Buying a vehicle online?

| Consumer bulletins

If you’re considering purchasing a motor vehicle remotely, you can purchase or lease from an AMVIC-licensed business without visiting the automotive business in person. Online sales are allowed, as long as the business has a brick and mortar location. Laws that normally apply to vehicle purchasing in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) still apply when shopping online, as does the Internet Sales Contract Regulation (ISCR). This regulation does not apply if you are buying from a private individual.

Get the information you are entitled to

You must be provided with all required information and it must be prominently displayed on the business’s website. Over and above the information you are normally entitled to, the ISCR also requires disclosure of refund policies, which can be found on amvic.org.

A salesperson can take a vehicle to the consumer for a test drive, as long as the test drive is solely to evaluate the vehicle’s performance, suitability and condition before buying, and for no other reason. A bill of sale can also be signed, as long as the salesperson delivered the vehicle and not a delivery service.

Internet sales and “cooling off” period

The ISCR allows for cancelling of a contract under very specific circumstances, such as the vehicle is not as represented, or the disclosure or delivery requirements were not met. If you need to cancel the contract under these conditions, and the business fails to refund money after proper notice, you can consider taking legal action to recover the funds.

No “cooling-off” period refers to a situation such as if you decide you don’t like the vehicle or you can’t afford the payments. In those cases, the vehicle cannot be returned.

Internet sales come with greater requirements as per the ISCR as compared to a traditional transaction. The Government of Alberta has produced a helpful fact sheet on internet shopping you can refer to before you decide to shop online.