Effective April 1, 2018, a license is required to wholesale vehicles that are under the jurisdiction of the VSA. The VSA can investigate complaints about persons licensed as wholesalers.
The list of wholesalers licensed by the VSA is available here.
If you have a complaint about a person acting as an unlicensed motor dealer, you can notify the VSA by completing and submitting the VSA Report a Curber form.
The VSA online public registry, shows licensed motor dealers.
The authority of the VSA to investigate complaints about wholesalers comes from the Motor Dealer Act and Wholesaler Licensing Regulation. The VSA can investigate complaints about violations of these laws. To find out more see the “The VSA’s Legislative Authority”.
The VSA may act on your complaint about a wholesaler if the following requirements are met:
By definition, a transaction with a wholesaler is a business transaction and the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act does not apply.
The VSA is not a court. There are limitations to what the VSA can investigate. Examples of what the VSA is not able to investigate are complaints about:
Q: Why can’t the VSA investigate my complaint if it does not have jurisdiction?
A: It is illegal for the Registrar to use their powers for purposes outside of their jurisdiction.
Q: Why is the wholesaler allowed so much time to respond?
A: A legal principal called “procedural fairness” requires that a person who is alleged to have done something wrong be allowed time to respond to those allegations. This includes time to gather documents to support a response.
Q: What other agencies may the VSA consult?
A: The VSA may speak with the Ministry of Transportation, ICBC, and the Ministry of Finance. We may also request documents from financial institutions, warranty providers and others. It depends on the nature of the complaint.
Q: Why can’t the VSA help me settle my contract dispute with a wholesaler?
A: The legislation is confined to transactions where the wholesaler failed to provide certain disclosures or sold a vehicle to a consumer in violation of their licence. Contract disputes require other dispute resolution methods, such as the court system.
Q: Can my file be reopened if I was notified that my file was closed as incomplete?
A: Yes. If a complaint application is incomplete, we will send a letter specifying the required missing documents. You have 30 days to send us those documents. If we do not hear from you within 30 days, your file will be closed. However, if you do obtain the documents after the due date, you can contact the VSA and request to reopen your file.
Please note that due to the limitation periods set by law, delays may affect the eligibility of your complaint. It is recommended that you act quickly and, if needed, speak to a lawyer about your rights. For more information, use the fact sheet “Where to Go for Help – Legal Advice”.
Note: This fact sheet provides general information and is not intended to be legal advice.