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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Test Your Car-Buying Skills and Make Your Next Car Purchase Merry!

Dec 23

Monday, December 23, 2019  RssIcon


Thinking about decking the driveway with a new set of wheels this holiday season? Before you go dashing all the way to the dealership or checking out the nice and naughty list in the online car classifieds, find out if you’re a Dasher or a Blitzen! Take OMVIC’s ‘smart’ car buyer quiz to find out.

    1. When you sign a contract to buy a car from a registered dealer, there is:

    a. A 24-hour “cooling off” period

    b. A 48-hour “cooling off” period

    c. A 10-day “cooling off” period

    d. No “cooling off” period

    2. If a dealer’s advertisement includes a price for a car, you should know:

    a.The dealer is likely to add all sorts of other fees to the advertised price.

    b.The advertised price must be all-in and the dealer can only add additional costs for products or services you’ve asked for.

    c.There are no rules around dealer advertising; it’s buyer beware!

    3. A curbsider is:

    a. Any private seller

    b. An illegal, unlicensed dealer who may pose as a private seller

    c. A mechanic

    d. None of the above

    4. When you buy a car from a dealer, he or she must legally disclose if the car has been in an accident resulting in more than $3,000 in damage – 

    a. True

    b. False

    5. If you have a problem with a vehicle you bought from a private seller:

    a. You can contact OMVIC for assistance.

    b.You’re protected by numerous Ontario consumer protection laws.

    c. You’re on your own.

    d.a & b

    6. If you have a problem with a vehicle purchased from a registered dealer:

    a. You can contact OMVIC for assistance.

    b.You’re on your own—there are no consumer protection laws for retail automotive sales.

    c.You can file a complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

    d.You can have your MPP intervene.


    So how’d you do? Was it as easy as remembering all the verses to the Twelve Days of Christmas? 


    1.D - When you buy a car, there is no “cooling off” period. Don’t sign a contract unless you’re sure you want to complete the transaction.


    2.B - A registered dealer’s advertised price MUST be all-in—only HST and licensing can be added. Should a dealer try to charge a fee (other than HST or licensing) in excess of the advertised price, walk away and report the dealer to OMVIC.

    3.B - Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed dealers who usually pose as private sellers. They commonly sell vehicles that are misrepresented (e.g., rebuilt write-offs, accident-damaged or odometer-tampered). Curbsiders are responsible for up to 25% of all private vehicle ads.

    4.A True - Ontario dealers must disclose, in writing, information related to the past-use, history and condition of a vehicle. If you choose to buy privately, it is STRONGLY recommended you obtain a vehicle history report (CarFax Canada), have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic and ensure the seller provides a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP).

    5.C - OMVIC only regulates motor vehicle dealers. There are no consumer protection laws for private vehicle sales. If something goes wrong with a private transaction, you’re on your own with little recourse other than to sue civilly.

    6.A - OMVIC has a Complaints and Inquiries Team who may be able to assist should a problem arise with a vehicle purchased from a registered dealer. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to cancel a contract if a dealer failed to disclose specified information. For assistance contact OMVIC's Complaints and Inquiries department via email or call 1-800-943-6002 extension 3942

    Don’t end up with a lump of coal in your garage, make your next vehicle purchase a merry one; get educated, know your rights and learn to ask the right questions.

    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 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.

    Connect with OMVIC on social media!

    facebook    Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council


    instagram   @omvic_official

    LinkedIn   Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council



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