I’ve signed on the dotted line. Can I cancel my car contract?

Published On
January 11, 2018

You’ve signed on the dotted line and taken possession of your new vehicle—congratulations! It was everything you dreamed of and more.

Suddenly you discover that the 2018 Nissan 370Z Coupe has 3,000 more kilometres on it than what’s noted on your bill of sale.

Can you cancel the contract and take it back?

In Ontario, there is no cooling-off period when it comes to vehicle sales—not 10 days, not 48 hours. Once you sign a contract the deal is final and binding unless the dealer has failed to make certain specified disclosures. 

 So, there are certain conditions that can trigger a consumer’s right to cancel a contract with a dealer. It’s what OMVIC sometimes refers to as the six deadly sins, aka general regulation 50 of the MVDA. Failing to disclose the correct model, make, year of a vehicle, as well as the actual distance the vehicle has travelled, allows a consumer to cancel an agreement within 90 days of taking possession of the vehicle.

In the example above with the Nissan 370Z the car-buyer has a right to return the car and cancel the contract because of the discrepancy with the vehicle’s true mileage.

Other OMVIC deadly sins that allow a car-buyer to cancel a contract include failure to disclose: 

  • Previous use of the vehicle as a taxi or limo 
  • Previous use of the vehicle as a police or emergency service vehicle. 
  • That a vehicle has been branded (irreparable, salvage or rebuilt), and how it was last classified. Previous use of the vehicle as a daily rental (unless the vehicle has subsequently been owned by someone other than a dealer). 

Remember, cold feet or buyer’s remorse isn’t reason enough to cancel a vehicle purchase agreement. So be sure you do your homework, read your contract thoroughly and understand what you’re buying BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Because, other than the situations described above, there’s no cooling off period—period.

Contact OMVIC
To learn more about the protections afforded to you under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and resources when purchasing from an OMVIC-registered dealer, visit omvic.ca. For advice and answers to all your car buying questions, reach out to OMVIC’s consumer support team at consumers@omvic.on.ca or 1-800-943-6002. Plus, explore their free education services and webinars by emailing education@omvic.on.ca. 

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