The temptation of purchasing a new vehicle can be overwhelming: that sweet new car scent (sans the blue pine tree hanging from your rearview mirror), that soft click of a keyless entry system and that pristine, crumb-free interior. But before you sign off on a new ride, we want to offer up some “did-you-knows” with regard to purchasing a new vehicle.
Did you know #1: once you sign, there’s no return guarantee.
Consumers often believe there’s a grace period after purchasing a car, allowing the buyer to return the vehicle if they’re not fully satisfied. Unfortunately, this is most often not the case and there is no law stating a consumer’s right to return a vehicle (although individual dealerships may have a return policy – be sure to ask). For more information, check out this blog post about vehicle returns from the Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia (VSA).
Did you know #2: elements of buying a car are regulated in BC.
The Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA) is an independent, non-profit regulatory agency that oversees the retail sales of personal-use motor vehicles in British Columbia. This provincial regulator has the authority to administer and enforce the Motor Dealer Act, portions of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and related regulations. The VSA also offers consumer assistance, dispute resolution and has a number of tips for consumers on their website.
Did you know #3: there’s a Canadian program designed to resolve disputes regarding manufacturing defects and warranty application/administration.
Called the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP), this cross-Canada program is designed to resolve disputes (through binding arbitration) with a manufacturer about defects in your vehicle’s assembly or materials, or with regard to how the manufacturer is applying or administering its new vehicle warranty. CAMVAP covers some domestic and imported passenger cars, light trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans and multi-purpose passenger vehicles purchased or leased in Canada, as long as the vehicle is the current model or one of four previous model years. Please note that FCA Canada Ltd. (Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM trucks) does not participate in CAMVAP’s program, therefore claims for FCA will not be accepted.
Did you know #4: if you’ve suffered a financial loss due to a motor dealership going out of business or failing to meet legal obligations, you may be eligible for compensation.
There’s a fund, called the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund, that provides compensation (to a maximum of $20,000) to consumers who’ve lost money because a motor dealer has either gone out of business or has failed to meet certain legal obligations. The Motor Dealer Act and Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund Regulation control how the fund operates, what losses are eligible for compensation and how compensation decisions are made. While the length of the claim process will vary based on the complexity of the claim, it typically takes between three to six months (in some cases, it can take longer.)
I hope this information was helpful!
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i just purchased a new 2014 ford hybrid c-max. And now it just hit e i payed to much . Do i have any chance to return it it was a very hot day and i was not thinking right .
Hi David — I would give the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of BC a call, as they are responsible for the regulation and licensing of car dealerships in BC. Here is a link to their website: http://www.mvsabc.com/contact-us All the best to you.
Hi Greg — This topic falls under the authority of the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of BC. Here is some information from their website about your leasing rights and the cooling off period (if you need more information, please contact the MVSA directly): http://mvsabc.com/glossary/cooling-off-period/ I hope that helps!
What is the “Cooling Off Period” regarding the recission of a vehicle lease or purchase here in BC?
Hi Deborah, thank you for your question. Consumer Protection BC doesn’t oversee the vehicle industry but you can certainly ask Vehicle Sales Authority about this (their contact information is here – http://mvsabc.com/contact-us/).
You may also want to contact the CAMVAP (Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan) as they provide a program that you can use to resolve disputes with a manufacturer about defects in your vehicle’s assembly or materials, or how the manufacturer is applying or administering its new vehicle warranty. Here is their website – http://www.camvap.ca/
I hope one of these organizations can point you in the right direction!
Hi Melaina: I signed a contract for a brand new car on Saturday. When I went to pick it up there was a problem in the gas tank and that it would need to be replaced but was not a safety factor. I didn’t feel it was right that I should have to take a faulty car and asked them to get me another one. Am I within my rights or have I none? I never test drove this specific vehicle and I didn’t take it off the lot. Thx.
can not find right answer here..always sending u another link
Hi Paula, the reason why we send people to another link (the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC) is because we don’t regulate the vehicle industry. If you have a question that you can’t find an answer for, we would suggest that you contact the VSA as they are the regulator of the industry. The common question we get is about returning a car. The VSA has a PDF fact sheet about this topic.
I got cheated by a large dealership, They told me in order to do the credit check i would have to hand over $750 that would be returned to me if I wasn’t accepted for 5% interest- but they would keep the money if I was accepted but changed my mind…. I was called to say it was accepted- when I went to sign they made me wait in the waiting room a long time- brought me in when I was late for picking up kids from school… Signed papers quickly did not read fine print. They delivered the car to my place that day… Warning lights in car, terrible smell from vents … All levels low… Car dirty….They brought the car but kept all the paperwork. I asked for papers and got the run around. Next morning I took it back – found out it was 29% interest! (I had agreed to 5% But they had the signed paperwork proving it) They wouldn’t take the car back…. Now I’m.paying almost $1000 a month on a 6 yr old vehicle with problems (I told them my budget was $500 max), and I’m.a single parent on disability. Charged me $33k for the car – I’m.in debt forever. Worst part is I don’t have any vehicle papers to this day – 🙁
Are there lawyers for such circumstances?
Hi Natalia, thanks for reaching out to us here. You may be interested in reaching out to folks at the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC to explain your situation. While I’m not sure if this is something they would have direct authority over, they are the organization responsible for overseeing vehicle dealerships in the province. You ask about lawyers for these circumstances, you may be interested in checking out this website here from the Canadian Bar Association – they offer a few different options for those who seek legal advice in BC: https://www.cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Legal-Aid-Resources/Legal-Aid. I hope this is helpful to you and best of luck!
I purchase a brand-new boat in late June 2020 from a company in Montreal
The boat was transported to Kelowna and arrived at my house with a cover on it. When I removed the cover straight away, I noticed that the cover had damaged the boat during transport from the vibration and wind during the haul. The boat had some deep gouges and both light and heavy scratched all around the bottom of the boat where the cover was attached. I notified the seller about this; their solution was to have the boat polished to remove the scratches. I explained to them that I have experience polishing boats and that I felt many gouges were too deep to polish out. they told me to have a professional look at it.
The second and biggest issue I faced was the performance of the boat. Before purchasing the boat, I explained that the boat would be used as a tour boat for my business on Lake Okanagan and that would be required to operate for at least 8 hours per day. As it is an electric boat this was very important to me because you can’t just fill an electric boat up with fuel and keep running, it needs to recharge which is an overnight process. For the boat to operate as a viable business the battery would need to last at least 8 hours per day before the need to recharge. Its advertised and I was told that this boat maximum speed was 11 km and that it was capable of doing 10 Km’s per hour for 8 hours without recharging.
On the very first trip, I drove from the El Dorado hotel to downtown Kelowna which is about 5 km by water. The maximum speed I could achieve in perfect condition with a tailwind was 7.8 Km’s per hour and after on 45 minutes of travel, I had gone through half of the battery life. I found out very quickly that the boat did not travel anywhere near the speed I was told it would and even worst that the battery life while trying to achieve this any speed close to what was expected was only going to last an hour and a half, not 8 hours like I was told.
I have communicated my problems with the sellers and over the past 8 weeks I have been trying to work with them to fix the problem as they insist that the product they sold me can perform to the specs I was told when it was sold to me but honestly, there is just no possible way it can do what they say it can. Not only that but the engine just keeps breaking down repeatedly, and I must wait until after 7 pm to call the manufacturer in China to troubleshoot the problem and try to get the engine operational again.
I was sold a product that showed up damaged, and the worst part is I was sold something that does not perform anywhere near what I was told it would do. I cannot operate a viable business with this product, and I would like to be refunded.
I feel like I have been ripped off and the seller’s won’t even answer my phone calls.
Hi Luke, sounds like you’ve had a very frustrating situation. Since this is a business to business transaction, Consumer Protection BC is not able to help. I’m not sure if you are aware of Small Business BC but they may be able to suggest some resources for you. When I did a quick search, I found an article on their website – why hire a lawyer for your small business and at the end of the article, it suggests that Small Business BC has a resident expert. You may want to contact them and find out what your next step should be. Here is the link to the article. You can also contact Small Business BC here.