Don't panic, but if you are an auto dealer in Ontario who sells used cars, the Ontario Ministry of Transport (MTO) is about to bring changes to your business. For the first time in 42 years, the safety standards that a used vehicle must meet in order to pass inspection have been revised. The new requirements will go into effect in July of this year. Will your dealership be ready?

This is a major overhaul of existing standards, and the updates are arguably overdue, considering the fact that much of the technology that is commonly used in current cars didn't even exist in 1974. However, these changes will make it necessary for Ontario dealers to alter their used car transactions. But if you handle this situation correctly, you may not end up losing any money.

About the New Used Car Inspection Standards

The Passenger/Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard, often referred to as Regulation 611 under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) is responsible for setting out which components and systems must be checked in order for the vehicle to be declared roadworthy. The new rules have amended 10 existing sections of Regulation 611.

New Used Car Selling Challenges

  • Powertrain
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Instruments and Auxiliary Equipment
  • Lamps
  • Electrical
  • Body
  • Tire and Wheel
  • Coupling Devices

After all required systems have passed inspection, a road test must be administered. And when the vehicle is sold, an inspection report must be provided to the consumer. This document should include information about the results of the inspection, including measurements for specified components such as exact tire tread depth and expected battery life.

Extra Service = Extra Time and Cost

How much more will this new inspection cost? AutoTrader.ca quotes Brian Early, a mechanic at Auto Experts in Oshawa, who expects "this new procedure to add a good 50% to 75% to the cost of a safety inspection, to deal with the added time and paper trail."

For a consumer who wishes to sell a car privately, this could represent a big jump in cost. However, if they choose to simply trade the car in on their next vehicle purchase, the inspection burden may fall on the participating dealership. But is it really such a burden?

The mechanics at your dealership are probably more than capable of handling the new inspection requirements. Yes, they will need to spend more time per car. And, yes, there will be more paperwork to consider. However, with a little extra training and some practice, the updated used car processing routine will soon become just another part of an average work day.

Educating the Consumer about Safety

Your customers may initially notice the difference when they have to take a little less for their trade in, or when they pay a little more for a used car. However, this will offer you and your staff the opportunity to teach customers about the importance of vehicle safety. The new inspection standards have been implemented in order to protect the consumer from purchasing an unsafe automobile. Stricter inspection standards will ensure that they are spending their money wisely on a vehicle that should reliably serve their needs for years to come.

Never Fear, the Americans are Here

Why are the bluecoats coming? Because it’s only fair.

When the Loonie was extra strong against the American dollar, many Canadians crossed the border looking for good deals on both new and used cars. And now that the dollar is on the rise, Americans will most likely be returning the favor. Come to find out, those Americans like bargoons too.

Last year, when the Loonie started to fall, Americans bought over 200,000 used Canadian vehicles and shipped them home. This year, that number is expected to increase substantially. So, even with the stricter inspection regulations and potential small price hike in used Canadian vehicles, you may still expect some eager U.S. buyers to be visiting your lot in the near future.

Get More Buyers without Doing More Work

Something is always happening or changing in the competitive and fast-paced auto industry. As a dealer, you don't have an easy job. But Auto Credit Express can simplify the way you do business, while giving you the opportunity to make more money.

How? We offer the best subprime sales leads in the industry. In fact, 32% of our leads purchase a car within 60 days, and we can send these buyers right to your door. Find out more about our leads, training and other innovative dealer products and services by giving us a call at (888) 535-2277. Or just fill out our convenient contact form on our website.