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Buying a used car is a big step for an individual to make. Throughout the different provinces in Canada, there are different options. For being able to buy a used car. There are also many online directories that list used cars for sale by private vehicle owners. A lot of people like to take advantage of these types of sales. It is because they feel that they are going to get a lower price. Any time an individual is buying a used car, they have to keep the buyer beware scenario in mind. If one does their due diligence when buying a used car from a private seller they can get a good deal.

Taking the Proper Steps to Buy a Used Vehicle from a Private Seller

Used Vehicle

Buyers need to take the proper steps that are necessary when buying a used vehicle in Ontario.

The Sellers Responsibilities:

As a buyer from a private seller, you need to know what the seller must do to sell the vehicle to you. Which is as follows;

  • They must complete and give you a used vehicle information package.
  • The vehicle permit along with the application for transfer which has to get filled out. It also needs signing by the seller.
  • A filled out a bill of sale.

The Buyer’s Responsibilities:

Buyers also have their tasks to complete.

  • The buyer has to make sure that they have insurance in place and proof of this for the used vehicle they are buying.
  • The buyer might be going to put plates on the vehicle. Then it will mean the buyer has to show a safety standard certificate.
  • The buyer also has to determine whether they are going to need a vehicle emissions report. They can find this out by checking out the ministry of the environments drive clean website.

Extra Steps

The buyer’s responsibilities are what they need to do by law when buying a used vehicle. There are other steps that the buyer is going to want to take to make sure that they are getting a good deal.

  • First, they want to review the used vehicle information package. That the seller has to provide.
  • The buyer should also ask pertinent questions of the seller that are going to be important to them. They may want to know if there were any upgrades to the vehicle. In the last little while or any maintenance done on it.
  • The buyer is going to want to take the vehicle for a test drive. Paying attention to several different components and capabilities of the vehicle.

A potential buyer of a used car may also want to see if they can negotiate with the seller. For the buyer to have the vehicle inspected by their mechanic before buying. Not every buyer will go along with this nor are they compelled to do so.

Used Vehicle Information Package Ontario

Any individual selling a used vehicle in Ontario must provide the buyer with a used vehicle information package. This package contains a lot of information that the buyer of the used vehicle requires.

Obtaining the Vehicle Information Package


This package is available online, or it can get purchased from a service Ontario Centre. To buy this package one needs to provide some information. The seller has to provide the VIN. Or the license plate number of the vehicle that is being sold. Along with this, the seller will have to provide their Ontario drivers license number. Or another option is to provide the RIN number. Which is the registrant identification number. If either of these are not available, the name and address is needed. There is a small fee for this information package which amounts to $20.

The buyer of a used vehicle from a private source should be aware that it is mandatory. For the seller to provide this information package. The only time this package is not required is when a vehicle is being bought through a business transaction. Or, if an individual is buying from a dealership. Also, it is not needed for licensed taxi holders or when a car is being sold between family members. There are several other exemptions. With having to have the used vehicle information package. It isn’t needed if it is a donation to a specified charitable organization. Or, if the vehicle is being sold outside of Ontario. Sometimes used cars get raffled off at lotteries. In this case, it will not need a vehicle information package.

Used Car Tax Ontario Calculator

Individuals that are buying a used car from a private individual are going to have to pay some tax on it. The taxes owed are not paid to the private seller. The amount of tax in most cases will be 13% as the retail sales tax. There are tax calculators that are available online for this purpose. It can be calculated manually. The tax gets based on the purchase price of the vehicle or it will get based on the wholesale value of the vehicle. Whichever of these is more is what the tax will be applied to.

Transfer Vehicle Ownership Ontario

As a buyer of a used vehicle, you have the responsibility of transferring the vehicle ownership. This means that you are now going to have to register it in your name. Then get your permit and license plate for the vehicle.

Used Vehicle Information Package Vs CarProof


Both of these packages provide a wealth of information to the buyer of a used car from a private source. The used vehicle information package is mandatory that the seller must provide. Individuals want to have confidence in the vehicle that they are buying. They can get a Car Proof report. What this report is going to reveal is any accident history that pertains to the vehicle. It will also list any liens that may be present or were present. It will also identify any safety recalls not attended to. Along with this will be some extra informative information. That will help the buyer to make an informed decision.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.