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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

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

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, May 3, 2019

    7 Tips to Get You Started!

    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 with these tips to begin a conversation with the dealer and determine whether the vehicle you’re interested in will be a worthy investment.

    It is important to note that all Ontario dealers and salespeople must be licensed by OMVIC. So, if you’re buying from a dealer in Ontario, confirm that you’re buying from a registered dealer – look for the OMVIC-Registered Dealer decal or use the “ Find a Dealer/Saleperson” search button at omvic.ca. Remember: Only when you buy from a registered dealer do you benefit from consumer protection. If you buy privately and encounter problems, OMVIC cannot assist.

    By OMVIC Communications on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

    All in price advertising

    Fifty-three per cent of Ontarians are either uninformed or misinformed when it comes to motor vehicle dealer advertising. According to OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, only 47 per cent of Ontario’s car buyers know that if a dealer advertises a price for a new or used vehicle, that price must 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 as unfit).

    Unfortunately, OMVIC still encounters some dealers adding fees to their advertised prices which is why the regulator has re-launched its province-wide consumer awareness campaign. 


    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, April 18, 2019

    Arif Adan Syed A Markham area man has been charged after allegedly trying to sell a car with a rolled-back odometer to an undercover shopper from OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator. The charges came just weeks after 34 charges were laid against the man for the same alleged activity.

    Arif Adnan Syed, 36, of Markham, is charged with curbsiding (acting as a dealer without registration) in violation of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) and with committing an unfair business practice (making a false, misleading or deceptive representation), in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Note: All charges are currently before the court; they are only allegations until proven.

     


    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, April 11, 2019

    Woman car breakdown

     “I saw a 2006 Ford advertised on Kijiji for $1,600 ‘as is’ or $1,900 certified, so I arranged to meet the seller. The car looked decent: no rust, no dents or scratches. It was comfortable and very clean inside.”- Anonymous, Toronto car buyer.

    At first glance this car buyer, let’s call her Sheila, agreed to—what appeared to be— ‘a pretty good deal’ for an older, used vehicle. Unfortunately, after buying the car, Sheila learned that ‘a pretty good deal’ was ‘too good to be true.’


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, April 5, 2019

    edc

    The Drive Clean emissions program has ended. We’ve created a simple graphic to help you understand the changes.To learn more, visit the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Park’s webpage.

    By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

    news release icon

    Illegal vehicle sales and odometer tampering have resulted in a 30-day jail sentence for a Mississauga man. Szymon Kozlowski, was found guilty of curbsiding—acting as a dealer without registration—contrary to the Motor Vehicles Dealers Act (MVDA), and of committing an unfair business practicemaking a false, misleading or deceptive representation—in contravention of the Consumer Protection  Act (CPA).


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, March 22, 2019

    Mechanical Inspection

    Buying a car can be a huge financial commitment and no one wants to end up with buyer’s remorse due to unexpected repairs soon after purchase. That is why its vital consumers exercise their ‘due diligence’ before purchasing any used vehicle – and in many cases, that means getting a pre-purchase mechanical inspection.


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, March 15, 2019

    Academy guide

    OMVIC is packing up and hitting the road to be part of the Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show March 21st to the 24th, at the Shaw Centre.This year the OMVIC booth will feature our brand new educational initiative, The OMVIC Academy.


    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, March 7, 2019

    car for sale

    March is Fraud Prevention Month, as such OMVIC is reminding consumers to beware of curbsiders; illegal unlicensed dealers who often pose as private sellers. Some operate from small automotive businesses (repair shops, rental companies, etc.). Others spend their time behind a computer screen, lying in wait in online marketplaces, ready to pounce on unsuspecting consumers. In fact, 25% of online private vehicle sale ads are 'actually' placed by curbsiders.


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, March 1, 2019

    computer scam wallet

    March marks the beginning of Fraud Prevention Month, an undeniably important campaign designed to help Canadians recognize, report and reject scams. While it’s great to raise awareness every March, OMVIC recommends this practice all year long, especially if you are planning on buying a car online.


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, February 22, 2019

    news release icon

    OMVIC has ordered the IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION of 519224 Ontario LTD. o/a Tom Pirie Motor Sales, 190 Lombard Street, Smiths Falls, and of Thomas Pirie, officer and director of Tom Pirie Motor Sales. As a result, Pirie and Tom Pirie Motor Sales may not legally sell, lease, buy or consign motor vehicles. Consumers are warned not to buy or lease motor vehicles from, or sell or consign motor vehicles to, Tom Pirie Motor Sales, RV Kemptville or Thomas Pirie while the dealer’s registration is suspended/terminated.


    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, February 15, 2019

    omvic academy

    Buying a vehicle, whether new or used, can be confusing—perhaps even intimidating. And while the thought of acquiring a new vehicle is exciting, the process can be stressful. So if a consumer is about to enter into the car-buying process feeling unprepared or ill-equipped, The OMVIC Academy has resources that will ensure they are entertained as they become confident and informed car buyers.

    By OMVIC Communications on Wednesday, February 6, 2019

    OA Car Show

    February is for lovers. February 14this the most romantic day of the year for couples (and maybe the most oppressive day of the year for singles), but did you know about the other special days in February celebrating different kinds of love? February 5th is National Weatherman’s Day, the 26th is “tell a Fairy Tale Day” and the 15th is the “International Day for Car Lovers.”

    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, January 31, 2019

    ref guide intro

    OMVIC has been providing consumer protection to Ontario’s car buyers for over 20 years, but not everyone knows OMVIC's mandate and how it is carried out. To help explain our mission, we created a quick reference guide.

    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, January 31, 2019

    news release icon

    A Markham area man and woman are facing dozens of charges related to the alleged illegal sale of vehicles (curbsiding), many with rolled back odometers.  

    Investigators for OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, found the accused bought 26 vehicles in 2018, many with very high mileage. Then, posing as private sellers, they offered the vehicles for sale on Kijiji. The odometers of many of the vehicles had been rolled back by significant amounts — in some cases, 200,000 to 300,000 kms . Euro Premium Auto Ltd., a corporation directed by one of the accused, was used to acquire many of the vehicles.  

    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, January 24, 2019

    negative equity

    Friday, January 25th is “Opposite Day.” We’re not sure who invented this special day, but we think it must be the same committee who decreed May 24th “National Scavenger Hunt Day” or August 12th “Middle Child Day.”

    There seems to be no real consensus on how to celebrate Opposite Day – some eat breakfast for dinner or wear their clothes backwards. For OMVIC, Opposite Day is the perfect time to talk about negative equity, an expression that reveals itself to be contradictory. Negative Equity, just like “jumbo shrimp” and “confirmed rumour”, is an oxymoron.

    Defining Negative Equity   

    Negative equity actually means that you owe more for a car than what it’s worth. It becomes an issue when you want to trade in that car you still owe money on.   
    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 18, 2019

    Looks can be deceiving. It’s always been the case, but sometimes we conveniently forget.

    Take Instagram for instance—you freely like your friend’s pictures of the family’s beautiful cottage, the snapshots of the gorgeous kids, the family trips to Europe, and the endless brunch pics featuring nothing but mimosas and smiles. And while you’re busy liking the posts, you start to wonder how someone’s life could be so perfect.  Instagram is all surface and deep down we know it, but, oh, how we get seduced by the way things look.

    The same is also true with cars.

     

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 11, 2019

    lease

    If you’re thinking of leasing your next vehicle, it’s crucial to make an informed decision. Failure to do so could result in financial headaches down the road.

    What is a Lease?

    A lease is like a long-term car rental - you don’t actually own the vehicle. A leasing agreement typically runs over a series of months (36, 48, 60) with a set monthly payment. Leasing is available for both new and used cars.

    The dealer and the company that owns the leased vehicle (lessor) are most often not the same organization. The dealer helps arrange the lease and offers other services to the consumer (lessee). Generally, the dealer does not handle the monthly lease payments and is not the organization with which you sign the lease; these functions are performed by an independently owned and operated finance company

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, January 4, 2019

    TPL presentation

    As we slip into the driver’s seat and head out on the road in 2019, let’s look back in the rear view one more time. 2018 saw OMVIC on the road educating consumers about their buying rights and promoting industry professionalism by ensuring dealers and salespeople were informed of the regulations governing vehicle sales in Ontario.  

    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, December 20, 2018

    news release icon

    OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, is warning consumers not to purchase vehicles from Arif Adnan Syed, Hafsa Nasser or Syed’s company, Euro Premium Auto Ltd. Note: Euro Premium is not a registered dealer.

    OMVIC believes Syed and Nasser are curbsiders — illegal, unlicensed dealers. Operating from a home in central Unionville, the couple are allegedly buying high mileage vehicles and then, posing as private sellers, offering them for sale on Kijiji. The odometers of many of the vehicles sold have been rolled back by significant amounts — in some cases, 200,000 to 300,000 kilometres.

     

    By OMVIC Communications on Thursday, December 13, 2018

    Vehicle History Report

     Recently, OMVIC received this question:

    “I’m considering buying a used sedan. It is two years old and has 20,000 km on it. Unfortunately, the OMVIC-Registered Dealer is not willing to show a CarFax report. My question is, “Is the dealer required by OMVIC to show a CarFax report?”

    The short answer is…

    No.

    Instead, dealers are required to make 22 mandatory disclosure requirements related to a vehicle’s past use, history and condition, including accident repairs greater than $3,000 and the true distance a vehicle has travelled, but there is nothing in the Motor Vehicle Dealer’s Act (MVDA) that requires them to provide a history report like CARFAX Canada or AutoCheck (note: AutoCheck is only available to dealers)

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, December 7, 2018

    Naughty Nice Blog


    Thinking about decking the driveway with a newer set of wheels this holiday season? Considering buying that vehicle privately? Well, OMVIC suggests you check this list twice to help you spot the naughty sellers, so you only buy from the nice.
    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 30, 2018

    Car financing

    Buying a vehicle is a decision that should only be made after careful consideration, and for most consumers, one of those major considerations is how to finance the purchase.

    The majority of consumers borrow money when buying a vehicle. Some choose to use a personal line of credit or arrange financing at their own bank or credit union, while many have the dealer arrange financing.

    Having the dealer arrange financing 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 Friday, November 23, 2018

    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 16, 2018

    brand conscious man Admit it. Most of us can be…a little superficial.  Maybe your winter coat is Canada Goose, your boots are Sorel and your fleece is Arc’teryx; you order double ristretto venti half-soy nonfat decaf organic chocolate brownie iced vanilla double-shot gingerbread Frappuccino extra hot with foam whipped cream upside down double blended, one  Low and one NutraSweet, and ice because it’s Starbucks and no one drinks ‘coffee’ anymore, and; you want to buy that ruggedly sexy SUV you’ve seen on safari travel shows; the one all the celebs drive, cuz you know, it  will undoubtedly impress your friends.  Yes, about some things – we can be brand snobs.

     

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 9, 2018

    Test Driving Tips When Buying a CarWhen buying a car privately or from a registered dealer, consumers have to learn to protect themselves; and one of the key steps is taking a thorough test drive – not just around the block!

    To get the most out of a test drive OMVIC suggests consumers follow these 5 tips, read more.

     

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, November 2, 2018

    news release icon Thinking about buying a car in Ontario? OMVIC has an interactive Car-Buying Quiz to help educate consumers about their rights.

    By OMVIC Communications on Friday, October 26, 2018

    news release icon A former Scarborough car dealer, Min Tian o/a Nice Auto Sales, pleaded guilty to retaining an unregistered salesperson, contrary to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA), and was fined $12,500. Tian was charged by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, for allowing her husband, Zhijun Wang, to use her OMVIC Registration and ID to gain access to wholesale vehicle auctions where he purchased numerous vehicles. Many of the vehicles were then sold with rolled back odometers or altered VIN’s. Wang was also charged by OMVIC for acting as an unregistered salesperson: he was convicted and fined $25,000

    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.

     

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