What are the protections of buying from a licensed dealer?
  • Licensed dealers must sell vehicles in a clear and transparent manner
  • Dealers must stand behind the representations they make about a vehicle
  • Dealers must not withhold or provide information that would cause you to make an error in judgment about whether or not to buy the vehicle
  • Dealers must meet strict standards, including certain declarations and disclosures
  • Dealers contribute to a customer compensation fund for eligible claims
What are the benefits of buying from a licensed dealer?
  • Dealers often have financing available
  • Dealers often offer a range of warranties
  • Many dealers have service departments
  • Dealers make an investment in their staff, operations, reputation and community
  • There is a tax advantage if you use your vehicle as a trade-in at a dealer
  • The Vehicle Sales Authority can assist you only if you buy from a licensed dealer
What strict standards must dealers follow?
  • Dealers must declare if a vehicle has been registered out of province
  • Dealers must declare if a vehicle was used as a lease, rental, taxi or emergency vehicle
  • Dealers must declare prior damage over certain limits
  • Dealers must guarantee that their vehicles are free of liens
  • Dealers must comply with strict standards when leasing a vehicle
  • Dealers must offer used vehicles that meet minimum safety requirements, or
  • Dealers must declare vehicles as Not Suitable for Transportation and be towed from the dealership
What should I disclose as a buyer?

You should be very clear about your preferences and requirements.  By doing so, you are indicating what is material to you as a buyer.  The dealer is then required to disclose anything that would be material to your decision to purchase the vehicle.  This could include such things as:

  • Whether the vehicle was declared as salvage and rebuilt
  • Whether the vehicle was stolen and recovered
  • If the vehicle sustained damage under $2,000
  • The actual amount and type of any damage over $2,000
What should I do before I buy or lease?
What can I do if I bought from a licensed dealer and I have a problem?
  1. Try to resolve your problem with a Sales Manager, General Manager or Dealer Principal
  2. If you cannot resolve your problem or if you believe the salesperson or dealership has acted illegally, file a VSA Consumer Complaint Form 1628 kB
What if I bought from an unlicensed dealer or curber?

If you have information about a person you believe is operating as an unlicensed motor dealer, you can report them using the Report an Unregistered Motor Dealer “Curber” Form 241 kB . You may make the report anonymously. If you have purchased from an unlicensed dealer, the VSA has very limited authority to assist you. Use the VSA public search to confirm the dealer is not licensed.

What if I bought from a dealer that is out of business and I have a problem?

Compensation is available from the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund for specific financial losses due to the purchase, lease or consignment sale of a motor vehicle from a licensed BC motor dealer that is no longer in business. Some losses not resolved through the complaint process with an operating dealership may also be eligible.

What conditions must be met for the VSA to investigate?
  • The dealer must have been a licensed dealer at the time of the transaction
  • The vehicle must have been purchased for personal use
  • You must provide sufficient grounds to investigate
  • Allegations against the dealer must be within the VSA’s authority to investigate
  • You must read and agree to the terms of service
  • If the motor dealer is no longer in business, consider filing a claim for compensation from the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund
What will happen if the VSA cannot act on my complaint?
  • You may be referred to another agency if the VSA does not have jurisdiction
  • The VSA cannot act as your lawyer or provide legal advice
What is the role of the VSA when investigating and reviewing a complaint?
  • The VSA gathers and reviews evidence to determine if there has been a breach of the legislation administered by the VSA
  • The VSA must act in an impartial manner as required by the legal principle of procedural fairness
  • The VSA is not an advocate for a consumer, a dealer or a salesperson
What are the steps in the complaint process?
  • Complaint review will begin only when a fully completed VSA Consumer Complaint Form 1628 kB and the required supporting documents are received at the VSA
  • Once complete, your complaint will be reviewed to see if the VSA has jurisdiction and grounds to investigate
  • If your complaint qualifies, it will be sent to the dealer for their response and you will be notified that a complaint investigation has started
  • The dealer will be given 10 business days to provide the VSA a response to your complaint. If a dealer response is received by the VSA, it will be shared with you.
  • The length of the investigation will vary based on how complex it is and VSA staff resources
  • During the investigation, the VSA will contact you as needed
  • The VSA will notify you in writing about the outcome of your complaint and your options if you disagree with the results of the investigation.

Terms of service

What am I agreeing to by sending in a signed VSA Consumer Complaint Form?
  • The release of your information for investigative and statistical purposes
  • That the information is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge
  • That you may need to provide more information, provide sworn testimony or attend a hearing in order to resolve your complaint
  • The information you provide may form a part of a formal decision of the Registrar and be posted on the VSA website

The information that you provide is collected in accordance with the VSA Privacy Policy 633 kB .

Why is my private information being collected?
  • Your information is needed for your complaint to be evaluated and investigated
  • Your information is needed for administrative action to be taken
  • Your information and statements may be shared with the dealership
  • Complaints that result in a Decision of the Registrar or a Compliance Undertaking will be published on this website
  • The VSA Privacy Policy guides the collection and use of your private information
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