How can a buyer know whether the car for sale was a Uber ride previously?

Ride Hailing

Does a buyer hold rights to know whether the vehicle offered for purchase was formerly a ride sharing vehicle attached with any app based company like Uber? The vehicles attached under ride sharing company do not stand to inform the buyers that the car has been used as a taxi by thousands of people. However cars from other rental services, taxi companies and police services has to inform the same to the buyer when they are planning to sell it. Companies like Uber has regulations that is in favor of the driver partners where in they don’t have to tell the dealer or the buyer that they have attached the cab with them. “Uber drivers are under no legal compulsion to volunteer that information when trading in their car,” Warren Barnard, executive director of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario (UCDA) said in an e-mail press release.Sometimes it looks un-ethical to not to disclose the information to the buyer, but as there is no rules stating so, not many drivers would be sharing the information even when asked for. Few countries have a list of disclosures to be made by the dealer or owner while selling their used cars which doesn’t include Uber so far.

Under the act, Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealer’s Act (MVDA), dealers have to tell the buyer in the contract that if the car was used as a taxi, police or emergency vehicle or as a daily rental.

“The Uber service is an example of the emerging sharing economy and is not specifically covered in the current motor vehicle sales regulatory framework,” said Harry Malhi, a ministry of government and consumer services spokesman. He also adds that a dealer is also obligated to disclose any facts that could be expected to influence the decision of a reasonable buyer but not this. But a private sale doesn’t need any disclosure like that of the registered auto dealers has to do. “From a vehicle registration perspective, car owners do not have to disclose that their vehicle was used for carpooling, ride-sourcing, rental, taxi or police services at the time of sale,” said Ontario ministry of transportation (MTO) spokesman Bob Nichols in an e-mail.

Vehicle Record Package

Sellers have to also always give the buyer a Used Vehicle Information Package who’s content varies from each country to country. In Ontario the package contains the car’s owner name which may give the buyer an idea on how it was used but not necessarily whether the vehicle was used for taxi, Uber, rental or police services. In Canada it is the same set of rules and regulations being followed. But in Quebec the record would tell the buyer whether the vehicle was a taxi or not, atleast. Like it happens for other taxi companies the Uber vehicles also bring down the market value of the car as well the condition of the vehicle is also brought down and so the consumer’s exposure to a claim in damages would be theoretical for now. In near future there might be a regulation where the owner has to disclose the ride sharing service to the dealer and buyer.

When Uber was contacted about the same there was no response. But Ontario’s consumer services ministry when questioned whether there is any plan to add Uber to the list of disclosures we received an answer stating that they are continually monitoring the vehicle sales sector and assess emerging issues which will be considered the next time the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and Regulations are revised.

The same problem is there for the vehicles being used for personnel as well as commercial purposes like delivering retail products etc, which is also a service being offered by the company Uber itself in some parts of the world. As of now, there is no way to prove whether the car being sold was used for commercial purposes or not, unless until the owner himself comes forward and gives the confession. But in real how many drivers would be ready to admit that they have delivered hundreds of products or thousands of people have travelled along in the back seat and depreciate their car value themselves which in turn might affect the resale value.

Other problems across other countries

The Philadelphia Parking Authority has started to treat UberX and Lyft as illegal car services, according to a statement from the agency released recently. “The PPA is providing 48 hour notice that it will resume enforcement against illegal TNC [transportation network company] service in Philadelphia,” a statement from Corinne O’Connor, the PPA’s deputy executive director, stated.

The move comes four days after the General Assembly’s temporary authorization of ride-sharing companies expired stating that the market has changed drastically and hence the taxicab under such companies has to be regulated in a revised manner. The taxicab industry, meanwhile, hailed relaxed regulations as a needed step to create parity between the traditional industry and the high-tech newcomers. When many countries have failed to support the protest of the traditional cab drivers, Philadelphia has done something favor of their own cab drivers, giving some sort of relief to the drivers. Both Uber and Lyft, the major ride-hailing app companies operating in the city, said the announcement highlighted the need for guidance from the state legislature. Uber stated it would continue providing service in the city despite the PPA’s decision.

The PPA statement did not say how the authority is planning to enforce restrictions against ride-hailing app businesses. Ride-hailing apps operate legally throughout the rest of Pennsylvania under a separate authorization from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission that again expires at the end of the year after which similar problem may arise for the company everywhere.

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