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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

I just signed an agreement to buy a car. Can I cancel the contract?

Nov 22

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Monday, November 22, 2021  RssIcon

In Ontario there is no cooling-off period when it comes to buying or leasing a car. Although consumers in the province are permitted a cooling-off period when they sign contracts for certain purchases outlined in the Consumer Protection Act - like a newly built condo or a gym membership, vehicle purchases are final upon signature. Once you sign a vehicle contract, that deal is final and legally binding, unless the dealer has failed to make certain specified disclosures.

Signing on the dotted line for a new vehicle can be intimidating, and the last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned money on a car that doesn’t meet your needs. Consumers shouldn’t sign a purchase or lease agreement unless they’re sure all terms and conditions are correctly disclosed on the contract.

What must be disclosed in a contract?

There are six scenarios when a consumer who purchased a used vehicle may be eligible to cancel their vehicle contract. These include if a dealer fails to accurately disclose any of the following:

  1. The correct model, make, or year of the vehicle.
  2. The true distance the vehicle has travelled (within lesser of 5 per cent or 1,000 km of the correct distance).
  3. If the vehicle was previously used as a taxi or limo.
  4. Previous use of the vehicle as a police or emergency service vehicle.
  5. That a vehicle has been branded (irreparable, salvage or rebuilt), and how it was last classified.
  6. Previous use of the vehicle as a daily rental (unless the vehicle has subsequently been owned by someone other than a dealer).

How can I protect myself?

Buyer’s remorse alone is not enough to cancel a vehicle contract, so it’s important to do your homework, read your contract thoroughly and understand exactly what you’re buying or leasing before you sign.

Make sure you fully understand the true cost of purchasing a vehicle and factor in insurance, fuel and parking to know whether or not you can afford it. It’s also important to research the make and model of the car, to understand its reliability and depreciation.

Most importantly, protect yourself by buying from an OMVIC-registered dealer to ensure you’re covered by Ontario’s consumer protection laws. Remember: buying from a private seller does not provide any consumer protection.

OMVIC is here to help

Whether you’re in the market for a vehicle, or you’ve encountered a problem with a recent purchase, OMVIC’s team of experts is here to help. You can contact OMVIC’s consumer support team free of charge at 1-800-943-6002 or email consumers@omvic.on.ca to get help throughout the process.

 

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