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Motor vehicle repairs

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What if I just don’t pay the bill?

If you are unhappy with the repair shop, you may be tempted to refuse to pay the bill. But that is usually not a good idea.

If you do not pay the bill, the shop has the right to keep your vehicle, as long as they followed the rules about estimates and got your permission to do the work. After 60 days, they can even sell your vehicle.

A safer option is to apply to Small Claims Court to decide about your complaint. When you apply, you must pay the full amount of the bill to the Court. The repairer must then return the vehicle to you within three days. The Court will decide later how much the repairer will be paid and how much money you will get back.

To use this process, you cannot use the Court’s regular Claim form. Ask the Court staff for a “Form 2 under the Repair and Storage Liens Act”. Also ask them for the “Guide to Money Paid into Court” or look for it on the website below.

For more information about Small Claims Court, visit the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website or call them at:

Toll-free 1-800-518-7901

Toronto area 416-326-2220

TTY Toll-free 1-877-425-0575

TTY Toronto area 416-326-4012

Another option is to pay the bill to get your vehicle back right away, and then:

  • sue in Small Claims Court, using the Court’s regular Claim form, or
  • file a complaint with the Ministry of Consumer Services.