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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

I've Signed on the Dotted Line... Can I Cancel My Car Contract?

Jan 11

Written by:
Thursday, January 11, 2018  RssIcon

 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?

In Ontario, there is no “cooling-off” period when it comes to vehicle salesnot 10 days, not 48 hoursnada, nyet, none. Once you sign a contract the deal is final and binding UNLESS the dealer has failed to make certain specified disclosures.

So, there are certain conditions that can trigger a consumer’s right to cancel a contract with a dealer. It’s what OMVIC sometimes refers to as the “6 deadly sins”, aka General Regulation 50 of the MVDA. Failing to disclose the correct model, make, year of a vehicle, as well as the actual distance the vehicle has travelled (within lesser of 5% or 1,000 km of the correct distance) allows a consumer to cancel an agreement within 90 days of taking possession of the vehicle.

In the example above with the Nissan 370Z the consumer has a right to return the car and cancel the contract because of the discrepancy with the vehicle's true mileage.

The other “deadly sins” that allow a customer to cancel a contract include failure to disclose:

  • previous use of the vehicle as a taxi or limo
  • previous use of the vehicle as a police or emergency service vehicle.
  • that a vehicle has been branded (irreparable, salvage or rebuilt), and how it was last classified.
  • previous use of the vehicle as a daily rental (unless the vehicle has subsequently been owned by someone other than a dealer).

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of transactions go smoothlycontract rescission is rare. But what should a consumer do if a dealer failed to make those required disclosures and then refuses to undo the deal? Contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team (1-800-943-6002 X3942 or consumers@omvic.on.ca) and they will help you through this process.

Remember, cold feet or buyer’s remorse isn’t reason enough to cancel a vehicle purchase agreement. So be sure you do your homework, read your contract thoroughly and understand what you’re buying BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Because, other than the situations described above, there’s no cooling off period—period.


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