Legal Steps to Follow Before Transacting With Used Car Dealerships in Toronto


If you live in Toronto and you’re worried about being a victim of dishonest used car sales or scams, you should understand that there are several laws and rights that protect you. With that said, it’s advisable to go to a used car dealership in Toronto when you are prepared and conversant with the legal requirements of buying a used car.

As a consumer, when you transact with used car dealerships in Toronto you have rights under the Motor Vehicles Dealers Act. Toronto Motor Vehicles Dealers Act is the body that’s mandated to enforce this act. Generally, every consumer that inquires about a particular vehicle will be provided with written disclosure for things such as:

  • Parts: If the vehicle still has all its original parts.
  • General information about the vehicle: These should include model, make, year, trim and current odometer.
  • Repair history: Whether the vehicle has ever been repaired and the total cost.
  • Previous usage: If it was used as limo, taxi, daily rental, police car or emergency vehicle.

However, you need to know that the dealership is only obligated to share the information that they already know. They cannot be held liable for not disclosing information that they did not know.

Steps To Follow Before Transacting

  1. Know Your Rights And Be Sure About Your Decision

 Since under the law, there is no cooling-off period for motor vehicle contracts, it’s important to be sure about your decision before signing the contract. In most instances, the contract is binding. Also, the law requires that when signing the contract, the dealer must provide you with the most accurate information. If certain information is missing, you have 90 days to cancel the contract.

  1. Choose A Registered Dealer

Adverts of registered used car dealership include freight fees, pre-delivery inspection fees, administration fees, government levies, OMVIC Fees. So, before you transact it’s important to check this. In the event that you are a victim of deceptive sales practices, you can gain compensation of up to $45,000 for a particular transaction provided you meet certain conditions.

  1. Check The Current State Of The Vehicle

It is important to search the Toronto Motor Vehicles database and check if the vehicle was recalled. This will help you decide whether to continue with the transaction or not.

  1. Know How To File A Complaint

If you feel that your rights as a consumer have been violated, the law requires that you first contact the dealership and see if they can sort the issue for you. But if the dealership fails to address the issue, you should contact OMVIC, which will contact the dealership on your behalf to resolve the issue. If they still cannot solve the issue, you may have to file a civil lawsuit against the dealership.

When it comes to transacting with a used car dealership in Toronto, the best source for honest and fair practices in Ontario is with OMVIC. They specifically opted into this program so that consumers can have greater rights than they would if they buy from private sellers or independent dealers.