Ontario-registered vehicle dealers are identifiable by their “Ontario-Registered Dealer” decals. These dealers have a permanent lot, ownership signs and are members of the community in which they operate. They are licensed professionals who follow the regulations of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and are regulated by OMVIC, the governing body of Ontario's motor vehicle sales industry.
Don't Be a Victim:
What You Need to Know About “Curbsiders”
The biggest danger of purchasing a vehicle from a private seller is the risk of buying from curbsiders: unlicensed dealers who pose as private sellers. The cars they sell are often misrepresented, accident-damaged, odometer-tampered, stolen, or have liens. Previous industry research suggests that more than 25 per cent of used car classifieds are posted by curbsiders.
There are many signs that you may be dealing with a curbsider:
• Conduct business over the phone, email or the Internet.
• Will offer to show the vehicle in a public place.
• Won't provide a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), as required by law.
• The vehicle registration may not be in their name.
• May have other vehicles for sale.
Remember: If something about a vehicle seller doesn't seem right, step back and ask questions. If a vehicle purchase seems too good to be true, it probably is. More information is available online at omvic.on.ca.
Registered Vehicle Dealers
Operate visibly in the community: permanent lot and ownership signs
Display OMVIC registration
Bound by the regulations of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and OMVIC's code of ethics
Contribute to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund, a consumer protection fund
Private Sellers and “Curbsiders”
Often conduct business over mobile phone or Internet
Hard to track down; no history in the community
Not governed by OMVIC
Purchase not covered by consumer protection legislation or consumer protection fund