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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Buying an “As Is” Car from a Dealer in Ontario

Jun 30

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, June 30, 2017  RssIcon


It’s Saturday morning and you’re scrolling through the online classifieds looking for a specific car, and you find two; same make, model and year; the only difference is one is being advertised with the cost of a Safety Standard Certificate included in the price, and the other (which is cheaper) is being advertised “as is.”

So What Is, “As Is”?

“As is” can mean different things to different people – at one time it was a common way to state the vehicle had no warranty. But since 2010, the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act has defined the term and requires dealers 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.”

And if the dealer is advertising the car “as is,” the ad must include this similar statement:

“This vehicle is being sold “as-is”, unfit, not e-tested and is not represented as being in a road worthy condition, mechanically sound or maintained ay 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.”

It is important to note that if a dealer sells a vehicle “as is,” the mandatory statement above must be initialed by the purchaser and the dealer cannot provide a Safety Standard Certificate. And since we’re on the topic….

What is a Safety Standard Certificate?

A Safety Standard Certificate is a document issued after an inspection by a licensed mechanic, indicating “the vehicle met certain basic standards of safety on the date of inspection.” It is not a warranty or guarantee that the vehicle has no defects. In fact, a vehicle could pass a safety inspection yet still require expensive repairs (e.g. the air conditioning doesn’t function).

“As Is” Reminder

Although changes to the safety inspection standards have been implemented, “as is” disclosure obligations remain unaltered. As such, “as is” disclosures must still be made on both contracts and advertisements.  In addition, dealers are still responsible to make all mandatory disclosures about the history and condition of the vehicle, in writing, even if the vehicle is being sold “as is.”

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