Frequently Asked Questions
GENERAL TOPICS ON PRIVATELLY BUYING OR SELLING A CAR
How do I test drive a car safely?
Whether you are the buyer or the seller concerned about safety, it is recommended that you
- talk to the other party first, to make sure there is a real person on the other side of the potential transaction
- plan the route ahead of the drive
- meet in the daylight only
- bring a friend
- meet in a public place
- if you are concerned about Covid safety, you can discuss with the seller/buyer (as applicable) and agree on how to protocols
TIP: As a buyer, you can ask for an inspection from a mechanic, if you want to avoid the test drive. Similarly, if you are a seller concerned about the test drive, you can offer the inspection certificate from a certified mechanic.
How do I safely send/accept money for a car?
There are several ways of sending or requesting money. Cash is usually not recommended, unless the price of the car is not substantial. If you pay in cash, we suggest you ask the seller to sign a receipt (even hand written) so you have a proof that you made the payment. The recommended approach is to proceed via the bank. Note that not all banks offer all of the options below:
- Cashier’s Check are checks signed and guaranteed by the bank. This means the funds are coming from the bank instead of your account – which means they immediately take the money from your account. This is generally the most secure of the options and usually doesn’t have many restrictions.
- Certified Check are checks signed by the customer, certified by the bank that you have enough funds and that your signature is genuine. Usually, but not always – the bank will set aside the funds.
- Bank Draft is similar to a certified check, but the bank will set aside the funds until the bank draft is used. This is generally used in transactions involving larger sums.
- Money Order is a payment order similar to a certified check; however, it needs to be prepaid. Also, money orders may have maximum face values allowed.
BUYING AND SELLING IN ONTARIO
Why sell or buy privately instead of using a dealer?
Selling and buying privately is almost invariably financially more rewarding for both, the seller and the buyer. The seller can cash out much more from a private buyer than any dealer would offer. This gives the seller more flexibility on the price and the buyer can negotiate a better deal directly with the seller.
Many people default to a dealer when purchasing or selling a used car. Transacting with a dealer is usually simple and avoids most of the complexity associated with car selling. However, this comes with a steep price – the seller loses 10-30% of the price to the dealer. Because of the transactional complexity, coupled with the safety concerns associated with the “unknown”, buyers and sellers often forego the financial benefit and go straight to the dealer, who ends up benefiting the most.
With our approach, you can have the best of both worlds. We have developed a system to guide you step-by-step through the transaction, help you obtain all necessary documents to close the sale/purchase successfully, give you safety tips along the way, and simplify the entire process so you are confident about what you are doing – all this for a fraction of what you would give up to a dealer!
What is a Safety Standard Certificate and why do I need it?
SSC is a certificate issued by a certified mechanic and is required to register a used car in Ontario. This is an obligation imposed on the buyer. However, on occasion, the seller will proactively provide the SSC to increase the chances of selling the car faster and avoiding the test drive. You can book a mechanic’s appointment in your neighbourhood through a simple web browser search, just look for “safety standard inspection Ontario”. To register the car, the certificate has to be less than 36 days old in order to be valid. The inspection usually costs between $60 and $80.
What is a UVIP?
UVIP stands for “Used Vehicle Information Package”. This is an Ontario government issued document. It is legally required to be provided by the Seller to the Buyer in the car resale transactions in Ontario. It contains information about the car, its value and any registered liens information. It also has a Bill of Sale portion that parties can use when selling/buying the car.