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.
Can I return a new car?
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9 thoughts on “Can you spot a shady used car deal?”
Our neighbor curbed motorhomes. It went on for years and everyone in the neighborhood was aware. The city did nothing re our complaints and therein lies the problem. Even though bylaws are there to prevent curbing, the city must be willing to enforce them!
Hi Jim — Great question. If it’s a licensed dealer, you may want to reach out the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC as they look after the laws that speak to car dealerships. Here’s a link to their website: http://mvsabc.com/ I hope that helps!
I buy a vw beetle one day ago have a transmission problem can I returner to the dealer is a use car 2007
Hi Jorge, it’s our understanding that the dealer is not obliged to give you a refund but if you would like more information, please visit the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC’s website or contact them. Here’s the link to their website – https://mvsabc.com/
What happens if a dealer sells you a car as an AWD (All Wheel Drive); the car has the AWD badge on the back but the car is not AWD??
How do I get out of a contract for financing a car if the price is unfair? In total I would be paying $435 a month for 36 months but the car is only priced $4488-$5981.
Thank you for your question! If you bought your car from a licensed dealership in BC, you may want to reach out to the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC as they oversee car dealerships in the province. Here’s a link to their website: http://mvsabc.com/ I hope that helps!
I purchased a used car they showed me the vehicle history, and service history on the vehicle. They sold it to me and even on my sales agreement it states it is suitable and meets BC safety standards to be used as a motor vehicle.
However upon driving it home had some issues it was too late to call them, called the next day and left a msg it was purchased at 6pm Saturday and call was made Sun, and again on Mon, and Tues. I told him I had to tow it to a mechanic, It is a Volvo and the mechanic told me I would need to take it to a licensed mechanic for import cars, that was on the Tues within 3 days of getting the vehicle, I then had to take it to Summerland on Thursday and Friday was told It would be 4500 to 5000 to fix it and it was not road worthy and could not be taken out of the garage unless towed. At first the dealer told me thats to bad it sucks, then changed his tune when he found out how much it needed apologized and told me to give him the addy, and he would deal with it and take the vehicle back and put me in another one. I have no trust for this dealer, It is now Sat and I have not divulged where the vehicle is. They sold me this vehicle, and I am sure if it had under the 2000.00 that they are not by law required to tell the buyer about they would have said
too bad as he did at first. I would like my money back , My Sales agreement clearly states it was up to Road Safety Standards and it was not, as well, I thought with Covid a car needed to be clean and sanitized before sale this was also not done and we all wore masks and gloves taking it from Kelowna to Oliver BC, until I had it detailed so the mechanics could look at it.
Hi Shaylene, thanks for detailing the situation. To clarify, are you looking for assistance on how best to proceed or just sharing your experience? Please let me know if you have a question for us. Thanks!