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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

The OMVIC Mailbag

Feb 3

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Monday, February 3, 2020  RssIcon

OMVICMailbag

Consumers with car-buying or OMVIC related questions are encouraged to reach out to OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries team via email (consumers@omvic.on.ca) or phone 1-800-943-6002 ext.3942. However, consumers don’t have to wait until they buy a car to get in touch. In fact, sometimes the questions aren’t even about buying a car, like this one last week:

Would I be allowed to take the OMVIC Certification Course only for general education purposes?

This is a great question because education, both for dealers and consumers, is a big part of OMVIC’s mandate and omvic.ca is full of educational resources. OMVIC believes an informed consumer is a protected consumer. Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC’s Director of Education, Communications and Media Relations, explained that anyone is welcome to take OMVIC's Certification Course. It is the first mandatory course for dealers and salespersons in Ontario, so it deals with the regulations dealers and salespeople are expected to know.  “If a consumer takes the course, he or she will be incredibly well informed and have a very good understanding of his or her rights. Having said that, taking the course also comes with a price tag of $275. But if you just wanted to read the textbook, you can download it for free on OMVIC’s website (click here) and go through it. However, there are other ways consumers boost their car-buying knowledge without taking a course in automotive law and ethics.”

 In 2019, OMVIC launched the OMVIC Academy, an educational initiative aimed at new car-buyers who want to increase their confidence. Made up of five videos, the OMVIC Academy uses humour to explain the particulars of Negative equity; Curbsiders—illegal, unlicensed dealers; Buying from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer and Buying from a private seller.

The videos are also available in French, Simplified Chinese and Punjabi. What’s more, there is a free downloadable car-buying guide and a teacher’s manual.

Says O’Keefe, “Consumers who want to broaden their knowledge and get to know more about regulations are also welcome to visit the dealer’s side of OMVIC’s website, which has detailed information about the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and the Consumer Protection Act.” It also has five videos that are part of the Help for Dealers educational initiative. Help for Dealers covers the following topics:

  • All-in price advertising
  • Contract cancellation
  • Disclosing collision repairs
  • Disclosing vehicle condition and needed repairs
  • Disclosing negative equity on bills of sale

According to O’Keefe, The Help for Dealers videos and resources would give anyone a better understanding of the vehicle purchasing process and what dealers are required to disclose about the past-use, history and condition of vehicles sold.

And finally, for more free consumer education, OMVIC’s Education Officers regularly go out into the community and present on car-buying rights. These popular seminars are available free of charge to
community groups, schools, or libraries. If you’d like to arrange for a presentation, please contact
omvic@omvic.on.ca for more information.

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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