FACTS ABOUT THE ONLINE AUTOMOTIVE APPRAISAL SERVICE WE PROVIDE (MARCH 27, 2020)
We have been in the car business since 2006, buying and selling used motor vehicles and completing automotive appraisals for Insurance companies (Classic cars, hotrods, exotics, customs, trailers, Insurance disputes etc) and ServiceOntario. We also own and operate a local autobody repair shop in Peel region who deals with insurance claims and dozens of vehicles every month. We are experts in the automotive field and our years of experience dealing with motor vehicles have honed our skills in determining real world vehicle values.
Every single pre-owned car bought and sold, is unique in its own way. Almost every car that exchanges hands has some form of existing issues, whether it has to do with the accident history, interior, exterior or mechanical condition. A ServiceOntario appraisal is a single page document to determine an opinionated and estimated value quickly. This value is almost always determined without any mechanical inspections, test drives or extensive investigations. Whether the vehicle is viewed in person or an online appraisal is created, no extensive inspections or history reports are used to determine this value. A physical inspection insists of a quick visual and mainly a conversation with the seller and/ or buyer to determine what value was paid and the issues with the vehicle to assess the value. Other times, online ads or auction post sales are used to determine values. Documents such as accident reports, pictures and receipts are requested when necessary as a lot of buyers repair their vehicle before learning they need an appraisal, making physical inspections useless. We have access to a plethora of information at our office to determine values as compared to on the field. These are the main methods employed to determine a value. We can easily determine all of this information today in a matter of minutes through our online appraisal application form, without being physically present to speak to the buyer or seller.
We are able to offer Online service for a variety of other reasons:
One of the main reasons we started offering online appraisals is due to the fact that in person appraisals require a team of drivers who are able to drive all over Ontario, wasting fuel and polluting the environment. There is a lot of wear and tear on the vehicles and fatigue on the drivers as well as a huge expense to offer a service that starts at $40.00. To continue with this method, would mean each appraisal would have to cost the consumer well over $120-$200 to cover expenses and driver cost depending on location. We get around 5 to 15+ requests a day from all over the province to help consumers determine the value for their appraisals. Almost all of these calls are sameday service calls, each taking up to an hour to reach or more, then more time to evaluate and write up the report. Can you imagine how much driving this would be? The less cars on the road the better we think!
Second reason we offer this service is because a lot of our clients are in remote areas. A lot of these vehicles are immobile and without online appraisals, we would have to send someone hours away at an excessive cost to determine value of a project vehicle not worth more than a couple of hundred dollars. To prevent this, in the past we would get the information from these clients over the phone and mail out the appraisal to their remote location. This method was very inefficient and sometimes the mail wouldn’t even get to the clients because of getting lost in the mail system. There had to be an easier way, so we formed our online service which allows us to email the appraisal reports. Fast, accurate and convenient.
Thirdly, we are at the forefront of technology. We have access to all major automotive auctions in North America. We have access to online price guides through memberships via Hagerty, Adesa, Manheim, Copart, Impact Auto, Stark auto just to name a few. We can reference any vehicle with a close comparable that sold at recent auctions to determine vehicle value right from our offices. In our opinion, the values listed in the ServiceOntario Used Vehicle Information Package don’t accurately take accident history, mileage, actual physical condition into account. A vehicle that has been bought and sold over 8 times and HST collected on the UVIP value each and every transfer means that the government makes more from the tax then the vehicle is worth in those years! These values should depreciate significantly, every time a vehicle changes hand.
Lastly, to add to our reasoning, there are changes being proposed by the government. As of April 2019, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is working on removing barriers to digital service delivery by updating 15 pieces of legislation - and five regulations - that currently require paper-based processes or formats. They have determined that this will help reduce time waiting for government notices and decisions, reduce red tape and administrative burden on businesses and improve customer service experience with government. We are almost 1 year into this notice, and nothing new has been proposed after this notice.
This is directly quoted from the Ministry Website:
The digital plan also includes improving the government's digital platforms to make high-volume services that are already available online easier to use and putting more services available online. The government is starting with enhancing ServiceOntario's top 10 transactions. This will shift approximately 10 million in-person transactions to digital channels, saving up to $33.5 million over the next five years.
The top 10 transactions include:
Licence plate sticker
Driver's licence renewal
Health card renewal
Health card address change
Driver and vehicle address change
Used vehicle info
Transfer vehicle ownership
Vehicle permit replacement (address change, lost/stolen, damaged)
These changes will ensure Ontarians who interact with these services on an annual, semi-annual, or even infrequent basis can do so quickly, error free, and with ease. Online transactions will be designed in accordance with the new Digital Service Standard and will create a consistent experience for people using the services across multiple platforms.
In conclusion, online methods of delivery are the way of today and the future and should be adapted immediately. With COVID-19 a real threat at the moment, we need updated legislation and red tape removed so we can continue to offer convenient, timely, healthy and environmentally conscious service to our clients for years to come. In the mean time, please purchase your online appraisals with confidence. Our appraisals are accepted at 90% of all ServiceOntario locations Ontario wide.
Additional information from the Ministry website:
Highway Traffic Act, O. Reg. 340/94 - Ministry of Transportation
This regulation will be updated to describe a driver's licence as a digital or physical document. It will remove the requirement for an ink signature to allow for greater digital delivery of driver's licence and photo card products and services. This will provide convenience for the customer and efficiencies in government.
Highway Traffic Act, O. Reg 628 - Ministry of Transportation
Amendments to this regulation that remove mention of physical documents will enable the development of digital products and services.