2012–13 Project Summaries: Automobile Consumer Coalition

1440 Bathurst Street, Suite 123
Toronto, ON M6G 2N2
Tel.: 416-651-0555

Classifieds Websites and Used Car Purchases in Canada: Would Government Regulation Better Protect Consumers?

According to the Automobile Consumer Coalition (ACC), the Internet has become one of the first places Canadians go to when purchasing a used car. While most transactions on websites are legitimate, online classifieds are also used by scammers. In addition, Canadians have to be mindful of "curbsiders" — illegal sellers who are in the business of selling cars while posing as private sellers. The rapidly increasing use of the Internet in Canadian used car purchases, combined with widespread online fraud, means that every year an untold number of Canadian consumers are at risk of being scammed.

Expected Results

This project can help to both better estimate the impact of this sort of fraud on the Canadian economy and shape the ways to best tackle the problem, through in-depth analysis of a variety of solutions. The final report will include: a comprehensive look at the impact of used car fraud as perpetrated via classifieds websites on Canadian consumers, industry stakeholders and governments; a set of recommendations for consumers, policy makers and other stakeholders at the federal and provincial levels.