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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Here’s what you need to know when purchasing a vehicle before your road trip this summer

Jun 23

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Thursday, June 23, 2022  RssIcon

Car for sale

If you’re looking to bypass those gruelling airport security and customs lines, there is no better way to travel in this day and age than having your own wheels. Owning a vehicle lets you explore places off the beaten path; however, just because you think you’re getting a good deal, doesn’t mean the car will survive the trip you planned.

The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council strives for consumers to understand their rights, and to understand that when buying used motor vehicles from an OMVIC-registered dealer, dealers must disclose certain information about a car’s history and information on a bill of sale. Few things are better than a summer road trip, but a lack of planning and car maintenance could end the fun prematurely if the vehicle is misrepresented to you.

In order to protect consumers, OMVIC enforces “mandatory disclosure” as a key pillar of protection offered by registered dealers who purchase from them.


What are mandatory disclosures, and what could this mean for a buyer?

The Ontario's Motor Vehicles Dealers Act, 2002 (MVDA) mandates 22 specific disclosures dealers must make regarding a car's past usage and condition, which can be found in further detail here. The Ontario's Motor Vehicles Dealers Act, 2002 (MVDA) mandates 22 specific disclosures dealers must make regarding a car's past usage and condition, which can be found in further detail here.

As an example, in the case of a vehicle that was in a collision and sustained damage exceeding $3,000, a dealer must clearly disclose this information in writing, so that buyers are equipped with all the necessary information regarding the vehicle's suitability and safety.

Not doing so goes against provisions in the MVDA, and can also be a safety hazard for drivers and buyers that are unwillingly purchasing poorly repaired vehicles. When dealers fail to disclose these important details, it puts everyone at risk; therefore, it’s important to know your rights as a consumer and understand how these disclosures can protect and save you from a deceiving deal.

What information should dealers be disclosing?

A dealer must disclose numerous details about the history of the car to you, as a consumer, to make an informed decision. It is important for dealers to disclose how their vehicles have been modified and/or which specific parts were involved. Furthermore, they must inform buyers of the actual distance travelled by the vehicle and cannot misrepresent the odometer reading.


Get it in writing — always ensure disclosures are in print.

Written disclosures are required for all mandatory disclosures. As a buyer, always ensure you review your contract/bill of sale before agreeing to any purchase, as verbal disclosures do not satisfy MVDA requirements. Regardless of whether the dealer or salesperson discloses the vehicle history, make sure it is clearly spelled out on the contract when purchasing a used vehicle.


Call OMVIC. Stay Safe.

To protect your financial stability and your safety, you should know what a dealer must disclose to you on a bill of sale. To ensure a safer car-buying experience, work closely with OMVIC during the process and access its resources. Visit omvic.ca to learn about car disclosures and other helpful information, or call 1-800-943-6002 to speak with our consumer support team.

 

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