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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Does an OMVIC-Registered Dealer Have to Provide me with a CARFAX Report?

Dec 13

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Thursday, December 13, 2018  RssIcon

Car financing

 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).

Why isn’t there a requirement?

OMVIC’s Director of Communications, Terry O’Keefe, explains it’s because the MVDA already has in place the requirements for full disclosure. And while there is no requirement for a dealer to provide a consumer with a history report, O’Keefe ssys many commendably do it voluntarily. And if a dealer won’t provide one, consumers can go online and buy their own.

“In fact,” O’Keefe advises, “I would encourage any consumer buying a used car to do exactly that. The only time I wouldn’t encourage a consumer to purchase a history report is if the dealer told the consumer the vehicle is a previous daily rental.” (Note: In 2018 CarProof changed its name to CARFAX Canada; a verified CARFAX report costs $54.95 plus tax).

The unique case of the daily rental

A CARFAX Canada report provides valuable information about a vehicle’s history. For example, it may disclose if a vehicle has been involved in a collision or has an unpaid lien. However, if that vehicle is a previous daily rental and sustained accident damage while in the rental fleet, there’s a good chance that information won’t show up on a history report. That’s because many rental companies are self-insured and therefore pay directly for repairs if one of their vehicles is involved in a collision. This accident information is often not available to history report companies and therefore not found on reports made available to the public.

The report is great, but don’t forget the mechanical inspection!

A history report can be an invaluable tool when buying a used car but it won’t provide information about the mechanical condition of the vehicle.  If you’re buying privately or buying a car that is out of warranty from a dealer, have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

For more car-buying tips click here.

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