Toronto, Ontario – New research from Angus Reid Strategies reveals that 73 per cent of vehicle buyers in Canada purchased a used car for their first vehicle, as did 50 per cent of Ontarians who had bought a car in the last two years. The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) said that this is likely to increase with an economic downturn and that buyers should be wary to avoid potential purchasing issues.

“Research shows that price-related factors are by far the most influential when shopping for a vehicle,” said Brenda McIntyre of OMVIC. “But an obsession with price can make people vulnerable to a bad deal, especially if they buy privately. It’s critical that first-time buyers know how to check a vehicle’s history and how to recognize curbsiders. Curbsiders are unlicensed dealers who pose as private sellers. And very often the cars they sell are misrepresented, damaged, odometer-tampered, stolen or have liens.”

OMVIC warns to watch for stolen vehicles sold with false ownerships; insurance write-offs rebuilt and sold; former rental cars sold without their history disclosed; outstanding liens from former owners; missing parts, especially airbags; odometer tampering; badly-corroded vehicles repainted and resold; and flood vehicles from Hurricanes Katrina and Ike.

If you choose to buy privately, get a used vehicle information package from the Ministry of Transportation; purchase a vehicle history search, such as from Carproof or CARFAX; ask for identification and proof of ownership from the seller; and get an inspection from a trusted mechanic.

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