It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new car or RV. Before you enjoy that new ride, take the time to consider the details of your major purchase. Remember, you should never feel rushed or pressured to make a deal.

Read and understand documents:

  • Read every word in a document. If it requires a signature… it is important!
  • Get all promises, as well as clarification on terms and conditions that are not clear to you in writing.
  • If necessary, ask for help from a trusted friend or relative.
  • Never be in a rush when you are purchasing a vehicle. Take your time.
  • Stop shopping after you sign a purchase contract. When you buy a vehicle, there is no “cooling off” period. Even if you “find a better deal,” or “change your mind” a dealer can enforce the contract.
  • The only way you can cancel the contract is if the seller has a policy that says you may. Even if the seller agrees to cancel the contract, it may keep any deposit you have made. Before you buy, find out what the seller’s policy is and get the details in writing.
  • Get a bill of sale and review it to be sure all information is accurate and complete. Verify the details of the finance agreement and be sure all reported income and down payment amounts are correct.

Warranties:

  • New vehicles are sold with a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Many used vehicles are sold without warranty which means you could be responsible for the cost of any repairs.
  • The terms and conditions of a warranty are usually outlined in the agreement.
  • Make sure that any warranty is in writing and read it carefully. You need to know what your responsibilities are under the warranty. If you don’t perform them, will claims be denied? It’s wise to keep all maintenance or warranty work orders in case you need proof work was done.
  • If you are buying a used vehicle from a dealer, check to see if there is any manufacturer’s warranty remaining on the vehicle. If not, see if the dealer offers any warranty.
  • Not all warranties are the same and many are “limited.” You need to find out what the warranty covers and for what period of time, what it doesn’t cover, and what responsibilities you will have.
  • Some dealers offer “extended” warranties (which increase the period of time you are covered under a manufacturer’s warranty) or “third-party” warranties (which are offered through warranty companies). Extended and third party warranties are generally available at an additional cost. Again, make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of such warranties and get, in writing, any details of what is covered and for how long, what’s not covered, and what your responsibilities are.
  • If the vehicle is 5 years old or newer and you have a dispute with an automobile manufacturer about the quality of your vehicle, or how the manufacturer is interpreting or implementing its new vehicle warranty, the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) may be an option for you. It is a program that resolves these types of problems through binding arbitration rather than court action. Most domestic and imported passenger cars, light trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans and multi-purpose passenger vehicles that are purchased or leased in Canada are covered by CAMVAP.