UVIP Ontario | Guide To Spotting Warning Signs


The UVIP is a 3-4 page snapshot of the ownership of a used car in Ontario. Many buyers skip to the last page and sign the Bill of Sale, but there may be certain details worth looking into if you are looking to avoid a bad car.

The Used Vehicle Information Package (‘UVIP’) is a document purchased from the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (‘MTO’) unique to your Vehicle Identification Number (‘VIN’) for your car. If you are looking to buy a used car from a private sale or from a dealership, it is strongly recommended that you analyze the contents of the UVIP before a car inspection or a purchase consideration.

Responsibility To Produce UVIP

As per the MTO, in a private sale, the seller of the car is obligated to produce the bill of sale when completing the transaction; the bill of sale is located on the last page of the UVIP. In the absence of the UVIP or if the seller is witholding the remaining pages, the correct step is to purchase a UVIP from the MTO for $20. The only information you need to retrieve a UVIP is the car’s VIN, you do not need to own the car.

When purchasing from a dealership they are not obligated to produce a UVIP. It is unlikely that the used car salesman knows the history of all the used cars on his lot, therefore obtaining and checking through a UVIP provides
invaluable information towards your purchase decision.

Note: only signing the ownership will give you legal title to the car, signing the UVIP Bill of Sale does not give you title to the car.

Used Vehicle Information Package Analysis

Please use the UVIP images to follow along.

Confirm the Authenticity and Validity of UVIP

  1. VIN Match.
    Ensure VIN at the top right for all pages on the UVIP reflects the VIN for the car you are looking to buy.
  2. UVIP Completeness.
    Ensure that the seller has put in or removed any pages.
  3. Time Frame.
    Check if the UVIP was obtained around a reasonable time frame.
  4. Fraud Check.
    If it is a private sale, ask the seller for identification, and compare this to Section 2 of the UVIP.
  5. Liens.
    Section 4, you do not want to buy a car that is tied to the owners debt.

uvip check
uvip owner
uvip liens

Avoiding Rental Cars

Rental Cars are usually driven harsher by paying customers who have no obligation to the mechanical condition of the vehicle.
Look through the past owners in Section 3 for rental companies. Search up the name in Google to see if they have any affiliations with rental organizations. Note that financing companies or leasing companies would likely be present, both of which are standard and safe.

Ownership Gap Analysis

There is value in buying a car from an “Original Owner”. You should be aware of how many times the car changed ownership comparing with the kilometers on the vehicle. If the vehicle changes hands quickly without being driven much, it may indicate a potentially problematic car.

The average km/year is around 15,000-20,000 km. Consider the duration each owner had title to the car, and see if the mileage is realistic with expectations.

Take a look at the Vehicle Registration Date and the Odometer count. Inspect ensuring that the odometer reading on each entry is increasing with time passes. Odometer tampering rarely happens, but the best indicator is a worn exterior and interior, despite low stated kilometers on the engine. A seasoned mechanic would likely be needed to detect hints of this type of fraud.

Do Your Due Diligence

The above cases are subtle concerns you should be aware of. Most of them individually may not be a great issue, but being aware of the details the UVIP has to offer may save you a lot of headache and money. Purchasing Car Check Canada’s Pre-Purchase Inspection package includes a individual assessment of your UVIP if requested.

Please leave a comment on your experience and advice on anything related to the UVIP


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