Warning for Car Buyers: Re-vinned Vehicles in Ontario

Feb 6, 2024
Categories: Driving · Security
Staebler blog logo

Automobile theft in Ontario continues to be a significant issue, affecting thousands of vehicle owners. The Staebler Blog has shared many articles on this topic, including:

Meanwhile there is a new auto theft trend emerging, where stolen vehicles are not always being shipped overseas. Authorities are seeing more vehicles remain in the country, being re-vinned, meaning that the vehicle is sold with a new VIN or a VIN from another vehicle.

What is a VIN?

A vehicle’s VIN is an alphanumeric identifier that stands for Vehicle Identification Number. It is unique to each vehicle and can help when recovering lost or stolen vehicles. It is typically located on the driver’s side with an engraving beneath the windshield.

Thieves are changing the stolen vehicle’s VIN and replacing it with a different one. This leaves the car buyer vulnerable, as law enforcement will seize the stolen vehicle and potentially charge the buyer with being in possession of stolen property.

Insurance companies are also warning that car insurance claims can be denied, leaving the owner responsible for all costs associated with an accident or theft.

What can vehicle buyers do to protect themselves when buying a vehicle?

Our insurance company partner, Aviva Insurance, is sharing the following considerations to help protect you when purchasing your next vehicle.

1. Who’s selling the vehicle?
• Always know who you’re buying from: Ask for their name, address, phone number, and identification from the person selling
• A legitimate dealership and salesperson will be licensed with the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council. You can check OMVIC to confirm their registration and review any offences

2. Order a CARFAX report
• Most dealerships will provide this report during the buying process. A CARFAX report lists the vehicle’s history and details of any accidents it’s been involved in

3. Obtain a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) from the Ministry of Transportation. This package contains important information, such as:
• Vehicle details (year, make, model, colour, body type, cylinders, and power)
• Vehicle registration history (current and past owners)
• Vehicle lien information to ensure there are no active liens
• Retail Sales Tax (RST) information – the average wholesale cost of the vehicle
• Bill of sale information

4. Have a trusted mechanic inspect and validate the vehicle

5. Take time and consider the following before buying:
• Is the vehicle’s asking price fair market value or is it too good to be true?
• Is the seller asking for a cash only transaction and/or refusing to provide a bill of sale?
• If buying from a private seller, agree to meet them in a public and secure location. Locally, the Waterloo Region Police have three Buy and Sell Exchange Zones set up at their police stations: Buy and Sell Exchange Zones – Waterloo Regional Police Service (wrps.on.ca)

Whether you’re purchasing a vehicle for the first time or have been through dozens of transactions, it’s important to take the time to ensure the legitimacy of this important purchase. Be wary of rushed or time-limited offers and be sure to obtain additional information to confirm the VIN and the vehicle’s history.

When you’re ready, you can get a free car insurance quote on the vehicle you have in mind. Contact one of our Personal Solutions Brokers and they’ll be happy to ensure you’re properly protected.

. . .

Staebler Insurance is a general insurance broker specializing in car insurance, home insurance, small business, and commercial insurance. Staebler brokers proudly serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Listowel, Fergus, Elora, Wellington County, Perth County, Waterloo Region and southern Ontario. Get a Quote to get started today.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Canadian Police to learn more about Staged Collisions

Are you Prepared for Winter Driving?

We've got the first few snow falls behind us and many more ahead. Most drivers will prepare for the winter with the basics; winter tires, winter windsheild fluid, scrapers and brushes. A recent Canadian Automobile Association survey shows only 36% of Canadian...

read more
Canadian Police to learn more about Staged Collisions

Gas Price Disconnect between Canada & the U.S.

Ever wonder about the difference in gasoline prices between Canada and the United States? We've found an interesting article that explains the disconnect. Click here to read the article and find out more. Don't forget to choose Staebler Insurance Brokers to be your...

read more
Canadian Police to learn more about Staged Collisions

Telephone Fraud

A telephone fraud scam continues to target consumers across Canada. The scam, which received wide publicity in November and December and was highlighted by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), involves calls from fraudsters claiming to be from an insurance company....

read more
Canadian Police to learn more about Staged Collisions

Ontario Auto Reform

On September 1, 2010 the Ontario Automobile Policy is changing coverage options for Accident Benefits in order to help stabilize rates, control costs and to provide flexibility and choice. We're writing to let you know about these changes and to give you the...

read more