Buying a Used Vehicle in Ontario? Get a Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspection BEFORE You Buy!

Buying a car can be a huge financial commitment and no one wants to end up with buyer’s remorse due to unexpected repairs soon after purchase. That is why its vital consumers exercise their ‘due diligence’ before purchasing any used vehicle – and in many cases, that means getting a pre-purchase mechanical inspection. 

Pre-purchase inspections are one of the most effective ways to ensure consumers don’t overpay for a vehicle or get stuck with a vehicle that requires unexpected repairs. Mechanics can often spot a vehicle that’s been involved in a collision or has been poorly maintained.

But not all pre-purchase inspections end with dramatic findings; in many cases they simply uncover needed repairs due to normal wear and tear. Often the seller doesn’t even know about the problem. This gives the potential buyer and seller an opportunity to address any issues – sometimes resulting in a price change, the seller conducting the repairs as part of the purchase agreement or the buyer walking away.

Should I Have a Mechanic Inspect a Car Before Buying?

Anyone considering buying a vehicle from a private seller should ‘insist’ on an inspection before purchase. Consumers should keep the original copy of the mechanical inspection for their records and to negotiate a price change if the inspection identifies mechanical issues. If the consumer does not get the response they want, OMVIC recommends walking away.

While consumers who purchase from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer have many protections not available to those buying privately (e.g. dealers must disclose needed repairs to major components), a mechanical inspection on a used vehicle is also important, particularly if the vehicle has no warranty.

How Much Will an Inspection Cost? Where Can I Find a Good Mechanic?

Depending on the vehicle, pre-purchase inspections usually take about an hour, are available from many general repair facilities or specialized inspection companies and cost approximately $100-$150. Don’t know where to find a ‘good’ mechanic? Member-based organizations such as the Automobile Protection Association (APA) and Car Help Canada offer vehicle-related services including lists of pre-screened reputable mechanics/repair shops/appraisers. Like OMVIC, these consumer protection groups encourage consumers to conduct a pre-purchase inspection of a vehicle they are considering for purchase.

To contact one of these consumer protection groups, visit their websites below:

Automobile Protection Association: www.apa.ca

Car Help Canada: www.carhelpcanada.ca

Leverage the OMVIC Academy—Get Educated

The OMVIC Academy videos and associated guidebook will help turn apprehensive students into informed consumers. Inspired by sitcoms from the 80s and 90s, each video follows students Ling, Timmy, Justin and Ellen on their journey to becoming “confident car buyers” while guided by the sagacious Professor OMVIC. The videos and Car-Buying Guide are targeted to first-time buyers and new Canadians. OMVIC also encourages high school teachers and driving school instructors to utilize the Academy resources.

About OMVIC

An educated and informed consumer is a protected consumer.

Visit OMVIC.ca to learn more about your car-buying rights and when they apply, as well as additional tips for buying a car in Ontario.

Key Steps to Take When Purchasing a Used Car to Make Sure You Are Comfortable

If you are on the hunt for quality used cars in your area, there are some key steps to take to be sure the entire process goes well. We recommend taking these steps to ensure you get exactly what you want and spend the amount you want to in the end. The most important thing is guaranteeing the vehicle you buy is top quality. We want to make sure that happens for you, so here are the steps to remember in the process.

Consider All of the Details When It Comes to Finances

Our concern is not how much you spend, but that you spend a comfortable amount and receive the quality you deserve. This is why we recommend you figuring out your detailed budget beforehand. Calculate in everything, including the total payment of the car and any insurance that you need. Also, be sure to not make a car payment that is over 20 percent of your take-home income. This way, you will find yourself in a safe and secure ride and not in a financial hole.

Have an Inspection Done on the Car on Your Own

While all of our vehicles are thoroughly inspected and are in top condition for you before you even check them out, we recommend you taking it for an inspection on your own with someone you have history with and trust. Our goal is for you to feel like you can one hundred percent trust our vehicles and us. This is why you should take it to a mechanic you know and confirm the positive inspection results we will give you.

We are set on offering you used cars that are of the best quality around. All of our cars have been tested, driven, checked, inspected and have come out with clean results. We want you to be happy with your buy, so we recommend you take the steps above until you feel confident with the car you are considering.

The Advantages of Used Cars

In today’s economy, purchasing a used car makes perfect economic sense. In fact, since so many people are holding onto their cars for longer periods of time that used cars have actually increased in value. This is due, in part, to the fact that fewer used vehicles are coming on the market. Thanks to better engineering, it is possible for almost any modern car to last for nearly 300,000 kilometers , if properly maintained. The average age of the car on the road today is slightly more than 11 years.

The most obvious advantage when purchasing a used car is the smaller down payment required. In many cases, if the buyer has budgeted wisely, he is able to buy his car outright for cash. Even if the individual is not able to eliminate his monthly payment altogether, he will have a payment that is a great deal lower by purchasing used. With job insecurity at an all-time high, lowering monthly expenses is a prudent measure that provides a safety net. In addition to the smaller down payment, you save on taxes and fees that are associated with purchasing new.

The cost of insuring a used vehicle is usually considerably less, especially if you decide to eliminate comprehensive and collision coverage. Another advantage to buying a used car is that most of that kinks or hiccups will have been worked out. The previous owner will likely have taking care of any problems that were on the scene at the factory. This makes your car more reliable. Even though you are likely to love your used car, you are less likely to be stressed about keeping it looking brand-new and scratch free. It is also likely to be less of a target for theft. When it comes time to sell or trade in your used vehicle, you may find that it hasn’t lost much in value. That is because the steepest depreciation usually comes within the first six months of a car’s life. So you are likely to find that your used car holds its value very well, if you have chosen well.

If you are looking at used cars, please pay us a visit. We have many quality used vehicles in stock and will be happy to help you select a car that fits your budget and that you will love.