Ask yourself if the seller is a curbsider

Unregistered and unlicensed dealers sometimes pretend to be private sellers. Sometimes they sell cars out of a small business, like repair shops or car rental companies.

These sellers are called curbsiders. They are not honest about who they are or about the vehicles they sell.

If you buy a car from a curbsider, you will not be protected by consumer protection laws if something goes wrong. Your only option may be to go to court.

Curbsiders often sell vehicles that are not registered in their name. Always ask the seller for ID and proof of ownership. If their name doesn’t match the name on the registration, they may lie or make up an excuse.

Other warning signs include:

  • The deal seems too good to be true. If the price seems unusually low, there may be something wrong with the car. It could have been rebuilt after an accident, or something else.
  • The seller insists that you meet in a public place, instead of a home or apartment. But, some honest private sellers also do this for personal protection.
  • The seller doesn’t want you to have a mechanic look at the car.
  • The seller refuses to give you a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), even though the law says they have to.
  • The seller has more than one vehicle available for sale.

If you believe someone is a curbsider, report them to the OMVIC at:, or 1-888-NOCURBS [1-888-662-8727].

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