The Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia (VSA) is reminding consumers to be on the watch for curbers (people who pose as private sellers, but really sell vehicles for profit as a business). In this post, we are sharing the VSA’s information around why dealing with a curber can be risky and how to spot signs of curber behaviour.

It’s important to remember that many legitimate private vehicle sales transactions happen every day in British Columbia. Curbers are an issue because they pretend to be private sellers while knowingly conceal and/or misrepresent the history of the condition of the vehicle (putting your financial investment and safety at risk). Because curbers are not licensed vehicle dealers, consumers are not protected by BC’s vehicle sales laws in the event the sale goes bad.

Top signs of a curber:

The car seems too good to be true.

Even if the vehicle looks like it’s in great condition, do a free ICBC Vehicle Claims History search (to find out it’s registered as normal, rebuilt, salvage, altered or non-repairable), consider the benefits of a CarProof Verified BC report and get a full mechanical inspection. You may want to complete a provincial lien search, too.

You feel pressured to buy.

Curbers want to rush you into making the purchase and will often want to make the deal in cash. Remember that it’s OK to tell the seller you need more time to make a decision. (If you’re worried about getting pressured to buy, think about bringing a trusted friend with you for support.)

The details don’t check out.

Check to ensure all the vehicle documents match the details of the car. For example, does the name match the seller’s ID? Is the vehicle identification number (VIN) identical to the plate and decals on the car (and are they tamper-free)? Does the make, colour, model and licence plate number match up?

More information about curbers is available on the Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia (VSA) website. The VSA oversees the retail sales of personal use motor vehicles within BC by administering specific laws, licensing dealerships and salespeople, offering information and assistance, investigating consumer complaints and more. If you have a consumer question for the VSA, please contact them directly.


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