Research reveals that used vehicle buyers may be unprepared for potential issues

    TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - New research from Angus Reid Strategies reveals
that 73 per cent of vehicle buyers in Ontario purchased their first car used,
as did 50 per cent of Ontarians who had bought a car in the last two years.
Price-related factors are the overwhelming factors driving purchases. In light
of the activity in used car sales and the likelihood it will increase with an
economic downturn, OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council), Ontario's
vehicle sales regulator, is reminding Ontarians how to avoid potential
purchasing issues.
    "Research shows that price-related factors are by far the most
influential when shopping for a vehicle. But an obsession with price can make
people vulnerable to a bad deal, especially if they buy privately," says
OMVIC's Brenda McIntyre. "It's critical that first-time buyers know how to
check a vehicle's history and how to recognize curbsiders. Curbsiders are
unlicensed dealers who pose as private sellers. And, very often the cars they
sell are misrepresented, damaged, odometer-tampered, stolen or have liens."
    "Most people are satisfied with their vehicle-purchasing experiences, but
things can go wrong," says McIntyre. "Sixty-one per cent of Ontario consumers
are unaware of curbsiders, which are unlicensed dealers posing as private
sellers. As well, more than 40 per cent of Ontarians don't know that when they
sign a contract, it's final. There's no cooling off period."

    Examples of vehicle problems to look for and avoid are:

    Ownership and History Issues
       -   Stolen vehicles sold with false ownership
       -   Insurance write-offs sold at auctions, rebuilt and sold
       -   Former rental cars sold without disclosing history
       -   Outstanding liens from former owners

    Misrepresented Conditions
       -   Missing parts, especially airbags
       -   Odometer tampering
       -   Corrosion - badly corroded vehicles repainted and resold
       -   Flood vehicles from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike

    "Consumers can avoid vehicle sales issues by buying from an
OMVIC-registered dealer. As the Ontario regulator, we're responsible for
inspecting 8,600 dealers regularly," says McIntyre. "Dealers pay into a
compensation fund that is available to resolve vehicle sales issues under
certain circumstances, but you can only access the fund if you buy from an
OMVIC-registered dealer."

    If you choose to buy privately:
       -   Get a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) from the Ministry of
       -   Purchase a vehicle history search (Carproof and CARFAX)
       -   Ask for ID and proof of ownership from the seller
       -   Get an inspection from a trusted mechanic

    OMVIC has also launched <a href="">Know Your Ride</a>, a program approved by Curriculum
Services Canada (CSC) for the Grade 10 civics curriculum in Ontario. "Know
Your Ride is designed to help young adults with no car-buying experience
understand the potential issues associated with buying used vehicles," says
McIntyre. "It's also a way to get into the homes of many new Canadians who may
not be familiar with vehicle-buying issues and the prevention and regulation
programs that exist."
    Teachers and schools can obtain a free copy of the Know Your Ride course,
which includes a DVD, teacher's guide and student handouts, by calling (416)
    "OMVIC is preparing for the launch of new legislation offering more
protection for Ontario consumers in April 2009. In the meantime, OMVIC is able
to answer any questions consumers may have," says McIntyre.

    About the Research

    From September 17 to September 21, 2008, Angus Reid Strategies conducted
an online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,193
adult Ontarians on behalf of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council
(OMVIC). The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of
20. The results have been statistically weighted according to Statistics
Canada's most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure
a representative sample of the entire adult population of Ontario.

    About OMVIC

    OMVIC administers the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the
Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services and will oversee the
implementation of MVDA 2002 in April 2009. OMVIC maintains a safe and informed
vehicle-sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly
inspecting Ontario's 8,600 dealerships, maintaining a complaint line for
consumers and conducting investigations. OMVIC is also responsible for
administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of a Board
of Trustees.

    About CSC

    CSC is the Pan-Canadian standards agency for quality assurance in
learning products and programs. See for the full evaluation
of "Know Your Ride."

For further information:

For further information: Brenda McIntyre, Communications Coordinator,
(416) 512-3167,

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Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)

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