Buying an ‘as is’ car in Ontario
- Published On
- August 14, 2015
It’s Monday morning and you’re scrolling through the online classifieds looking for a specific car, and you find two; same make, model and year; the only difference is one is being advertised with the cost of a safety standard certificate included in the price, and the other (which is cheaper) is being advertised “as is.”
What does as is mean?
As is can mean different things to different people – at one time it was a common way to state the vehicle had no warranty. But the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act has defined the term and requires dealers to include the following statement on the contract of any vehicle sold as is:
“The motor vehicle sold under this contract is being sold as is and is not represented as being in roadworthy condition, mechanically sound or maintained at any guaranteed level of quality. The vehicle may not be fit for use as a means of transportation and may require substantial repairs at the car-buyer’s expense. It may not be possible to register the vehicle to be driven in its current condition.”
And if the dealer is advertising the car as is, the ad must include this similar statement:
“This vehicle is being sold as is, unfit, not e-tested and is not represented as being in a road-worthy condition, mechanically sound or maintained at any guaranteed level of quality. The vehicle may not be fit for use as a means of transportation and may require substantial repairs at the purchaser’s expense. It may not be possible to register the vehicle to be driven in its current condition.”
It is important to note that if a dealer sells a vehicle as is, the mandatory statement above must be initialed by the purchaser and the dealer cannot provide a Safety Standard Certificate. And since we’re on the topic….
What is a safety standard certificate?
A safety standard certificate is a document issued after an inspection by a licensed mechanic, indicating “the vehicle met certain basic standards of safety on the date of inspection.” It is not a warranty or guarantee that the vehicle has no defects. In fact, a vehicle could pass a safety inspection yet still require expensive repairs (e.g. the air conditioning doesn’t function).
As is reminder
Although changes to the safety inspection standards have been implemented, as is disclosure obligations remain unaltered. As such, as is disclosures must still be made on both contracts and advertisements. In addition, dealers are still responsible to make all mandatory disclosures about the history and condition of the vehicle, in writing, even if the vehicle is being sold “as is.”
OMVIC has been delegated responsibility for administering and enforcing the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA). Visit omvic.ca to learn about your consumer rights when you purchase from an OMVIC-registered dealer and sign up for OMVIC’s monthly newsletter.
Contact OMVIC’s consumer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-943-6002 for advice and answers to all your car-buying questions.
OMVIC also offers free education services and webinars for consumers upon request, email email@example.com for more information on our services and materials.