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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Car-Buying Tips for Students and Parents

Oct 14

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, October 14, 2016  RssIcon

Embarking on a post-secondary career can be traumatic—for both students and parents. To make it easier to come home for the holidays, parents and students often embark on an elusive hunt for a decent, but cheap, set of wheels. It’s worth noting decent and cheap can be difficult to find peacefully coexisting in the automotive jungle.

 Academic Star 2

Who to buy From

Choosing who you’re going to buy from is an important decision. If buying a vehicle from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer you’re protected by consumer protection laws in Ontario. If you buy privately however, those laws do not apply. To avoid getting ripped off and to help ensure you find a reliable ride, get educated and avoid curbsiders.

 

Beware: Curbsiders Lie In Wait, In The Private Classifieds

Wading into the private vehicle sales marketplace exposes consumers to curbsiders. Commonly posing as private sellers (though some work from small auto-related businesses) these illegal, unlicensed car dealers often sell vehicles that are rebuilt wrecks with undisclosed accident repairs or rolled-back odometers. According to Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC Director of Communications and Education, they’re the chameleons of the auto marketplace. “Curbsiders prey on unsuspecting consumers. Often the vehicles they sell aren’t registered in their names (or have only been registered to them for a short time); some even use phony ID.” If a consumer buys from a curbsider and later discovers issues with the vehicle, that seller will be nearly impossible to track down.

 

Tips for Buying a Car Privately

  • ​Ask questions: how long was the vehicle owned? Are there maintenance records? Why are they selling?
  • Confirm the seller is the registered owner: compare his/her ID with the vehicle ownership document
  • Take a thorough test drive; not just around the block
  • Order a vehicle history report (CarProofCarfax, etc) to check for previous accident damage 
  • Carefully review the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) – the seller must provide it 
  • Ensure there are no liens on the vehicle (info usually available on UVIP or CarProof)
  • Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase 

  

Tips For Buying A Car From A Registered DealerAcademic Star 3

 

  • Review and print advertisements—understand All-in Price advertising
  • Ensure the salesperson understands your needs
  • Take a thorough test drive
  • Only pay for optional products you want and believe have value
  • Used vehicle? Ask for a history report; consider an inspection from a trusted mechanic
  • Get all conditions in writing on the contract
  • Get all disclosures and promises in writing on the contract
  • Carefully read the contract (and loan agreement)

For more car-buying tips visit OMVIC’s booth at the Maclean’s Student Life Expo, October 15-16 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

 

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