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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Buying a Car -- Is the Dealer Legit?

Jul 19

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, July 19, 2019  RssIcon

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 you’re legally entitled to:

All-in price advertising

Full disclosure of vehicle history and condition

Rescission (for specified non-disclosures)

Access to the Motor Vehicle Dealer’s Compensation Fund

So if you decide to buy from a dealer, how can you make sure that business is indeed legitimate and licensed?

So, how do you know?

Some dealerships place OMVIC decals (provided by OMVIC) on their windows and doors, letting consumers know that they are walking into a licensed dealershipbut that isn’t a guaranteedealers can move and decals can be left behind. So how can you really tell if that vehicle repair business that also has cars for sale is actually a registered dealer?

decal

Be Bold

A better way to verify that the business and salesperson you’re dealing with is registered, is to ask to see the salesperson’s OMVIC Registration Certificate.
This may seem bold, but if you’re going to buy a car, you need to be bold!

All OMVIC-registered dealers and salespeople must legally carry their OMVIC Registration Certificate and present it to anyone asking to see it.  Note: You may see two versions, one with a yellow border or another with a blue one. The yellow registration certificate indicates that the dealer/salesperson has successfully completed a course in automotive law and ethics, and earned the designation “Certified in Automotive Law and Ethics” (C.A.L.E.).  When checking the registration certificate, ensure the registration has not expired.

BlueRegistrationCard YellowRegistrationCard

Check the website

But what if you want to check out the business, before you visit it? The best way is to use the Find a Dealer/Salesperson search engine on OMVIC’s website. Not only will you be able to verify that the business is an OMVIC-registered dealership, but you will also be able to see if the dealership or salesperson has previously been disciplined (for breaching the Code of Ethics) or charged and/or convicted for violating the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act or the Consumer Protection Act.

This short video demonstrates how to check:

And one last option to confirm registration - call OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team at 1-800-943-6002 x3942. They'd be happy to do the verification for you.

About OMVIC

An educated and informed consumer is a protected consumer. Visit omvic.ca to learn more about your car-buying rights as well as additional tips for buying a car in Ontario.
For more vehicle purchasing tips, check out the OMVIC Academy. You can view other resources such as multilingual videos and download the OMVIC Car-buying Guide.
If you have a question about your car-buying rights, please contact our Complaints and Inquiries team at 1-800-943-6002 x3942 or email consumers@omvic.on.ca

 


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