Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario Government is warning consumers that while springtime is the prime car-buying season, it is important that those looking for used cars need to beware and be aware.

“We want all Ontarians to shop smart this spring when making a used vehicle purchase,” said Ted McMeekin, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Recognizing the potential pitfalls and knowing what to do before buying is the best way to protect yourself in this market.”

Consumers need to be especially careful of dealing with “curbsiders”, who pose as private sellers but are really in the business of selling stolen, damaged, or odometer-tampered vehicles. Buyers are encouraged to obtain a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) from the Ministry of Transportation, or from the seller. Crash history searches may also be purchased through or Used vehicle sellers should always ask for proof of ownership from the seller, have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic, and purchase the car by issuing a cheque to the current owner listed on the UVIP.

The Ministry also warns that the Ontario Standards Certificate is only a minimum set of safety standards approved on the day the vehicle was examined, and is not a warranty on a used vehicle.

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