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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Brand Awareness

Nov 22

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, November 22, 2019  RssIcon

As consumers, we pay attention to brands. Brands tell us the quality and reputation of a product. The same can be said of Ontario’s mandatory branding program for vehicles.

Knowing what each brand means: Irreparable, Salvaged, Rebuilt and None will help to make an informed decision when it’s time to purchase a used vehicle and will also help to determine whether this is indeed a car you’d like to buy.

The graphic below breaks down four different types of brands (not to be confused with makes, such as Ferrari or Lamborghini) in Ontario:

BRANDS

Beware of Curbsiders

“We are especially concerned about curbsiders—illegal, unlicensed dealers—who pose as private sellers. They purchase salvaged vehicles from salvaged auctions, fix them up and sell them off to unsuspecting consumers,” explains OMVIC’s Director of Communications, Terry O’Keefe, “so it’s really important when you’re buying a vehicle privately that you check its brand. You can check the brand by looking at its ownership document (top left-hand corner). You can also find the branding information on the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) and on a CarFax Canada report.”

Go One Step Further

In some instances, vehicles may have received a Structural Inspection Certificate when they shouldn’t have, so O’Keefe cautions that it is always important when  buying a vehicle privately (or from a dealer)—even more so if its brand is rebuilt—that you take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic who knows about body and frame repair and frame straightening.

Where to Find a Reputable Mechanic

Finding a good, trustworthy mechanic is imperative for a car buyer and subsequent car owner. But where can you find one?  Try Car help Canada or the Automobile Protection Agency ; two consumer groups who provide recommendations of mechanical and body repair shops for their members. Each charges a nominal fee.

Buying from a Dealer

Dealers in Ontario are required to disclose if a vehicle has been branded as Irreparable, Salvage or Rebuilt. If a dealer sells a vehicle without disclosing that it has been branded (and how it was last classified) this can trigger cancellation of the contract within 90 days of delivery. It is important to note that the brand None is not required to be disclosed and if not disclosed, is not grounds for contract cancellation.

About OMVIC

As the regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, OMVIC’s mandate is to maintain a fair and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers, enhancing industry professionalism and ensuring fair, honest and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers. Visit omvic.ca to learn more about your car-buying rights as well as additional tips for buying a car in Ontario. For car buying tips, check out the OMVIC Academy. You can view other resources such as multilingual videos and download the OMVIC Car-buying Guide.



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