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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Buying a Car in Ontario? 5 Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to a Curbsider

Mar 6

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Monday, March 6, 2017  RssIcon

What is a Curbsider?

The Motor Vehicle Dealers Act requires ALL vehicle dealers and salespeople (new and used) to be registered with OMVIC. Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed dealers. They often pose as private sellers, though some operate from small automotive businesses (repair shops, rental companies, etc.). In some instances the business may look like a legitimate dealership. And just as curbsiders commonly misrepresent themselves, they often misrepresent the vehicles they sell; many are previous write-offs with undisclosed accident repairs or are odometer tampered.

If I Get Ripped Off By A Curbsider, Is There Any Protection?

It’s vital car buyers understand when they’re protected, and when they’re not. Because curbsiders are not registered with OMVIC, consumers who purchase from them are deemed to have conducted a transaction with a private seller and are therefore not protected by OMVIC or Ontario’s consumer protection laws, and they cannot file a claim with OMVIC’s Compensation Fund. . To help consumers recognize one the biggest threats in online vehicle marketplaces, consider the following tips and avoid falling victim to a curbsider.

 

5 Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to a Curbsider

1.       Know Who You’re Buying From

If the seller seems to be operating from a business, but you’re not sure if they are actually a dealer, conduct a search on OMVIC’s website, or ask to see their OMVIC licence. If they’re unable to produce it, walk away and report them to OMVIC.

More often than not, curbsiders pose as private sellers. Research conducted by OMVIC found 1 in 4 online “for sale by owner” vehicles in Ontario are actually placed by curbsiders. If unsure;
  • Be extra vigilant if the vehicle is not registered in the sellers name or has only been registered in their name for a short period of time
  • Be bold. Ask the seller for ID and compare it to the vehicle ownership – they must match

2.       Research the Vehicle’s History

A history report from CARFAX may provide useful information about the vehicle’s past use, history and/or condition including:

  • Reported collisions/ incidents
  • Existing liens
  • Past odometer readings
  • Out-of-province registration information
  • Theft recovery
  • Ministry of Transportation branding information (e.g. salvage, irreparable, rebuilt, none)

By law, private vehicle sellers must provide the purchaser with a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP). UVIPs include:

  • Current registered owner and vehicle ownership history
  • Lien information
  • Past odometer readings
  • Estimated fair market value of vehicle (if available)

It is important to carefully review the UVIP and CarProof reports to ensure all pages are included.

UVIPs are available from Service Ontario locations and online (https://www.ontario.ca/page/used-vehicle-information-package).

3.       Beware of Vehicles Priced Below Market Value:

In order to sell vehicles as quickly and easily as possible, curbsiders may offer a “too good to be true” price. They can do this because the vehicles are often accident-damaged, odometer-tampered or rebuilt write-offs.
  • No one sells vehicles for less than they are worth. If a deal seems too good to be true, that’s a warning, not an opportunity.

4.       Get a Second Opinion

Even if you get maintenance records from the seller, have the vehicle inspected by a licensed mechanic – one you trust. A mechanic may find problems the seller did not disclose or know about.
  • If the seller resists, walk away

5.       Turn On Your Creepometer

Curbsiders are very good at disguising themselves and can be very persuasive… Use OMVIC’s Creepometer tool to help reveal their creepy activity.

Blog 82 Creeps  

To report a suspected curbsider, call 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or email nocurbs@omvic.on.ca.

 

About OMVIC

OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's 8,000 dealerships and 27,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.

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cpo  www.ontario.ca/page/consumer-protection-ontario

 




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