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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

5 Tips For Buying a Car Privately

Dec 4

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, December 4, 2015  RssIcon

It’s Sunday morning and you’re scrolling through the online classifieds looking for a car. You find a private sale that sparks your interest—“for sale by owner.” What do you do next? Before looking at a car, get educated. Do your research to protect yourself. Here are some tips for buying a car privately in Ontario.


UVIP Report
  1. Carefully Review the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP)

    When selling a vehicle privately, the seller must provide a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) to the purchaser. This package will contain:

    • Ontario registration history; current registered owner and vehicle ownership history
    • Lien information
    • Past odometer readings
    • Estimated fair market value of the vehicle


  2. Take A Thorough Test Drive

    It is important to take the vehicle on a thorough test drive—don’t just take it around the block, take it on the highway to establish if there are any issues when driving at higher speeds.



  3. Car History ReportObtain A History Report

    History reports are a great tool. They often contain vital information including:

    • Disclosed accident repairs
    • Lien information  (dependent on report)
    • Previous registration information; if the vehicle has been registered in another jurisdiction (a province or state outside of Ontario)

    Carfax and Carproof are the two history reports available to consumers and both reports are available online. Recently CTV Consumer Alert’s Pat Foran aired a story outlining the valuable information these reports provide.  Click here to watch.



  4. Inspect Vehicle
  5. Get A Mechanical Inspection

    A mechanical inspection can help to identify problems or issues that the seller hasn’t disclosed, or may not even know about. So, take the vehicle to get inspected as the results could influence your decision to buy or lead to a re-negotiation of the price.




  6. Avoid Curbsiders

    Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed dealers who pose as private sellers and cause a serious threat to consumers - so when purchasing a vehicle privately, be certain that you turn on your Creepometer.

Remember, consumer protection laws only apply if you purchase a car from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer. If something goes wrong with your private purchase, you’re on your own with little recourse (other than to sue civilly). So, if you choose to buy privately be informed and do your research.


For more car buying tips visit www.omvic.on.

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