Used car sale in Toronto leads to big bill for seller

An Ontario man who sold his used car earlier this year is warning other people about his situation after he received an unexpected letter in the mail months later saying he now owes $2,500.

Toronto man Denys Radulescu said he listed his used Mercedes online in January and received an offer from a person to purchase it.

“He came and said he needed the car fast because he was going Montreal,” Radulescu told CTV News Toronto. “He kept telling me ‘I have to go fast.'”

He said the buyer agreed to pay $2,500 in cash for the car. Radulescu said he took his licence plates off the vehicle, and swapped them with the buyer’s.

“Because of the fact he was rushing so much, I signed the ownership and I forgot to take the second part of it. When he left I realized how stupid I was that I didn’t take his name.”

Radulescu said he didn’t think much of the car again until he received a letter in the mail this week from a Mississauga towing company.

A used car sale led to Toronto man Denys Radulescu getting a $2,500 bill. (Supplied)

The letter, viewed by CTV News Toronto, says Radulescu owes $2,464.20 for the towing and storage of the car.

That’s when he realized the person who purchased his car never followed through on changing the ownership, and because of that, he is technically still the legal owner.

Radulescu said the car was found abandoned on the street. He said he has tried contacting the man who bought his car, but hasn’t received a response.

In Ontario, a person who buys a used car has six days to visit a Service Ontario location and register it under their name.

However, if the buyer fails to do this, the seller can be held responsible for any fines associated with the vehicle.

The towing company has told Radulescu he has 21 days to pay, or they will take over ownership of the vehicle and send the bill to collections.

The inside of the Mercedes, the used car that was for sale, is seen in this photo. (Supplied)

John Paul Cruz, with JP Towing Service and Storage in Toronto, previously told CTV News Toronto there are many people who buy old cars and don’t transfer the ownership.

JP Towing Service and Storage is not the company Radulescu is dealing with.

Cruz said when police direct his company to pick up the vehicles he has to contact the registered owners. Cruz said people should pay storage fees before they accumulate, and that consumers should know about this potential problem when selling a car.

“Their obligation is to go after the buyer (to pay the storage fees), and until the province does something this will continue, and it is sad,” Cruz said.

Cruz said the best way to protect yourself when selling a car is to go to the ministry with the buyer to ensure they transfer the ownership into their name.

Radulescu said he is he stuck in a difficult position because he doesn’t want collectors coming after him, but he also doesn’t want to pay the towing and storage bill.

He said ultimately it’s frustrating the government rules allow for a situation like this to happen.

“Something has to change,” he said. “It’s causing me a lot of stress.”

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Pat Foran

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