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
Were you unable to find an answer to your question? Please call us.
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.
You can reach one of our customer service officers by telephone or in writing using our information request form.