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Jun 2, 2022

6 min. read

The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) goes to great lengths to educate consumers from dishonest sellers who may be less than forthcoming about a second-hand vehicle. In fact, dealers registered with OMVIC are required to disclose information relating to a car’s past use, history and condition.

Mandatory disclosures

An OMVIC-registered dealer must provide a customer with a written statement about the vehicle they’re interested in purchasing.

There are 25 required disclosures as outlined by OMVIC.

In addition to basic details, such as the make, model, year and trim of the car, there is more extensive background information, including but not limited to:

  • if it has been used in service as a taxi or limo

  • if the manufacturer’s warranty has been cancelled

  • any major work done on the vehicle, such as the replacement of two or more adjacent panels

  • any structural damage, repairs or alterations to the structure of the vehicle

  • if a car has sustained damage due to fire

  • if a vehicle has been deemed irreparable or declared a total loss by an insurer under the Highway Traffic Act

Dealers must also inform potential buyers if the vehicle they’re purchasing has ever required collision or incident repairs in excess of $3,000. Sometimes even seemingly minor damage can quickly add up to reach that threshold.

Dealers must provide all details in a written contract

OMVIC and the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) require these disclosures be clearly and prominently written in the purchase contract. This means that dealers can’t bury this essential information in a tiny font halfway through the document.

The MVDA also requires this information be presented in a timely manner so the customer can review them before signing the contract. In some cases, the absence of these required disclosures could mean the customer is legally able to rescind the vehicle purchase contract within 90 days of delivery.

Know your rights

It’s important for consumers to know these protective measures—particularly the ability to request cancelling a contract for certain non-disclosures—are only available with an OMVIC-registered dealer. If you’re unsure about your rights when purchasing a used vehicle, speak with the experts at OMVIC who can provide helpful advice. Call 1-800-943-6002 or email consumers@omvic.on.ca for more information. Or visit OMVIC online to access free resources for informed car buying.

Image credit: Pickadook

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