Purchasing Used Vehicle -- Dealer Questions...

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 19th, 2018 1:13 am
Sr. Member
Apr 29, 2010
878 posts

Purchasing Used Vehicle -- Dealer Questions...

I'm considering purchasing a used vehicle from a dealer. Before doing so i'm reading up on OMVIC info.

Some questions:

1. If a dealer's ad does not state "as is" or "unfit" does this mean the vehicle has already been safety and e-tested by the dealer and so could be legally driven (once properly registered to the new owner) ?

2. Can a car be certified by the dealer but still require safety? Does the dealer have to make this clear in their ad?

3. The dealer is registered with OMVIC, i checked the VIN for Flood damage listings and Recalls. Are there other important searches i should be making with the VIN? Is CarProof useful? ** I have not performed a lien check yet

8 replies
Oct 2, 2017
432 posts
Save yourself the trouble and run away from as is deals. Unless you plan on fixing and doing everything yourself
bottles on me, long as someone drink it
Nov 28, 2017
58 posts

good questions, let me try to answer the best I can without confusing the issue further:
1. If it says "AS IS", it simply means that the dealer will not certify it and that it may require substantial work to get the safety. If it is not road worthy - the dealer must clearly state that separately,
2. I'm not sure understand this - being certified probably means it has been through their inspection process. Being "safetied" means it is ready for registration with the ministry and it is road worthy. So they are different things and you need the safety. If it has been certified they should know if it needs any extra work for the safety. The dealership needs to clearly state the condition of the vehicle in the advertising - the rest can be discussed during negotiations.
3. Yes the car proof will show previous claims and accidents - which you want to know about. To reassure yourself, make the deal conditional on an inspection by a mechanic of your choosing. If the dealer balks at this - you have to wonder why if the car is fine! Then, your chosen mechanic can give you an honest opinion of the condition and how much it will cost you after purchase to get this thing plated, and ready to go.

Good luck
User avatar
Jun 20, 2015
472 posts
Buying an As-is vehicle can be a huge gamble in terms of repairs to the car. You'll never know how much it'll cost to get them fix until you bring it to your mechanic.
Good luck!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 10, 2013
2301 posts
On contrary, as is can be a great bargain or a definate run away.
At the very least, get the vehicle inspected by a reputable source. Will likely cost you around 120 bucks but better to gamble now than later.

To be quite honest, I'd rather buy an "as is" vehicle off private party than as is off a dealer as a private party likely has less knowledge of what the vehicle needs and more of not wanting the hassle and costs of certifying.
Smash that like button!
Sr. Member
Apr 29, 2010
878 posts
Thanks for the info so far. I'm just trying to wrap my head around all these details. Forgive my confusion but we're dealing with thousands of $$ afterall. I'm also reviewing the OMVIC site.

Ok, a used car ad selling for "$23,995 + Sales Tax". The ad states the vehicle has no accidents, no damage, showroom condition and then goes on to say: "All vehicle's can be Certified & E-Tested for an additional $499. If not Certified & E-Tested then as per OMVIC Regulations the vehicle is deemed to be non-driveable." There is no clear mention within the ad on whether the vehicle has already been safetied or etested. In person the dealer brushes off the mention of "Certified and Etested" and states the $499 is for Safety.

From this situation does one have to pay the $499? Or does the "All-In" policy require the safety to have already been included in the stated sale price because the ad does not state the vehicle is being sold "as is" or is in "unfit" condition ?

Last i looked having a car safetied, which is just another word for government regulated inspection, was $50 to 90 and E-Test is free. Remind me what this $499 Certification is actually giving me when it is a valid Safety and ETest (for < $90) that actually matter.

I agree the additional cost of having a trusted mechanic go over the vehicle above and beyond the provided Safety Certificate from the dealer is a good idea.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 17, 2008
1461 posts
Dealer charges a flat fee ($499) for safety and e-test. If the vehicle requires no repair or the repair will cost less then that amount, then they make extra profit.
Jul 5, 2016
11 posts
1 upvote
Yeah, saw one today - "certified", "safetied", "e-tested", but with softcheese-like sh*t under the oil cap which means coolant is in the oil and engine dies soon.
As someone said - best to get mechanic unless you know some model in and out.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
1167 posts
To answer you questions:

1) You should call them and ask about the particular vehicle.

2) Generally, no. The term "certified" implies that the buyer will be provided with a safety certificate when the deal is completed. However, seeing as you are considering buying from a used car dealer, I would assume they deal with all of the registration process on your behalf. Meaning that you do not need to worry about the safety. You will probably just receive a copy with the rest of the transaction paperwork.

But above all, I would be weary of the safety certificate from the place that sells you the car. Especially a used car dealer. To them, the safety inspection is just another obstacle for them to make a profit on the sale. Meaning that if the car needs repairs (brakes, tires etc.) they may be more inclined to neglect the repairs and just sign the certificate. Them having to do repairs under the premise that the car is being sold to you certified just means less profit for them. They have no incentive (other than the tech or dealer getting in trouble) to do the necessary repairs if needed.