Thinking about buying a used car? There is so much information out there, paring down what is essential can seem like a daunting task.
Once you have determined your budget, narrowed down your choice of vehicle and are ready to start visiting dealerships, understanding what a dealer must tell you about a specific vehicle’s history and condition is vital.
The mandatory disclosure requirements represents a key pillar of protection provided to Ontario consumers who purchase from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer. Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) requires dealers to disclose in writing, important information related to a vehicle’s past use, history and condition. For example, if a vehicle has been in a collision and the damage exceeded $3,000, the dealer must disclose this information.
Providing disclosure verbally does not meet the requirements of the MVDA. Even if the dealer or salesperson tells you about a previous collision, it must still appear clearly on the contract in writing.
Additional Examples of What Car Dealers Must Disclose
- If the vehicle was registered in another province/state, and if so, where
- If the vehicle was a daily rental (not subsequently owned by someone other than a dealer)
- If the vehicle had been recovered after being reported stolen
- If the vehicle has sustained damage caused by immersion in liquid that has penetrated to the level of at least the interior floor boards (flood damage)
- If the vehicle has been declared a total loss or has been branded (e.g. rebuilt)
- The true distance a vehicle has travelled
Only when consumers purchase or lease from a registered dealer, are they protected by Ontario’s MVDA legislation enforced by OMVIC. Mandatory disclosures do not apply to private sellers, so consumers buying privately must take additional steps to protect themselves.
OMVIC Protects Car Buyers in Ontario
As the regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, OMVIC protects consumers and maintains a fair and informed marketplace by:
- Maintaining strict registration requirements for Ontario’s 8,000 dealerships and 26,000 salespeople
- Regularly inspecting all Ontario dealers (new and used)
- Providing free complaint handling to consumers
- Developing/delivering consumer and dealer education/awareness programs
- Investigating and prosecuting non-compliance by registered dealers and salespeople
- Investigating and prosecuting illegal car sales(curbsiding)