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Tips for buying your vehicle

It’s important to protect yourself when buying a vehicle. You should check the history of the vehicle with a VIN search or by using a vehicle check service, and have the vehicle inspected by a trusted and certified automotive technician.

Check out these tips for buying a vehicle from Manitoba's Consumer Protection Office.

Watch out for flood damage

Flood-damaged vehicles – from Manitoba or that have been brought into Manitoba from across North America – can be dangerous, as water can enter the electronic components, causing corrosion and malfunctioning of important safety features such as airbags. It can also leave behind mould and other toxins.

To identify a flood-damaged vehicle:

  • Check for damp or musty odours.
  • Check for any signs of rust or mud in the trunk, glove box and beneath the seats.
  • Check under the hood and look for a water line marked by mud or silt.

Be in the CLEAR

The Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system was developed by the Insurance Bureau of Canada's Vehicle Information Centre. This centre collects Canada-wide information about vehicles involved in accidents and the costs of the resulting claims.

CLEAR compares claim costs for different vehicles and can help you decide which vehicle is right for you. Their How Cars Measure Up publication outlines the safety features and anti-theft devices on recent model year vehicles, along with the claims experience of the most popular vehicle models on the market. This information can help you make the right call when it comes to purchasing your next vehicle.

Check recalls

It’s possible the vehicle you are considering may have an open safety recall issued by the vehicle manufacturer. You can search for open vehicle recalls by make, model and model year and learn more about vehicle recalls in general on Transport Canada’s website.

Confirm an import’s eligibility

If you are importing a vehicle from outside Canada, it’s important to check with Canada's Registrar of Imported Vehicles to ensure the vehicle is eligible for importation into Canada. Here’s more information on importing a vehicle.