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The importance of knowing the history of a vehicle you are purchasing

Every car carries its own story, a narrative woven through its history of travels, traffic slips, and previous use. For many, the prospect of purchasing a vehicle, whether new or used, is not just about acquiring a mode of transportation but also knowing the vehicle’s past and how it will impact you. Understanding this narrative becomes crucial when safeguarding your interests during vehicle purchases. This is where mandatory disclosures step into the limelight.

New vs used motor vehicles

For first-time car buyers with a limited budget, considering a used vehicle is most often the case, and comprehending what a dealer must disclose on a bill of sale is vital to ensuring a smooth car-buying journey.

While a section of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act ( primarily pertains to used cars, exceptions do exist. Even new vehicles may demand disclosure, especially in cases of damage incurred during transit or while on the dealer’s lot. These disclosures, though less common in new cars, exist to protect car-buyers from hidden issues.

The crucial nature of disclosures

Why do these mandatory disclosures matter so much? They are the key to unlocking a vehicle’s hidden secrets. Without them, car-buyers might unknowingly buy into a world of trouble. These disclosures allow car-buyers to gauge a vehicle’s true value, potential wear and tear, repair costs, and trade-in value.

Consider the implications of disregarding these disclosures. Immersion in water, for instance, can lead to premature corrosion, potentially costing you thousands in repairs. The heavy use of a vehicle as part of a rental or police fleet can result in a much shorter lifespan than expected, putting your investment at risk. It is important to know that these are just a few examples of disclosures that a dealer or salesperson is required to make before the sale of a used vehicle.

However, not all car-buyers are aware of the extent of disclosures that they have a right to know. Many assume that the entire history of a vehicle, including service and owner history, is voluntarily provided or disclosed before the sale. This highlights the importance of educating yourself as a car-buyer about your rights and the information you should demand to know. Visit OMVIC’s website to read the full list of mandatory disclosures (

Navigating the sea of vehicle purchases

Mandatory disclosures are the lighthouse guiding you through the murky waters of vehicle purchases. They empower car-buyers to make informed decisions, preventing unexpected pitfalls and ensuring a smoother ride on the road to car ownership. Don’t just buy a vehicle; unveil its story and make a well-informed choice. Your journey begins with knowledge, and OMVIC is there to assist every step of the way.

How to connect with OMVIC

For car-buyers navigating the intricate world of vehicle purchases, OMVIC is a reliable ally. Visit to explore your rights, access valuable car-buying resources, and stay informed through the monthly newsletter, Consumer Line. If you have questions or need expert advice, OMVIC’s consumer support team is just an email ([email protected]) or a call (1-800-943-6002) away. OMVIC offers free education services and webinars upon request, just email [email protected] for details.