your four-wheeled partner.

Well, all right then.

You can do this. You’ve got a plan.

You’ll saunter in, talk to the dealer, see how The Cruisin' Canary handles on a test drive and take things a step further.

You’re a smart consumer, you’ve done your research, you know your rights and have the OMVIC consumer inquiries phone number (1-800-943-6002 ext. 3942) on speed dial. You’ve got your wallet, phone, those pesky prescription glasses and mostly importantly, your power socks on, there’s just one more thing you need to take with you: the right questions!


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 15, 2018
Buying a car takes moxie

Buying a car, especially buying a car privately, takes more than money. It takes moxie - you know, pluck, spunk, nerve, tenacity, guts, grit…yeah, moxie! Not only do you have to know the right questions, you need to be bold enough to ask them.
If you’re buying from a private seller, as hundreds of thousands of Ontarians do each year, you need to take the necessary steps to protect your interests and to ensure you are not dealing with a curbsider.


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, May 31, 2018
Georgian College Auto Show

Organized and staffed by students in the Automotive Business School of Canada, Georgian’s Auto Show is the largest of its kind in North America attracting up to 15,000 visitors from across Ontario.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, May 24, 2018
Free Car-Buying Seminars Teach Consumers How to Buy a Car in Ontario

Buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases a consumer will make in their lifetime. It is a transaction that requires thought, research and knowledge. It’s important that consumers educate themselves BEFORE entering into an agreement to purchase a vehicle.

As Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, OMVIC offers FREE Car-Buying Seminars to consumer and community groups.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 27, 2018

Happy Woman With CarTwo friends at a café:

Scott: Why do you look so happy?

Dee: I’ve met someone perfect—kind, thoughtful and romantic.

Scott: You say that after every date!

Dee: But this one’s different! He’s seen me wearing my mouth guard and he doesn’t care that I can’t cook. I have finally found unconditional love!

Ah, the elusive unconditional love; while it may be what so many of us long for, it is not the type of love you should pursue when you buy a vehicle. To put it bluntly: steer clear of falling in unconditional love with a car. In fact, when buying a car, conditions can be your best friend.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 20, 2018
Oshawa Vehicle Salesperson Sentenced to 180 Days in Jail

A former Durham Region motor vehicle salesperson, who “victimized and betrayed” his customers, will be going to jail for the second time in less than a year. Ryen Maxwell, a once-registered salesperson at “Countryside Motors” and “Westbridge Vehicle Sales and Leasing” in Oshawa, has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for 10 breaches of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

 

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 13, 2018
Born to be wild? Know your rights?

Get your motor runnin'
head out on the highway
lookin’ for adventure
and  whatever comes your way

Steppenwolf was definitely not talking about packing up the station wagon, programming the GPS, adjusting the climate control and arriving at a destination looking fresh and relaxed. ‘Born to be Wild’ is about feeling the exhilaration and adrenalin that only riding a motorcycle on the open road can give you.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, April 4, 2018
woman and broken down vehicle

“I saw a 2003 Chevrolet advertised on Kijiji for $1,500 ‘as is’ or $1,800 certified, so I arranged to meet the seller. The car looked good. It was comfortable - leather seats and power everything, including a sunroof.”

– Anonymous Toronto car buyer


At first glance this car buyer, let’s call her Amanda, found what appeared to be a pretty good deal--at least for an older, used vehicle. However, that ‘pretty good deal’ was in fact ‘too good to be true’. The private seller was actually a ‘curbsider’, an illegal, unlicensed dealer. And the car? Well, it had major mechanical problems.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, March 20, 2018
rolled-back odometer

If checking out all those cars, trucks and SUVs at the Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show has you thinking about buying or leasing, make sure you also stop by OMVIC’s booth (Level 2) and bring your car-buying questions!


And, if meeting the friendly OMVIC team isn’t enough of an incentive, we will also be handing out branded keychains, to remind you that OMVIC is here to help with your car-buying experience. Not only is this keychain attractive and stylish, it’s also multi-purpose, serving as a handy tire tread depth gauge. Don’t miss out on your chance to get one! The show runs from March 22 to March 25, at the Shaw Centre.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, March 16, 2018
rolled-back odometer

With today’s modern, tech savvy vehicles - are rolled-back odometers a thing of the past? Or, are roll-backs making a comeback?


Rolled-back odometers are rarely an issue with vehicles sold by OMVIC-Registered Dealers, partially because the consequences can be severe. They could be charged/prosecuted, disciplined and/or lose their licence. And, of course, they have to take back the vehicle and return all monies to the consumer (note: there are time limits for contract rescission). While roll-backs are not a major problem with vehicles sold by dealers, rolled-back odometers are a significant and growing problem amongst vehicles sold by curbsiders and dishonest private sellers.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, March 8, 2018

two women shopping on their mobile phones Professional scammers love to troll popular websites like Kijiji, AutoTRADER and Craigslist, preying on unsuspecting consumers with their phony car ads. It’s how they make their money. And they’re really good at it!

Most of these phony online car ads closely resemble a typical car ad placed by a legitimate private seller, it’s not until the consumer calls that it all starts to go sideways. They’re told fake, made-up stories, i.e. the seller has divorced or relocated and the car is in storage (or someplace similar but inaccessible), or that the seller is actually a dealership located in the U.S.

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