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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Understanding the UVIP - Ownership and Vehicle History

Jan 16

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Saturday, January 16, 2021  RssIcon

The UVIP’s second and third sections offer areas for car-buyers to fall into traps: it’s important to stay informed. Rolled back odometers, fraudulent names and unclear seller locations can lead to trouble.

Our last post explained why consumers buying cars privately should understand the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), a document designed to help buyers learn about a used car’s history. 

There are no consumer protections when buying a car privately: the more you know about the vehicle and the seller, the safer you will be.

This week focuses on the UVIP’s second and third sections: ownership history.

What’s important in section two

Current owner

Ensure the current owner’s name is the same as the name on the seller's driver's license. If they don’t match, it’s a red flag. You could be doing business with a curbsider - an illegal, unlicensed dealer pretending to be a private seller. 

Location and registration date

Directly under the name of the current owner, you’ll find the city where the seller is located
and the date they acquired the vehicle.

Odometer reading

Odometers tell you how far the previous owner drove their car.  An odometer’s numbers are progressive over time: they shouldn’t go down; only up.

Note the odometer readings in sections two and three. Compare both: ensure the reading under current ownership is higher than the number in section three, vehicle history.

If the current ownership figure is lower, it may mean someone tampered with the odometer, or there could be inaccuracies in how the previous owner recorded the mileage. 

If you want inaccuracies investigated, call The Ministry of Transportation’s Driver and Vehicle Information Service at 416-235-2999 in the Greater Toronto Area or toll-free in Canada at 1-800-387-3445.

sect23

What’s important in section three?

Previous owners

Learning about previous vehicle owners may inform your decision about whether to buy the car. For instance, you may discover the previous owner has an unsavoury past. Former owners could also include a rental company, where previous damage does not appear on vehicle history reports. You could find out the vehicle had eight previous owners, indicating possible inconsistent maintenance.

Vehicles with few previous owners often offer a better return on investment. Consider the evidence and make your choice carefully.

What’s coming up

Next week’s post will explore the UVIP’s final sections: lien information and the bill of sale. We'll explain what a lien is, and why you shouldn’t buy a vehicle with one. Finally, we'll review what happens after the seller completes the bill of sale.

To review the terms from section one, visit Understanding the UVIP: Vehicle Details. If you have any questions about your car-buying rights, contact OMVIC's Consumer Support Services by e-mail, or you can call 1-800-943-6002.

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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