Buying and Selling a Used Vehicle in Ontario
By Ontario law, private sellers of most motor vehicles, including motorcycles, must provide buyers with a Used Vehicle Information Package. This package guides you through the process of buying or selling and helps you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Did you know?
Every year, over one million used vehicles change ownership in Ontario.
The used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) includes:
- Description of the vehicle
- Vehicle Indentification Number (VIN)
- Plate Number
- Year, Make
- Body Type
- Ontario vehicle registration history
- Odometer information
- Outstanding debts (link to liens) on the vehicle
- Wholesale and retail values for the vehicle's model and year, if available
- Retail sales tax requirements
- Bill of sale
- Tips on vehicle safety standards inspections
Who needs a Used Vehicle Information Package?
You need a package only if you are privately selling a:
- Light truck (gross weight of 3,000 kilograms or less)
- Self-propelled motor home
Some transfers may not require a Used Vehicle Information Package. For information on exemptions, spousal transfer and other types of transfers, complete the feedback form or contact ServiceOntario's Driver and Vehicle Contact Centre:
Toronto area: 416-235-2999
Toll free: 1-800-387-3445 (Canada wide)
Why do buyers need a Used Vehicle Information Package?
- To learn about the status of the vehicle, which may affect future use of the vehicle. Examples of a vehicle status that may be of concern to a buyer include:
- If ministry records show that a vehicle status is "suspended", no transactions involving the vehicle will be processed. A buyer could not obtain a new vehicle permit.
- A vehicle permit may be suspended for things like a contravention of a statute, such as the Highway Traffic Act.
- If ministry records show that the vehicle status is "unfit", it may be mechanically unfit. Licence plates cannot be attached to such a vehicle unless a Safety Standards Certificate is provided to the ministry.
- If ministry records show that the vehicle status is "wrecked", the vehicle has been completely dismantled or crushed. Licence plates cannot be attached to the vehicle and it cannot be used on any public road.
- To be made aware if the vehicle has been branded and may affect future use of the vehicle
- To make sure the name of the person selling the vehicle is the same as the name on the vehicle registration
- To see if anything in the vehicle's registration history might cause concern
- To check the vehicle's odometer reading last provided to the ministry.
- To be aware of any outstanding lien (debts) registered against the vehicle
- Buy this package if you are selling a used vehicle privately in Ontario
- Show it to all prospective buyers
- Give it to the buyer when you sell your vehicle.
To purchase a Used Vehicle Information Package :
Note: You will need the plate number or the Vehicle Identification Number to buy a Used Vehicle Information Package.
Selling a used vehicle in Ontario?
Use the information on the UVIP to make a fair and reasonable transaction.
A seller's checklist
- Does the Vehicle Identification Number on your vehicle match the Vehicle Identification Number on your permit?
- If it does not match, contact ServiceOntario's Driver and Vehicle Contact Centre:
Toronto area: 416-235-2999Toll free: 1-800-387-3445 (Canada wide)
Found a buyer?
Finalize the sale in five steps
- Record your name, signature, name of buyer, date and purchase price on the "Bill of Sale" in the Used Vehicle Information Package.
- Complete and sign the Application for Transfer. The Application for Transfer is on the back of the "vehicle portion" of the registration permit.
- Give the Used Vehicle Information Package and the "vehicle portion" of the registration permit to the buyer.
- Keep your licence plates and the "plate portion" of the vehicle registration permit. You will need the permit if you decide to register your licence plates on another vehicle.
- You may choose to notify the ministry that the vehicle has been sold.
What about the licence plates?
Did you know?
Ontario has a plate-to-owner registration system. This means the licence plates stay with you, not the vehicle.
- Remove your plates and keep them for your next vehicle.
- Before you attach your plates to another vehicle, visit a Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office to register the plates to the other vehicle.
- If you do not plan to get another vehicle you can return the plates and the plate permit to any Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office for cancellation.
- If your plates have not expired, you can apply for a refund on any remaining full months of plate validation. There is a processing fee of $5.00 for each refund.
Buying a used vehicle in Ontario?
Good used vehicles are in demand. With careful shopping and some research, you can find a vehicle to fit your needs.
What should I look for?
Did you know?
Even a well-made vehicle deteriorates if it is not properly maintained. Do not be blinded by the reputation of a particular make or model.
- Always inspect a vehicle in the daylight.
- Carefully check for extreme wear of the upholstery, seats, brake and accelerator pedals. New pedals may signal the car has had a lot of use.
- Look closely at the exterior. Waves on the body could mean bodywork or that the vehicle has been in an accident.
- Take it for a road test that includes driving at different speeds and on different road conditions. The test helps evaluate the steering, brakes, shock absorbers and front-end alignment.
- Ask about the vehicle's accident history. If there have been accidents, get a written summary of the accident information.
- Ask for the Used Vehicle Information Package.
- Take the vehicle to your mechanic or to a diagnostic centre for a check-up before buying.