Whether you buy from a private seller or a used car dealer, when a vehicle is listed “as is,” you expose yourself to many potential expenses that you may not even be aware of yet.
TThe term “as is” means that the vehicle is sold in the condition that you find it on the lot, with all your problems, whether known or unknown.
From undisclosed accident history to encumbrances (money is still owed on the vehicle), there is a lot of research you need to do as a buyer to make sure it doesn’t get picked up.
One thing you will need when buying any car is insurance coverage. When it comes to secure car insurance coverage for a “How is it” vehicle, you might wonder: will this designation bother your insurance company at all? Do you need to tell them you bought the vehicle “as is”? And that could affect your premium?
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According to Anne Marie Thomas, director of consumer and industry relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, buying a car “How is it” will not affect your insurance premium.
“It’s not a question on the car insurance application,” she says.
However, Thomas adds, “Anyone who buys a car, whether ‘How is it‘ or not, you should be aware that if there is any previous damage to the vehicle that has not been repaired, that information should be passed on to the insurance company.” And this it is a question asked on the auto insurance application.
“You have to report unrepaired damage because if you are involved in an accident, the insurance company will only pay for repairs for damage that occurred during the accident, not damage that occurred before you owned the vehicle,” explains Thomas.
If the insurance company can’t determine the current damage from past damage, they may not pay your claim, so it’s important to tell them accurately and honestly when you buy the vehicle.
What to look for when buying a “How is it” vehicle
If you live in Ontario, you can protect yourself by purchasing a vehicle at “How is it” condition asking the seller for the Used Vehicle Information Packet (UVIP).
UVIP is specific to Ontario, but other provinces have their own equivalent, such as the vehicle history report in British Columbia.
The UVIP contains a complete history of the automobile in Ontario, including:
- vehicle details
- Information about the vehicle attached to the license plate number
- Whether it has been damaged or not
- Ontario vehicle registration history, including all current and previous owners with their city of residence and odometer reading
- Vehicle Lien Information
- The condition of the vehicle, even if it is not in good mechanical condition or has not received a Safety Standards Certificate
Please note that when buying from a private seller, there is no guarantee that the repairs have been carried out correctly. This is one of the advantages of buying a used car through a dealer: They will often do the necessary repairs before selling the vehicle, even though technically you are still buying the vehicle at “How is itcondition. You may also want to have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic before you sign on the dotted line.
It is important to understand that buying a vehicle “as is” does not provide any warranty or guarantee of quality, although a A certified used vehicle from a dealer sometimes comes with additional manufacturer warranties.
When buying a vehicle “as is”, you are responsible for any problems with the car after the sale is complete. Frequently, a seller lists the vehicle in “How is it” condition because it needs some work. This could give you bargaining power when it comes to negotiating a lower price. If you don’t mind putting a little work into the vehicle and its history is accident-free, it could end up in your favor.
But again: when buying a car “How is it” should not affect your insurance premium, it is important to report any previous unrepaired damage to your insurance company to ensure you are covered in the event of a future claim.
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