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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Author: OMVIC Communications Created: Friday, August 14, 2015
OMVIC Blog
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.

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, March 1, 2018
shamrocks and green car

Everyone loves a good deal, especially when it comes to a new set of wheels. So how do you find one… or rather, ‘when’ do you find one? The week before Christmas? The last week of any month? St. Patrick’s Day perhaps??


While the ‘Luck of the Irish’ has been legend since the North American gold and silver rushes of the 19th century, capturing a leprechaun or perilously hanging nearly inverted to press lips against a non-descript stone atop Blarney Castle, is not a prerequisite to getting the ‘best deal’.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2018 CIAS It’s your last chance to see the latest in automotive innovation and style all under one roof! With over 600,000 square feet of dazzling displays and engaging exhibits, the Canadian International AutoShow wraps up 6pm, Sunday, February 26 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, February 14, 2018
OMVIC Communications Team
The 2018 Canadian International AutoShow kicks off at noon this Friday, February 16 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Planning to attend the show? Be sure to stop by OMVIC’s booth (800 level, South building next to the escalators and food court) - our team will be onsite and ready to answer all your car buying questions! The AutoShow runs until 6 pm Sunday, Friday 25.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, February 9, 2018

chocolate carForrest Gump’s mama was right – “life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Who doesn’t love the taste of a delicately handcrafted, square shaped, chocolate covered caramel - with a little sprinkle of sea salt on top? It’s divine! But when you bite into a similarly square shaped chocolate and are met with a pungent, medicinal orange flavour or a thick, white mystery filling… you can’t help but feel deceived.

Buying a car privately can sometimes leave you with a similar feeling of disappointment. Albeit, on a far greater scale, not to mention you can’t get the bad taste out of your mouth by simply disposing of the disappointment discreetly into a tissue.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, February 1, 2018

Car with Heart“My friends say I don’t look a kilometre over 85,000.” Meanwhile, what the unsuspecting, hopeful single who swiped right doesn’t know is that deceitful old Buick’s odometer has been rolled back 100,000 km.

 “I keep my body in great shape!!” Yeah right, that Venza was a complete write-off with structural damage that cost over $14,000 to get into “great shape”.

Both are classic cases of “carfishing”, quite similar to what online daters refer to as “catfishing”… simply, false advertising.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 26, 2018
 Negative Equity car piggy bank

Shopping for a new car? Before starting the hunt, you should ask yourself: “How much car can I afford?”

Costs that come with buying a car

Let’s break this down a little bit further. You need to think ‘big picture’ when considering making a significant purchase, like a car. Unlike real estate, most vehicles are a depreciating asset that begins losing value the very second you turn the key in the ignition to drive it home. So what are some of the costs that you need to consider? 


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 19, 2018
Private seller

Buying a new car can, and should be, a very exciting experience. When buying a used vehicle, consumers really only have two options: buy from a dealer/salesperson or buy privately. But remember, car-buyers are only protected by Ontario’s consumer protection laws when they purchase a vehicle from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer and therefore must take extra care when buying privately.




By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, January 11, 2018
 Signing a contract

You've signed on the dotted line and taken possession of your new vehicle—congratulations! It was everything you dreamed of and more.

Suddenly you discover that 2018 Nissan 370Z Coupe has 3,000 more kilometres on it than what’s noted on your bill of sale.

Can you cancel the contract and take it back?


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 5, 2018
 New car New You

Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat healthier. Spend more time with family. Spend less time with family. Get organized. Be kinder to yourself. Be more determined. Ah yes, New Year’s resolutions. Surveys suggest 30 to 40 percent of us make them – a desire for self-improvement…an inspiration. Unfortunately, those same surveys demonstrate the vast majority of those who make one, fail to see it through. 


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, December 21, 2017
Red car with bow

Thinking about decking the driveway with a new set of wheels this holiday season? Or resolving to improve your ride in the New Year? OMVIC would like to gift you with some great holiday car buying tips. 



By OMVIC Communications on Friday, December 15, 2017
 Reindeer in traffic

Thinking about decking the driveway with a new set of wheels this holiday season? Before you go dashing all the way to the dealership or checking out the nice and naughty list in the online car classifieds, find out if you’re a Dasher, or Blitzen? Take OMVIC’s ‘smart’ car buyer quiz to find out:



By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

 Rudolph the red nosed reindeer song

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall…the “458 Italia Speciale?”

Rumours swirling around the North Pole claim Santa Claus is considering trading in his trusty team of reindeer for a 597 horsepower “black prancing stallion”. According to the elvish grapevine, the Ferrari’s front and rear movable flaps cut drag and its side slip angle control are better able to tackle unpredictable equatorial cross-winds. An elf at S.L.E.D. (Santa’s Lead Engineering Department), who wants to remain anonymous, described the current sleigh as having the aerodynamics of a “flat-sided igloo”.


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, December 8, 2017
 Carbuying for newbies

Many car enthusiasts will tell you there are two types of people in the world: people who love cars; and, people who are wrong. The former, people who love cars, enjoy going to dealerships and taking the latest models for a test drive. They litter their conversation with terms like, “torque, turbo lag, dual-clutch automatic and direct injection”, while those of us in the latter group, the ones who are ‘wrong’, stare blankly whilst listening to these aficionados.


By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, November 22, 2017
 Black Friday It is commonly held that Black Friday – the day of mega-amazing colossal unbelievable can’t-be-beat blow-out sales signifying the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season – is so named as it marks the point many retailers turn a profit for the year, going from being “in the red” to being “in the  black.” The more cynical might argue it's consumerism run amuck and a black mark on our society, and perhaps for good reason.
By OMVIC Communications on Monday, November 13, 2017
 Aerial View Parking Lot

At least five days a week, Kelly Hult, college student and single mom of two toddlers (with a third on the way), commutes half an hour to school in Sault Ste. Marie. “My car didn’t handle the snow-covered highways very well,” explained Kelly with understated charm. “That’s why I decided to trade my 2011 Chevrolet Cruze for a slightly older pickup truck.” She settled on a 2008 Chevy Silverado.


By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, November 8, 2017
 Aerial View Parking Lot

All-In Price Advertising is the law in Ontario. If an OMVIC-Registered Dealer advertises a price for a vehicle (new or used), that price must include ALL fees and charges the Dealer intends to collect – minus the licensing fee and HST.

 

However, as with many rules in life, there are exceptions. 


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 3, 2017
Halloween scene

Jack-o-lantern flames gutter in a chill wind. Discordant music echoes from once serene suburban houses. Lights strobe disorientatingly. Macabre figures adorn once neatly pruned trees. Grave markers appear with eerie and disturbingly piled leaves on lawns that were just yesterday pristine. Eyes narrow….senses heighten.  Ah yes…Halloween.  A time for fear….and fun. The little kids get 2 hours of costumed candy collection; and the bigger kids (i.e. most of us) break out our favourite horror films. So many of us love to get scared. There’s a visceral reaction to it – it awakens our primal “fight or flight” response.



By OMVIC Communications on Monday, October 23, 2017
 Rental car Rental vehicles are usually of the current or previous model year, with relatively low mileage and factory warranty. And because it’s used and there’s no freight or PDI charge they often come with a discounted price. But there are some consumers who forego these benefits and steer clear of daily rentals.

By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Official OMVIC decal OMVIC is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing consumer protection to Ontario’s car buyers, but not everyone knows about this regulator, what they do and how they can help.



By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, September 12, 2017

There’s a new danger riding in on a storm for used car buyers—flood-damaged vehicles. “Authorities in the US have told us they expect about half a million vehicles to be flooded as a result of Hurricane Harvey alone,” said Tom Girling, Director of Investigations for OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator. “And they expect many of them will end up being exported—including to Canada.”



By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Vehicles that would have been completely unaffordable two decades ago are now financially accessible. Many consumers can buy the car of their dreams, with no money down, for a monthly, bi-weekly (or even daily) payment that has somehow become “affordable.” But how? Did cars get cheaper? Are we all significantly wealthier? Or is something else at play?




By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 25, 2017

Do know the difference between buying a car from a dealership and buying privately? OMVIC staff will be happy to answer your car-buying questions and provide you with information about your car-buying rights at IMPORTFEST! 




By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 18, 2017

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.




By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 11, 2017

When you owe more for a car than what it's worth, you have negative equity. Follow our infographic to find out how easily it can happen.




By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator is providing educational information and tips to consumers who are financing their next car-purchase. “Traditionally the most common source of complaints received by OMVIC relate to vehicle condition or contract cancellation” explained John Carmichael, OMVIC CEO and Registrar. “However we are noticing an increase in complaints specific to finance agreements; and in the past few years, this has led to a number of dealers facing charges or licence revocation.”

By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, July 19, 2017

OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, has ordered the immediate suspension of 1828780 Ontario Inc. o/a D L Auto Brokers, operated by Darrel Legare at 581 Lakeshore Drive, North Bay. As a result, Legare and D L Auto Brokers may not legally sell, lease, buy or consign vehicles. 


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, July 13, 2017

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

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


By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, July 6, 2017

So what exactly is a lien?
A lien is a legal “encumbrance” registered on a person’s property to secure a debt the property owner owes to another person/business (commonly a bank/lender). In the case of a car loan, a bank (or finance company) will register a lien against the vehicle giving them the right to take possession of it should the borrower default on the loan and to sell the vehicle to recoup the outstanding debt.
So it’s really important you DON’T buy a vehicle with an outstanding lien! 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 30, 2017

Dealers in Ontario are required to include the following statement on the contract of any vehicle sold “as is”:

“The motor vehicle sold under this contract is being sold “as-is” and is not represented as being in roadworthy condition, mechanically sound or maintained at any guaranteed level of quality. The vehicle may not be fit for use as a means of transportation and may require substantial repairs at the purchaser’s expense. It may not be possible to register the vehicle to be driven in its current condition.”



By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 23, 2017

An Ottawa-area man was convicted on 36 counts of illegally selling motor vehicles, many with missing airbags. Ahmad Moussa, sole director of Quality Motors, 1417 Cyrville Road in Ottawa, was charged by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, with curbsiding — acting as a dealer without registration. 





By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 16, 2017

When it comes to buying a vehicle in Ontario, it is important consumers do their homework before purchasing. But what exactly should that homework entail? Whether buying from a private seller or an OMVIC-Registered Dealer, this mnemonic will help consumers conduct research and ask the right questions during the car-buying process to make an informed purchase.





By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 9, 2017

In Ontario, dealers or salespeople must be registered with OMVIC. In addition to passing the Automotive Certification Course, applicants must submit to additional background checks including a criminal background check. 



By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

If you’re thinking about buying a car, or if you’re just an unabashed car enthusiast, come out to the Auto Show at Georgian College’s Barrie campus this weekend! Visit OMVIC's booth



By OMVIC Communications on Friday, May 26, 2017

infographicBuying a car can be an emotionally charged experience with long-term financial implications. Smart consumers know a purchase of this importance requires research, knowledge and careful deliberation. OMVIC’s “Road to Buying a Car in Ontario” infographic helps consumers ask the right questions during the car-buying process. 



By OMVIC Communications on Friday, May 19, 2017

All-in price advertising is the law in Ontario; a law meant to provide transparency to consumers and create a fair and level playing field for car dealers. Through OMVIC’s on-going consumer awareness efforts, the public is becoming more informed of the all-in pricing rules when purchasing a car from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer — but there is still some confusion…



By OMVIC Communications on Friday, May 12, 2017

The vast majority of consumer/dealer transactions go well. In those rare instances when problems arise, OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team provides information and services to help address the situation. These services are provided free of charge to all Ontarians.



By OMVIC Communications on Friday, May 5, 2017

RV Thinking about buying a camping trailer, motorhome, boat or ATV? It’s important to know your rights; and believe it or not, depending on what you buy (or whom you buy from) your rights, like your mileage hauling a 5th wheel camper, may vary.



By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Deputy Registrar of OMVIC has ordered the immediate suspension of Personal Touch Auto Limited, located at 747 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie, following serious consumer complaints and an inspection. As a result, the dealership cannot legally sell, lease, consign or buy vehicles.

Consumers are warned not to buy or lease vehicles from, or sell or consign vehicles to, Personal Touch Auto Limited or Gino Burzese while the dealer’s registration is suspended.


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 21, 2017

A dog relishing a car ride; tongue lapping the air; fur flying in the wind – a sight that exemplifies simple joy; and it’s the visuals supporting OMVIC’s TV message: Buying a car? The fun is back! Ontario made all-in price advertising the law for Ontario car dealers – no more hidden fees. All-in price advertising – it’s your right




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