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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Ready to purchase a used vehicle? Not so fast! Here is why understanding mandatory disclosures are so important

Aug 9

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Tuesday, August 9, 2022  RssIcon

Mandatory Disclosures

Have you been thinking about buying a used car? Are you unsure about the questions to ask? You can always turn to Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) for essential information during the car-buying process.

Educating yourself may seem like a daunting task, but you’ll be thankful you asked the right questions.

Once you have narrowed down your options on a budget, specific brand of vehicle, and are ready to start visiting dealerships, knowing about disclosures is essential.

The mandatory disclosure requirement is one of the key pillars of protection offered to Ontario consumers who purchase from an OMVIC-registered dealer. Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002 (MVDA) requires dealers to disclose in writing a vehicle’s past use, history, and condition.

OMVIC strives to ensure that consumers understand their rights and to know that dealers and salespersons must disclose certain information about a car’s history and information on a bill of sale.


HOW CAN UNDERSTANDING SPECIFIC MANDATORY DISCLOSURES HELP A BUYER?

According to the MVDA, dealers are required to disclose 22 specific pieces of information regarding a car's past usage and condition. This information can be found on OMVIC's website, omvic.ca.

It is against the law to not mention these disclosures, and it can also be a potential safety hazard for drivers and vehicle buyers to purchase vehicles that are of poor quality. When dealers don't disclose these details, everyone is put at risk; therefore, it is crucial to understand your rights as a consumer and how these disclosures can benefit and protect you from deception during a deal.


WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION SHOULD DEALERS BE DISCLOSING?

A dealer is required to disclose the history of the car to you to help you make an informed purchase decision. To protect consumers, dealers must be transparent about whether a vehicle has been modified from its original manufacturing specifications. In addition, the seller must inform buyers of the actual mileage and cannot misrepresent the reading of the odometer, as well as whether the vehicle has been involved in any previous incidents including accidents, theft, fire, or flood damage. These are a few important of the many disclosures dealers must make. You can find the full list of disclosures at omvic.ca.


ENSURE ALL DISCLOSURES ARE IN WRITING

All mandatory disclosures must be in writing. As a buyer, you must always read your contract or bill of sale prior to agreeing to buy, as verbal agreements do not constitute MVDA requirements. Make sure the vehicle history is clearly spelled out in the contract when you buy a used vehicle, regardless of whether the dealer or salesperson discloses it.


GET IN TOUCH WITH OMVIC

Visit OMVIC.ca to access free car-buying resources to get you started, and sign up for the quarterly newsletter, Consumer Line. You can also contact OMVIC’s consumer support team at consumers@omvic.on.ca or 1-800-943-6002 for expert advice and answers to all your car-buying questions.

 

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