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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Buying a Used Car in Ontario? 5 Tips to Avoid Online Car-Buying Scams

Jul 8

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, July 8, 2016  RssIcon


computer scam wallet

If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle, new or used, chances are you’ve checked out some of the online auto marketplaces such as Kijiji, AutoTRADER, Craigslist or others. While there are many legitimate vehicles available through these sites, there are also a number of sophisticated online scams you should watch out for.

 

5 Tips to Avoid Online Car-Buying Scams

Whether you’re considering buying from a dealership or a private seller, here are five signs of a scam and how to avoid them:

 

The advertisement is posted locally but the vehicle is located a long distance away. Travel to see the vehicle (don’t rely on pictures), or even cheaper, hire a local appraiser or mechanic to inspect the vehicle. They can ensure the vehicle actually exists.

 

There are excuses why an inspection of the vehicle isn’t possible (e.g. Located in a secure compound, military base, etc.). if the vehicle cannot be accessed for an inspection, how will it be accessed for delivery and possession?

 

The seller agrees to ship the vehicle to you with a money back guarantee. Don’t trust that the seller will follow through with this promise or that a trust or escrow account is real.

 

Pictures don’t reflect the season or the locale. Look for signs in the advertisement’s picture(s) that might indicate the vehicle is located where it’s supposed to be; things like leaves on trees or snow (when there should/shouldn’t be any), palm trees, tropical plants. And what licence plates are on the vehicle in the pictures? If none, why not? When in doubt, ask the seller to provide a specific photograph of the vehicle – perhaps one with that day’s newspaper in it.

 

The vehicle is priced below market value. If a price seems too good to be true, it’s a warning not an opportunity.

When purchasing a motor vehicle in Ontario, you are only protected by Ontario’s consumer protection laws, and have access to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund when you buy from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer. Don’t get ripped off by an online car-buying scam—Know your rights, visit omvic.ca

 

OMVIC Protects Car Buyers in Ontario

An educated and informed consumer is a protected consumer. Visit OMVIC’s website to learn more about your car-buying rights and when they apply, as well as additional tips on buying a car in Ontario.

As the regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, OMVIC protects consumers and maintains a fair and informed marketplace by:

 

  • Maintaining strict registration requirements for Ontario’s dealerships and salespeople
  • Regularly inspecting all Ontario dealers (new and used)
  • Providing free conciliation services to consumers
  • Developing/delivering consumer and dealer education/ awareness programs
  • Investigating and prosecuting industry non-compliance and illegal sales (curbsiding)

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