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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Author: OMVIC Communications Created: Friday, August 14, 2015
OMVIC Blog
By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 24, 2020

AboutOMVIC

As Ontario's vehicle sales regulator, OMVIC provides consumer protection to Ontario’s car buyers and enhances industry professionalism among registrants. But let's dig a little deeper and find out the who, what, where, when and why of OMVIC.

Who is OMVIC?

OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) is Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator. With a mandate to protect consumers, OMVIC’s office and field staff administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and other consumer protection statutes on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 17, 2020

QUESTION

As the current health crisis continues to evolve, some consumers have reached out to us with questions on navigating the changing marketplace. We’re featuring two questions related to COVID-19 on this week’s blog. 

I purchased a car on Friday from a relative and now I’m wondering how I would go about registering the car and paying taxes during the pandemic. 


Private sales still need to be completed through Service Ontario. They have a list of locations on their website indicating which ones are open. 
OMVIC has a lot of great resources including checklists, videos and tips for anyone interested in buying a car privately. Visit Tips for Buying Privately to learn more.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

COVID

Pandemic or not, life happens.

Normally, when a consumer wants to buy a car, Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator, OMVIC ‘s recommendation would be that they make an informed choice, whether that is buying privately or buying from a registered dealer. Should consumers opt to go the private sales route, they should know that they are forgoing the consumer protections available to them when they buy from a registered dealer.

But, on April 4, in response to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government reduced the list of essential workplaces that can remain open. As a result, motor vehicle dealers’ showrooms across the province were ordered to close until further notice. Though many dealers in Ontario are able to sell vehicles online, not all dealers have the capability and resources at this time to do so.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 3, 2020

Take Picture

COVID-19 has changed life for all of us, staying in is the new normal and much of our contact is virtual. For car-buyers, this means researching, and potentially completing the entire vehicle-purchase process,  online or remotely. Because this trend is growing in popularity, OMVIC has added resources to its website so that car-buyers can be informed and protected.


By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

 4/14/2020COVID

Message from John Carmichael, OMVIC CEO and Registrar

COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis for our stakeholders– dealers, salespeople and consumers – and for Ontarians and the world. OMVIC is committed to the health and safety of its staff and its stakeholders. OMVIC will continue to operate from remote sites and work with its stakeholders in these challenging times. While some service levels have been impacted, OMVIC remains committed to maintaining a fair and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers and ensuring fair, honest and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers during these challenging times.

The impact of COVID-19 will require all of us to adapt and have flexibility with what lies ahead. I have no doubt that we will be successful in facing these challenges.


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, March 20, 2020

Thaya (1)

When Thaya Gengatharan, OMVIC’s Director of Registration, received a detailed questionnaire from the Women & Automotive Leadership Forum some weeks ago, she assumed it was some sort of feedback survey.

She filled it in and then forgot all about it.

It wasn’t until people dropped by her offices to congratulate her that Gengatharan realized she was one of the recipients the 2020 Women & Automotive Leadership Award.

Each year, Cherokee Media, publisher of the AutoRemarketing Canada magazine, selects and honours accomplished women who work in the Canadian automotive sector and are leaders.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, March 12, 2020

news release icon

An Oakville dealership and four of its staff were fined a total of $21,500 for breaching the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) Code of Ethics.
Oakville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Ltd., Reg Nimeck, Gordon Nimeck, Andrew De Clavasio and Camillio Comparone were disciplined by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, for failing to comply with Ontario’s all-in price advertising regulation.


 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, March 6, 2020

news release icon

A Toronto General Motors (GM) dealership, Dean Myers Chevrolet Ltd., and 1125278 Ontario Limited, o/a Dealerwerx Leasing, both located at 3180 Dufferin St., North York, have currently closed their doors after the appointment of a receiver, Deloitte Restructuring Inc. (Deloitte), by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The application for appointing a receiver was made by the Royal Bank of Canada.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, February 28, 2020

HOME WORK

When it comes to buying a vehicle in Ontario, it is crucial consumers do their research before making a purchase. Whether buying from a private seller or an OMVIC-Registered Dealer, homework will help prepare consumers to buy a car.

 



 

By OMVIC Communications on Monday, February 24, 2020

OMVICMailbag

From time to time, we feature a consumer question on the OMVIC blog, like this one, “If I sell a car by myself, or put it on Kijiji, does that make me a curbsider?

The simple answer is no—selling a car does not automatically make someone a curbsider. Anyone is entitled to sell his or her personal vehicle—that is, a vehicle that was purchased and owned for personal, family or household use. Curbsiders are in the business of selling cars. While they usually pose as private sellers, they buy cars, not for personal use, but to resell.



 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, February 14, 2020

breakingup

Red roses, chocolate hearts, intimate dinners—it’s the clichéd, yet still wonderfully sentimental view of Valentine’s Day. But not all lovers are so lucky; in fact Valentine’s Day break ups have become de rigueur, ranking just behind spring break splits and the period “two weeks before” Christmas. WikiHow even has an eight step guide on “How to Break up With Someone on Valentine’s Day.”

It happens; not all relationships are built to last. Our love wanes. We grow bored. New models tempt us with exciting features, better handling, firmer suspensions; it’s irresistible. Yes, there’s nothing quite like the stimulating, even obsessive, love affair…with a new car. But how do you “break up” with your old ride?

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, February 6, 2020

carforsale

So, you think you've found a nice used car. No accidents, good price…and only 131,000 kms. Roxy (not her real name) thought so too. Which is why in early 2019 she contacted the private seller and paid him $5,400 for the car. 

Unfortunately, the seller turned out to be a curbsider, an illegal, unlicensed dealer posing as a private seller, and the car—well, apparently it had discovered the fountain of youth, because it actually had more than 230,000 kms on it. 

Curbsiders often sell vehicles that are undisclosed rebuilt wrecks or odometer-tampered,” said John Carmichael, CEO and interim Registrar of OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator.  "And we have recently seen a significant uptick in the number of vehicles with rolled-back odometers sold by curbsiders.




 

By OMVIC Communications on Monday, February 3, 2020

OMVICMailbag

Consumers with car-buying or OMVIC related questions are encouraged to reach out to OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries team via email (consumers@omvic.on.ca) or phone 1-800-943-6002 ext.3942. However, consumers don’t have to wait until they buy a car to get in touch. In fact, sometimes the questions aren’t even about buying a car, like this one last week: 
“Would I be allowed to take the OMVIC Certification Course only for general education purposes?”


 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 24, 2020

news release icon

Falsifying documents and failing to disclose significant accident histories of vehicles sold has resulted in a Newmarket car dealer having his licence suspended for 120 days. 


Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator, OMVIC, issued a Proposal to Revoke the registration of Premium Cars Wholesale Ltd., 17065 Yonge St., Newmarket, after receiving serious complaints from numerous consumers and one dealer. Premium appealed the proposal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, LAT, which, after a ten-day hearing, ordered the suspension.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 17, 2020

car dealer

Everybody has their own list of concerns when it comes to buying a car. These concerns can be as specific as whether the car colour comes in a matte or, if you’re buying used, how many owners the vehicle has had. OMVIC suggests you start a conversation with the dealer to determine whether the vehicle you’re interested in will be a worthy investment.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 10, 2020

Mandatory Disclosures

OMVIC received this question from Cathy, a consumer, who purchased a used vehicle from an OMVIC-registered dealer.

"I bought a used car. Had the car for one day and noticed the coolant was low, only to find out the coolant was leaking into the motor. What right do I have as a consumer?" Cathy.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Monday, January 6, 2020

Rearview mirror

Let’s cast one final look back at 2019 before it disappears from the rearview mirror forever!

As we head boldly into an exciting new decade, remember that when it comes to buying a car in Ontario, OMVIC’s commitment to your consumer protection and education remains as steadfast as ever.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Monday, December 23, 2019

OMVICxmas

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 a Blitzen! Take OMVIC’s ‘smart’ car buyer quiz to find out.




 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, December 12, 2019

Boxing Day

Ah December, the holidays are here and a new year looms.

There’s a spirited hustle and bustle unmatched by any other season…. but then comes the rest of the interminably long, dark, soul-sapping winter. We graupel (that’s a pun, not a typo btw) with blizzards, white-outs, treacherous driving, Vitamin D deficiency; and, the excitement that led up to the holidays is replaced by a pining for spring…. a spring that seems an eternity away. Our coping skills are put to a frosty test.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, December 6, 2019

Scams

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 or others. While there are a lot of legitimate vehicles available through these sites, there are also online scams you should watch out for.

The best way to protect yourself against scams is to educate yourself, ask lots of questions, and learn to recognize red flags.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, November 28, 2019

Black Friday

How did 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 — get its name? Some would say Black Friday 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 among us might argue it’s consumerism run amok and a black mark on our society.  Though the origins of the name may be debatable, the lure of Black Friday is undeniable.

 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 22, 2019

fourtypes

As consumers, we pay attention to brands. Brands tell us the quality and reputation of a product. The same can be said of Ontario’s mandatory branding program for vehicles.

Knowing what each brand means: Irreparable, Salvaged, Rebuilt and None will help to make an informed decision when it’s time to purchase a used vehicle and will also help to determine whether this is indeed a car you’d like to buy.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 15, 2019

NWS

This Friday, November 15th to Sunday, November 17th, OMVIC will join over 500 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees for the 18th annual National Women’s Show in downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 8, 2019

negative equity

There are some things which should last forever, like love, or a diamond ring, but a car payment is not one of them. Yet forever is how long it might feel if you take out an extended-term loan (e.g. 96 months), without educating yourself on the perils of negative equity—owing more for a car than it is worth.To avoid the pitfalls of an extended-term loan, consumers need to educate themselves and be honest about their needs and car-buying habits.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 1, 2019

odometer rollback

At two a.m. on Sunday, November 3rd, Daylight Savings Time will officially end. We mark this event by turning our clocks back and getting in one more hour of sleep.

Only Daylight Savings Time–and of course, Cher–can turn back time, but there is a nefarious group who also tries to do it: curbsiders– illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers who roll back odometers to increase the value of the vehicles they’re selling. 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, October 24, 2019

jackocar

As adults, little is as exciting and yet equally fearful as the Halloweens of our childhood…with perhaps one exception—buying a car. In that acquisition, many of us steel ourselves with the same heightened sense of “prepare for anything” as a nine-year-old on Halloween. Our fight-or-flight response is awakened; because this is, for most, a large purchase; it can be scary, and no one wants to get stuck with a lemon.
By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, October 17, 2019

news release icon

OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, has ordered the immediate suspension of Hudson’s Fine Cars Inc., 3715 Keele St., Unit: 15 & 16, Toronto, and of the dealership’s  officer and director, Hamid Valizadeh. As a result, Hudson’s Fine Cars Inc. and Hamid Valizadeh cannot legally sell, lease, buy or consign vehicles.

In conjunction with the Suspension Order, a Proposal to Revoke the Registration of Hudson’s Fine Cars Inc., and Hamid Valizadeh, has also been issued.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, October 11, 2019

OA Teachers Manual Cover

Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator, OMVIC, has made new car-buying resources available to educators in Ontario. The OMVIC Academy videos, student car-buying guide and teacher’s manual resources are part of a new initiative designed to create informed and confident car buyers. 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, October 3, 2019

news release icon

OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, has ordered the immediate suspension of 1833111 ONTARIO Inc., operating as Autoshow Orillia 2011, located at 454 West St. South, Orillia and of the dealership’s officer and director, Chadwick McIntyre.  As a result, McIntyre and Autoshow Orillia 2011 cannot legally sell, lease, buy or consign motor vehicles.

In conjunction with the Suspension Order, a Proposal to Revoke the Registrations of McIntyre, Autoshow Orillia 2011 and the dealership’s one salesperson has also been issued.

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, September 26, 2019

homework

Whether you’re buying your first or twenty-first car, read up!

Just started college and need your own set of wheels? Embarking on a new job that requires having reliable transportation? Or maybe you’re a car-buying veteran and think you’ve got vehicle acquisition down pat - which by the way, research has shown to be unlikely. When it comes to dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, whether you’re a freshman or a senior, it’s a good idea to do your homework before heading to the dealership.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, September 20, 2019

Taking delivery

 Taking delivery of a new car is exciting and emotional, but as emotional as it is, you must do your best to stay grounded and take the necessary steps to make sure your purchase goes smoothly. Here are seven steps to help you.

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, September 12, 2019

Byrd

To Steven Byrd, the pursuit of excellence has always been a team effort. 

Since taking on OMVIC’s Director of Investigation’s role in June this year, Byrd has been busy familiarizing himself with the demands of his new role.

Byrd’s 33-year career has spanned across several sectors: military, policing, municipal and provincial governments, a Crown Corporation and now, motor vehicle sales regulation. There are however two common threads that have crisscrossed his professional journey.


 

 

 

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, September 5, 2019

unfair Did you know that protections granted to consumers under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) cannot be nullified in a contract? Ontario’s CPA is THE LAW. Read on to learn about the protections available to consumers under the CPA if a dealer commits an unfair business practice.
The CPA applies to most Ontario businesses including car dealerships. Under the CPA there are two types of unfair business practices: false, misleading or deceptive representations; and unconscionable representations. Consumers who face an unfair business practice may be entitled to cancellation of their contract for up to one year from the date of contract signing. 

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 30, 2019

man leaning on car Leaning back against the hood of your car is 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 Friday, August 23, 2019

Rental assistant

Because of their low price, rental vehicles may seem like an attractive offer to a car-buyer. While there are a number of perks, there are also some potential drawbacks that consumers need to be aware of. 


By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 16, 2019

sale

Last month, Sharon and Christine (not their real names), went car-shopping. The pair visited dealerships in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie that had vehicles advertised online. 

But Sharon and Christine were not your average car-buying consumers: they were mystery shoppers and employees of Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator — (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council). Their mission was simple: to ensure dealers and salespeople were in compliance with the all-in-price advertising provisions of Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA).

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 9, 2019

Windsor

As a result of charges laid by OMVIC, Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator, a Windsor auto repair business and its owner, received significant fines for illegal vehicle sales.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, August 2, 2019

conditions

Recently, OMVIC received this question: “I was planning to buy a used car, but my financing didn’t get approved, can I get my deposit back?"

Let’s assume that the person who wrote this question, signed a contract and the dealer was to arrange financing.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, July 26, 2019

Complaint

When it comes to buying a car in Ontario, the majority of consumer/dealer interactions take place without a hitch, but when a transaction hits a pothole, consumers in Ontario can request advice or help from an OMVIC Complaint Handler.

But before filing a formal complaint with OMVIC, the regulator recommends consumers engage in the 2-step process mentioned below.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, July 19, 2019

decal

By law, anyone who trades in vehicles in Ontario must be registered with OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulatorthat’s every car dealer and salesperson.

We know that not everyone is going to buy a vehicle from an OMVIC-Registered dealer—some may choose to buy from a private seller—but buying from a registered dealer is ‘the safer way’ because of what you're legally entitled to.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, July 12, 2019

Motorcycle

Did you know that OMVIC regulates motorcycle sales as well as car, RV and light truck sales?

If you’re considering hugging the curb and embracing clear blue skies this summer, then getting acquainted with your rights as a motorcycle-buyer is a very good start.

Each day, OMVIC staff field calls and emails from car and motorcycle buyers seeking clarity on their rights as a consumer. As a motorcycle-buying consumer, you have certain rights.

By OMVIC Communications on Friday, July 5, 2019

Quiz

Few among us can buy a car with little preparation. For most, purchasing a vehicle is a sizable investment that demands significant research. Before deciding on which vehicle best suits your lifestyle and budget, you should know what your rights are.

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, June 27, 2019

auto finance

The majority of consumers borrow money for a vehicle purchase. Some choose to use a personal line of credit or arrange financing at their bank or credit union, but many have the dealer arrange the financing. This often makes sense—dealers have access to numerous lenders that may provide terms or rates unavailable elsewhere. But this doesn’t mean consumers shouldn’t carefully consider what is being offered and take steps to ensure they are getting the best possible finance rate and terms.

By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, June 20, 2019

key

Not all relationships are built to last. You’ve had your car through good times and bad, but your needs have changed. You need more space, better reliability and the latest technology. It’s time to say goodbye to your current ride, and make room for a new(er) one.

There are a number of options for getting rid of your car, but we’ll focus on these three:

  • Selling privately
  • Trading it in
  • Selling it on consignment



  • By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 14, 2019

    Education Officer

    Although buying a car can be intimidating, learning your car-buying rights is one of the best ways to squash your fears. As part of OMVIC’s mandate to protect and educate consumers, OMVIC offers free seminars to Ontario residents looking to improve their car-buying knowledge.


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, June 7, 2019

    7 Tips to Get You Started!

    We’ve all heard the saying that geniuses are made not born. Child prodigies aside, genius is not innate; it’s the result of hard work, studying and applying what you’ve learned.

    The same can be said of confident car-buyers.

    And how does one become confident?

    Easy. Enroll at the OMVIC Academy! Comprising five videos and featuring a car-buying guide, the OMVIC Academy was created to help consumers become smart, informed and yes—confident in their next car-buying experience.




    By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    Georgian Auto Show

    Canada’s largest, outdoor student-run auto show returns this weekend! The Georgian College Auto Show, organized and staffed by students of the Automotive Business School of Canada, will take place on the Barrie Campus from May 31st to June 2nd and OMVIC will be there!



    By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    COMPLAINTS

    "I have a few questions about my vehicle purchase agreement."

    "If I purchased a non-motorized travel trailer at an OMVIC-Registered Dealer, can I still file a complaint?"

    "Does the dealer need to provide a vehicle history report when selling a used vehicle?"

    OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries team fields questions and complaints such as these regularly. Helmed by Tim Hines, this department receives and responds to hundreds of phone calls and emails per week. 

    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, May 16, 2019

    Signing a contract

    All shoppers know the checkout drill, you hand over your money, your goods are packaged and then the cashier tells you by rote, “You have 10 days to return or exchange, as long as you have the receipt.” You nod--you probably won’t return your purchase, but it’s nice to know that you could. You walk out the door, and live your life. So here’s a question. When you sign a contract to buy a car from a dealer, there is,

    a.       A 24 hour cooling-off period

    b.       A 48 hour cooling-off period

    c.       A 10 day cooling-off period

    d.       No cooling-off period




    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, May 10, 2019

    flooded cars

    Did you know that damage to a vehicle caused by flood waters can be difficult to spot and can sometimes take months to show up?

    A flood-damaged vehicle can be dangerous

    Flood damage can cause corrosion inside a vehicle’s sensitive electronics or safety components. The results could be catastrophic: air bags could fail to deploy; engines could shut off at highway speeds or steering could fail—flood damaged vehicles are not safe for the road. If you’re shopping for a used vehicle, it’s imperative that you learn to spot the signs of flood damage.

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