We offer information on how to make the best decision for your situation and tips for each of the sales options.
Consider all your expenses:
Understand the full costs you might be signing up for.
Do you owe more for your car than what it’s worth? Find out if this applies and how it affects you.
Most buyers borrow money to buy a new or used vehicle. Some things to consider when financing.
Buying or leasing from a registered dealer provides car buyers with legal rights and protections and is definitely the safer way to purchase a vehicle, However, car buyers should still take steps to educate and protect themselves to ensure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible. When buying from a dealer consider the following tips:
When buying a car privately or from an OMVIC-registered dealer, car buyers have to learn to protect themselves. One of the key steps is taking a thorough test drive – not just around the block!
Read your contract or bill of sale and understand all the terms. Do not sign the contract until you’re ready to commit to the deal.
Once you give your deposit and/or sign the contract, you have agreed to purchase or lease that vehicle. This is a legal and binding contract and there is no cooling-off period in Ontario.
Picking up a new(er) vehicle can be very exciting. It is important to keep emotions in check as there are important factors to consider and steps to take at the time of delivery.
Four key areas of Ontario’s consumer protection legislation
Consumer protection legislation only applies when car-buyers purchase from an OMVIC-registered dealer. There is no consumer law that covers private transactions. If something goes wrong, you will not have access to the compensation fund and OMVIC will be unable to assist.
To identify an OMVIC-registered dealer, look for the blue and yellow decal on dealership doors and windows.
You can also use our search for OMVIC-registered dealers and salespeople.
Rolled-back odometers are common in vehicles sold by curbsiders or dishonest private sellers.
Learn about the risks associated with buying a vehicle privately and how to spot a curbsider.
Tips to help you avoid scams when purchasing a vehicle online
There are no automatic warranty provisions in Ontario. The Safety Standards Certificate is not a warranty, it only means the car met a minimum set of safety criteria on the day it was examined. This certificate is valid for a period of 36 days only.
No. The intention of the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) is to protect car-buyers from purchasing a car with a lien on it from a private individual or from a curbsider.
Even if you are buying from a registered dealer it is a good idea to get one. The dealer may offer to provide it, or you can obtain one from the Licensing Offices of the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for $20. In addition to information on any lien, you’ll find who the previous owners of the vehicle were.
This shouldn’t happen. It is the dealer’s responsibility to ensure the car is free and clear of all liens. Contact the dealer and ask them to rectify the situation. If you the dealer cannot be reached or does not assist, please contact our consumer support team.
If you trade in a vehicle with a lien on it and the dealer agrees to pay it out, it is their responsibility to ensure the lien is immediately and fully paid. Follow up with the lender to ensure the dealer has paid it out. If they haven’t, contact your dealer.
If the dealer does not resolve the lien, contact our consumer support team. If your transaction is with a registered dealer and you have your bill of sale, you can make a claim to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund (MVDCF) to have the lien paid out.
There is no such thing in Ontario. If required, civil action, in small claims court, for example may be your best option. If the car is a current model, or up to four years old, you may qualify for assistance from CAMVAP; however, this is for problems with the manufacturing, and not those arising from a dealer’s service.
Under limited circumstances, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will inspect your vehicle, especially if a Safety Standards Certificate has recently been issued.
Otherwise, have an independent mechanic look at the vehicle. For more information on transferring or registering a vehicle in Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act, the Safety Standards Certificate, a list of FAQs and other pertinent information, please access the MTO drivers and vehicles information page.
If you feel an inspection was done improperly, and would like more information, please visit the MTO information page.
If you are a car-buyer who has purchased your vehicle without knowing the dealer owed money on it and you are up-to-date with payments, then you are legally protected from having your vehicle repossessed. Contact your dealer to resolve the matter.
If the dealer does not resolve the debt, contact the lender who ordered the repossession. Often, they will return your vehicle after they’ve received confirmation you are a bona fide car-buyer (e.g., your bill of sale and proof of payment). If you are not able to resolve the matter through the dealer or lender, contact our consumer support team. Provided your transaction is with a registered dealer, you can make a claim to the MVDCF.
Car-buyers who leave their vehicles on consignment with a registered dealer are entitled to receive a written agreement which includes the amount you will receive for the vehicle, what the dealer will charge you for selling the vehicle and any additional costs you must pay.
The dealer should advise you immediately when the vehicle is sold. You are also entitled to receive the name and address of the final purchaser. If you have concerns about a vehicle you’ve consigned which you cannot resolve with the dealer, contact our consumer support team. Provided your transaction is with an OMVIC-registered dealer, you can make a claim to the MVDCF.
If you’ve purchased a third party extended warranty from a dealer, contact the warranty company to ensure your warranty is activated. If not, contact your dealer to arrange to have the warranty activated.
If the dealer does not resolve the matter, contact our consumer support team. Provided your transaction is with an OMVIC-registered dealer, you can make a claim to the MVDCF for the cost of repairs which should have been covered by the extended warranty and/or a refund of the money you paid for the extended warranty or a portion of same.