Buying A Used Car From A Dealer In Ontario


Buying a used car from a dealership in ontario can be safer or more dangerous depending on who you talk to. The reason for this disparity is because of the polar differences between dealerships, ranging from borderline illegal to honest businesses. Despite this, you are presented slightly more protection than purchasing from a private seller, and for this you pay an approximate 10-15% premium on the price of the vehicle.

Other advantages from purchasing from a dealer include the ability to finance your purchase as well as purchase addition warranty on the vehicle. Understanding that these two offerings are where used car dealerships earn most of their money, it takes very specific situations for you to benefit from taking these options.

A Word On Deposits

Deposits are non-refundable, never put down a deposit. There is no such thing as the perfect car, only cars that fit within your ideal value proposition. Because you are an informed buyer, there are many cars out there that match your description. Unless you have finalized a decision, never put down a deposit. If the dealer says you need to put down a deposit for a mechanic inspection, then I would run away even faster.

Avoiding Problematic Cars

Buying from a dealer does not mean you are allowed to slack on your car inspection, background check or uvip analysis. While a dealer has restrictions on selling a car to you without disclosing important information, it is unlikely that you will ever get compensation for your troubles. It is very important to get a mechanical inspection to ensure that you are paying a price that reflects the condition of the vehicle.

Further, the Used Vehicle Information Package (“UVIP”) is not required in a transaction with a dealer. This document includes critical information on past ownership which tells you where the car came from. Car history makes a big impact on the value of the car, you want to avoid rentals and vehicles that have had too many owners. Many people forgo this step because it is not required, but it is the most important step even when purchasing from a used car dealer. Don’t let the dealer tell you it is unnecessary, he is trying to close you on a deal before you increase the sales cycle time.

To obtain this document you need to get the Vehicle Identification Number (“VIN”) on the vehicle and go to the Ministry of Transportation (“MTO”) and request a UVIP.

If you would like to evaluate all your options when buying a used car, check out our definitive guide to buying used cars in ontario.


About Author

  • Marco

    I purchased a used vehicle 2010 Lexus IS F with 55000 km. My back tires have no thread. I am wondering if the dealership has to replace the tires. I’ve only had the care since May 2nd.
    Hopefully you can answer my question.
    Thank you

    • CarCheckCanada

      The dealer should not have given it to you plated without a safety and emissions. Part of passing the safety is having a certain tread depth. The thread depth is listed here (link). But for convenience, the minimum allowable tire tread depth in ontario is 1.5mm or 2/32″ of an inch.

Powered by