A curber is someone who pretends to be selling a vehicle privately, but is in the business of selling vehicles without a licence. Since they are not licensed, a buyer gets none of the legal protections that come with buying from a motor dealer licensed by the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (VSA).
A curber may not be reporting their income to the Canadian Revenue Agency or be paying provincial taxes. They may be breaking local bylaws with their unlicensed sales activity. They may expose the buyer to legal liability by underreporting the price paid.
To find out if the VSA can help you, use the VSA public search available at this link – https://publicregistry.mvsabc.com – to see if your seller is indeed a curber, or is licensed to participate in consumer transactions.
Scenario one: If you find out that your seller is licensed for consumer transactions as a dealer, a salesperson or broker agent, use a Consumer Complaint Form available at this link to start formal dispute resolution of your problem.
Scenario two: If the person or business you purchased from is not showing as a dealer, salesperson or broker agent in the search results, it means they are not licensed for consumer transactions. Unfortunately, unless the curber is affiliated with a licensed dealer in some way, the VSA will not be able to help you to resolve your dispute with the curber.
However, we request that you complete the Report a Curber Form available at this link to notify the VSA of unlicensed activities by your seller. That information will help the VSA in our investigative and licensing actions and will help protect future buyers.
The maximum penalties are $100,000 for a business and $50,000 for an individual.
A motor dealer is anyone in the business of:
(a) selling motor vehicles;
(b) offering vehicles for sale;
(c) advertising, promoting or soliciting vehicles for sale
Selling a personal vehicle driven for a reasonable length of time by the seller is not being in business.
A person buying even one vehicle for resale or selling a vehicle for another is acting as a motor dealer. A licence is required.
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.