One local Ontario man learned about the risks of selling your car privately the hard way. John Pettit sold his car over popular Internet site Kijiji in 2008. He thought nothing more of it, until he received a letter a few years later, ordering him to “pay $798 in towing and storage charges or face court proceedings”.
Did you know that private car sellers can be held responsible for paying bills related to their vehicle, if the ownership isn’t transferred properly? Five years later, Pettitt was still registered as the owner of his old car—despite the fact that he hadn’t seen it since selling it.
For whatever reason, the buyer of Pettitt’s car had never registered the new vehicle with the Ontario ministry of transport. Although Pettitt complied with the letter of the law when selling his car, the other man hadn’t done the same. With no way of finding him, Pettitt was left on the hook for the towing fees.
So when you’re selling a vehicle online, it’s a good idea to go down to your local ServiceOntario office in Guelph, Elora, Fergus or Shelburne with the buyer. Even requesting a “report of sale” will not protect you until the ownership is actually transferred. Make sure you cover yourself in these situations.
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