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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

8 Important Tips to Follow When Buying a Car Privately

Jan 13

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, January 13, 2017  RssIcon

Buying a car can be a huge financial commitment and no one wants to end up with buyer’s remorse due to unexpected repairs or realizing soon after the purchase the vehicle had undisclosed accident damage. So it’s vital consumers exercise due diligence and take extra precautions when buying a used vehicle privately including:

  • Ask questions: how long was the vehicle owned? Are there maintenance records? Why are they selling?
  • Confirm the vehicle is registered to the seller; check ID and vehicle ownership. The names should match.
  • Take a thorough test drive – not just a quick drive around the block.
  • Check for any accident history: purchase and review a vehicle history report like CarProof.
  • Thoroughly review the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) – seller is required to provide it.
  • Ensure there are no liens (for outstanding loans/debts) on the vehicle or take steps to ensure any lien is removed. Lien information is usually available on the UVIP or CarProof report.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase. This will help identify problems the seller failed to disclose or was unaware of.
  • Request a receipt that includes the seller’s information and actual price paid.

Remember: consumers are ONLY protected by OMVIC and Ontario’s consumer protection laws when buying from a registered dealer; if a private purchaser encounters a problem their only recourse will be to the courts.

Beware of Curbsiders!

Consumers who decide to purchase a vehicle privately may be the target of a curbsider. Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers. They often pose as private sellers, though some operate from small automotive businesses (repair shops, rental companies, etc.).

Curbsiders not only misrepresent themselves – they often misrepresent the vehicles they sell: many are previous write-offs with undisclosed accident repairs or are odometer-tampered.

These illegal sellers make the vehicle marketplace even more treacherous for private purchasers, so it's incredibly important car buyers learn how to spot the telltale signs of a curbsider.

For more car-buying tips, visit omvic.ca.

Don't get ripped off by curbsider


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