Without the consumer protection of buying from a licensed dealer, you will have to protect your interests.
Be sure you are not buying from a Curber. Click here for more information on how to spot a curber.
Here’s what you will need to check:
|Who is the seller?||Ask for identification to confirm the seller is using their real name and that it matches the name on the vehicle registration. Get their contact information.|
|Is the vehicle description accurate?||Check that the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN (definition available here) and decals on the car. Check that the vehicle|
make, model and colour are the same as on the vehicle registration
|What is the vehicle status?|
Use the free online service, available at this link to look up the status of a vehicle in BC Vehicle Registry.
Is it normal, rebuilt, salvage, altered or non-repairable
|Get proof of the vehicle history||Purchase a vehicle history report online from ICBC, CARFAX Canada or another provider. Review it carefully.|
|Is the vehicle stolen?||Use Canadian Police Information Centre, available at this link, a free service to run the vehicle license plate or VIN to see|
if it was a stolen vehicle. A CARFAX Canada report will have this information.
|Get a lien check||What is a lien – definition is available at this link. Check for unpaid liens. A CARFAX CANADA vehicle history report, available|
at this link offers a Canada-wide lien search. Liens registered in B.C. can be checked at the Personal Property Registry website, or at select Service BC office locations.
|Get repair and service records||Ask for the records from the owner. A true private seller will have these records and they will be in their name. A curber will not. A CARFAX Canada report may provide some service records.|
|Does the vehicle have an open recall?||What is an open recall – definition available at this link. You can use the website of the manufacturer or go to the Government of Canada general recall website CARFAX Canada reports also may have a Recall section. Many sellers will not even know about open recalls.|
|Mechanical condition||Get the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. Paying a small fee before you buy could save you many headaches and future costs.|
|Is the vehicle safe?||A Private Vehicle Inspection (PVI) checks that the vehicle meets minimum safety requirements. Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement (CVSE) has a list|
of facilities. A qualified mechanic will know, too.
|Purchase documents||Purchase and transfer documents should be completed correctly and truthfully. A curber may want you to lie. You can use our sample Sale/Purchase Agreement available here.|
|If you have a problem?||You will have to go through the courts. The Vehicle Sales Authority will not be able to assist you.|
If you have any questions, please contact VSA Consumer Services.
NOTE: This is to provide general information and is not intended to be legal advice.