Protect yourself. Read these important car-buying tips before you sign!
Some 38 per cent of used car-buyers and 46 per cent new-car consumers polled by Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator (OMVIC) said they did not test drive the vehicle before purchase because they were unsure whether vehicle dealerships in the province would have necessary health and safety protocols in place. A salesperson was present in the vehicle for only 16 per cent of test drives.
This week, OMVIC’s Complaints and Enquiries team answer consumer questions about test drives.
Note: COVID-19 has changed test drives at many dealerships. If going to the dealership for a test drive makes you uncomfortable, research the alternatives.
COVID-19 has altered how many of us get from A to B. With fewer people taking public transit, more people are looking to buy cars, but the purchasing process has changed.
In early April, dealerships were closed due to the pandemic. In May they reopened, but with strict public health guidelines, which altered the car-buying experience not just for dealers, but also for consumers.
If you’ve bought a vehicle in the past five months, OMVIC and consumer watchdog group—the Automobile Protection Association (APA) — wants you to take a short survey about buying a car during the pandemic.
While data from Léger, Deloitte and Angus Reid shows 1 in 2 Canadians are worried making in-person purchases and nearly 1 in 3 unwilling to make a large purchase, Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Sales Regulator, OMVIC, wants consumers who are in the market for a vehicle to know that they can safely buy from registered dealers. These businesses have stringent health and safety protocols in place to protect staff and consumers.
Most of the province’s more than 8,000 registered dealerships are fully up and running, following workplace health guidelines mandated by the Ontario government.
Following the reopening of auto dealerships in the province, (by appointment only), Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator, OMVIC has released a comprehensive COVID-19 Crisis Guidelines: Guidelines for Dealership Sales Operations to help motor vehicle dealers operate while protecting the health and well-being of their employees, customers and the public.
The framework for OMVIC’s guidelines came from the industry-specific recommendations created by the province, and its public health agencies.
As the current health crisis continues to evolve, some consumers have reached out to us with questions on navigating the changing marketplace. We’re featuring two questions related to COVID-19 on this week’s blog.
I purchased a car on Friday from a relative and now I’m wondering how I would go about registering the car and paying taxes during the pandemic.
Private sales still need to be completed through Service Ontario. They have a list of locations on their website indicating which ones are open.
OMVIC has a lot of great resources including checklists, videos and tips for anyone interested in buying a car privately. Visit Tips for Buying Privately to learn more.
Message from John Carmichael, OMVIC CEO and Registrar
COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis for our stakeholders– dealers, salespeople and consumers – and for Ontarians and the world. OMVIC is committed to the health and safety of its staff and its stakeholders. OMVIC will continue to operate from remote sites and work with its stakeholders in these challenging times. While some service levels have been impacted, OMVIC remains committed to maintaining a fair and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers and ensuring fair, honest and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers during these challenging times.
The impact of COVID-19 will require all of us to adapt and have flexibility with what lies ahead. I have no doubt that we will be successful in facing these challenges.
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