No matter where you shop for your used car, be sure to make the right decision. To help you, the Office de la protection du consommateur has a few tips for you.
Tips before buying a used car from a dealer
Set a price point you can afford
Consider the costs of:
- vehicle registration;
- winter tires;
- fuel consumption.
Get information about the merchant
Has the merchant ever received a formal notice from customers? Has the Office intervened with this merchant?
The answers to your questions can be found in the Get information about a merchant tool.
Do business with a merchant that obeys the law
- The merchant holds a road vehicle dealer’s licence from the Office. That way, should a problem arise, you could apply for compensation. If the salesperson tells you he or she does not need a licence because he or she does not sell enough vehicles, beware, as this is false!
- The merchant affixes a label on the vehicle and gives it to you when you buy it. This label contains information that will help you make an informed decision.
- The merchant lets you take the car out for a test drive. You have the right to take your time and do more than simply ride around the block.
- The merchant lets you have the car inspected, choose the mechanic that will carry out the inspection and does not charge any fees as a result. The merchant may, however, ask you to leave an object, such as an identity card, as security.
- The merchant gives you the contact information for the previous owner after you ask for it.
- The merchant gives you a written contract. Make sure the merchant includes any statements made to you in the contract.
Avoid unfortunate events
- Find details concerning the vehicle’s reliability by obtaining a copy of the vehicle record from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec or a specialized firm that offers this service online.
- Make sure the vehicle is not subject to any debts for which you may end up being liable, by checking with the Register of personal and movable real rights (RDPRM).
- Make sure the vehicle has not been reported as stolen, by referring to the Canadian Police Information Centre.
- Never sign any documents as long as you have not decided to purchase the automobile. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have a 10-day grace period to change your mind.
You can find more detailed information and additional tips in the section titled Before buying a used vehicle from a dealer.
Another section of our website also covers purchasing a used automobile from a private vendor.
Last update : February 28, 2023
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.