Protect yourself. Read these important car-buying tips before you sign!
Sales Are Final When Buying A Car
“What’s your return policy?” – It’s a common question asked when making a purchase. As consumers, we are familiar with responses like: “10 days to return or exchange, so long as you have the receipt”. And while those return policies are set by the retailer (that’s right they’re not mandated by law) there are some purchases that have a legally mandated ‘cooling-off period’ – a chance to cancel and get out of the contract. Gym memberships and door-to-door sales are two such examples. So, some would assume the same applies when buying a car. There’s got to be 24 or 48 hours in which you can change your mind, cancel the deal and get back your deposit, right? Wrong—In Ontario, there is no cooling-off period when purchasing a vehicle from a registered dealer.
If you’re looking to purchase a late model used car or truck, chances are you’ve checked out some of the online auto marketplaces such as Kijiji, AutoTRADER, Craigslist or others. While there are a lot of legitimate vehicles available through these sites, there are also a number of sophisticated online scams you should watch out for.
Know A Scam When You See One
Recently, OMVIC has warned Canadian online car shoppers about two notorious scams designed to separate consumers from their hard-earned money: the phony private seller; and the phantom US dealer. Both have tell-tale signs that, if spotted, will alert the potential buyer to the dangers posed by these rip-off artists.
Sending a ‘child’ off to university or college can be traumatic – for the parents of course; the kid will be just fine. So to make it easier to keep ‘em coming home for more than just Thanksgiving and spring break, some parents will head out with their teens on an elusive hunt for a decent, but cheap, set of wheels. It’s worth noting decent and cheap can be difficult to find in peaceful coexistence in the automotive jungle.
“Many consumers looking for an inexpensive vehicle assume their best bet is to buy privately,” explained Terry O’Keefe, Director of Communications and Education for OMVIC ...
So you think you’ve found a great deal on a car. The price is right … and mileage isn’t too high. But it’s for sale by a private owner. You know there are some risks involved with a private sale, but do you know how to protect yourself? What happens if you end up with a real lemon … or worse?
Buying A Used Car Privately Can Be Risky
Keep in mind that there are no "lemon laws" in Ontario and no consumer protection legislation that covers private transactions. According to Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC Director of Communications and Education, “Should a person purchase privately and something goes wrong, that consumer would unfortunately be on their own.”
DID YOU KNOW ALL-IN PRICE ADVERTISING IS THE LAW FOR ONTARIO CAR DEALERS?
An educated consumer is a protected consumer. And as part of its commitment to improving consumer education and awareness OMVIC has launched a targeted four-week awareness campaign to inform Ontario car-buyers about the all-in price advertising requirements. With the launch of the campaign also comes OMVIC’s newest consumer resource: this blog!
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