Since October 2016 is crime prevention month, the following FRAUD artists are worth mentioning long before they take your money. Curbers (a.k.a., curbsiders) are automotive sales businesses operating without the required provincial or state sales licence. One such curber was sentenced to Ontario Provincial Jail curber sentenced to 750 days in jail
Typically, curbers sell stolen, damaged, or odometer-tampered vehicles.
Consumers who buy these vehicles are often disappointed and find that when problems surface, the seller is gone and there is no recourse.
How do I know if I’m dealing with a curber?
· You find more than one vehicle listed with the same phone number, and the dealer licence number is not shown
· The seller says, “Which one?” when you call about the ad
· The seller doesn’t have the original registration form
· The name on the registration is not their name, so they’ll say they are selling the vehicle for a friend or family member
· The vehicle year, make, model, body style or colour don’t match the description on the vehicle’s registration form
· The vehicle doesn’t match the description given when the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is decoded
· Curbers usually insist on meeting at a parking lot or mall, or bringing the vehicle to you, never at their home
· The seller insists on cash and says they’re in a rush to make a sale
Spot a curber:
· Curbers may appear to be selling from a legitimate looking business or may pose as an individual selling their vehicle through a private sale.
· Curbers are often anxious to make a sale.
· You might find their phone number used on multiple ads for different vehicles—legitimate private sellers usually only have one vehicle for sale.
· If you think you might be dealing with a curber, a quick search on Provincial or State. can tell you if you are doing business with a registered salesperson or licensed business. If you cannot find who you are dealing with, you can call PROVINCIAL OR STATE to be certain.
Private sales vs. curber:
Individuals in Provincial or State Agency can sell their own private vehicles as they wish. The problem arises when someone is making a business out of it. Even if it is just one car purchased to flip, in other words reselling it to someone else, that seller would be required to have a salesperson registration and a retail sales licence from PROVINCIAL OR STATE– Provincial or State Agency’s automotive regulator.
Help us protect you:
· Make sure the seller is the registered owner of the vehicle.
· Purchase a vehicle history report.
· Insist on an independent inspection.
· Never give the seller personal or banking information.
· Use a proper bill of sale.
· Be prepared to walk away – there will be other vehicles.
Why does it matter?
· PROVINCIAL OR STATE-licensed businesses have clear guidelines for the advertisement and sale of vehicles that protect consumers.
· All PROVINCIAL OR STATE-registered salespeople must have completed a course on the laws and regulations they are required to follow. Plus, a consumer who buys a car from a licensed business will have additional protections, potentially including access to PROVINCIAL OR STATE’s compensation fund.
How well do you know automotive advertising laws?
1. Automotive advertising laws apply to all ads posted on social media.
· True: Ads on social media and online must comply with all advertising laws.
· False: Only ads posted to Facebook must comply with all advertising laws.
2. Does a businesses’ social media account name need to match with the name on its PROVINCIAL OR STATE AGENCY licence?
· a. The name of the social media account is not required to be an exact match so long as the name or trade name of the business operator as set out in the licence is indicated in a conspicuous manner on the social media account page.
· b. The name of the social media account must be an exact match.
· c. Automotive businesses cannot advertise on social media.
3. Does an ad on social media for a specific vehicle need to include the stock number?
· a. The Automotive Business Regulation does not apply to ads on social media.
· b. Yes, the ad must include the stock number.
· c. No, the stock number is not required.
4. Can the vehicle price be excluded from an ad on social media?
· a. It is the supplier’s choice whether or not to display the price. However, if credit is offered, you must include the price.
· b. The price must always be included.
· c. It is the supplier’s choice whether or not to display the price regardless if credit is offered or not.
5. Can I hold a contest through social media?
· a. No, all contests must be held through the licensee’s website or in person.
· b. Yes, but a supplier must be transparent with the terms and conditions of the contest and not mislead or deceive the consumer on contest rules, eligibility and prizes.
· c. Yes, but as long as the prize is not a cash prize, the terms and conditions do not have to be fully disclosed.
6. Can a salesperson advertise vehicles on behalf of a licensed business on his or her personal social media account?
· a. Yes, but the vehicles being advertised must be for sale through an automotive business licensed for retail sales and the ad must comply with all advertising laws.
· b. Yes, but the advertisement must clearly indicate in a conspicuous manner the name of business and that the business is PROVINCIAL OR STATE AGENCY-licenced.
· c. Yes, but the individual must be a registered salesperson that is authorized to act on behalf of the licensed automotive business.
· d. All of the above.
When a registered automotive salesperson buys a vehicle, or accepts one on trade, the salesperson should exercise due diligence – which means taking reasonable steps to determine the vehicle’s prior history.
You should ask the previous owner about the vehicle’s history and also conduct your own research.
The following will help you determine a vehicle’s history:
· Purchasing a vehicle history report.
· Requesting a Vehicle Information Report through an Provincial or State Agency Registry Agent.
· Determining if the vehicle was ever given a salvage status.
· Confirming if there are any liens on the vehicle.
· Confirming the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
· Validating the odometer reading and length of ownership.
· Determining if the vehicle was ever registered out of province or United State.
· Conducting a mechanical fitness assessment. Ascertain the vehicle’s accident and repair history, and
· Determining if the vehicle was used as, for example, a taxi, emergency services vehicle, or a rental.
There are different types of vehicle history reports that provide varying information. Depending on the vehicle history report provider and the available vehicle history, you may be able to determine the number of previous owners, accident history, service records, vehicle use, odometer reading and various other vehicle histories.
These reports are very useful, both when purchasing and selling vehicles.
Does a mechanical fitness assessment expire?
A mechanical fitness assessment is valid for 120 days after the date it was issued. Once it has expired a new assessment must be completed prior to entering into a sales contract.
I have an old vehicle that I want to get rid of. Can I sell it “as is”?
There is no provision for a licensed business to sell a vehicle to the public “as is”.
Can I still sell a vehicle to a consumer if a vehicle does not fully comply with all items listed on the mechanical fitness assessment form?
The vehicle can still be sold, but the seller must fully disclose to the buyer that the vehicle does not comply with the Vehicle Equipment Regulation. The seller must also provide the buyer with a description of the items that are missing or do not comply.
Do I have to provide an inspection at the conclusion of a lease if the vehicle stays with the same person?
No, as long as the individual that has been leasing the vehicle remains the same, there is no need to provide a mechanical fitness assessment.
How do you define Comply or Non-Compliant?
The standards to be utilized when conducting a vehicle mechanical fitness assessment is to use the original equipment manufacturers specified wear limits for compliance.
If I have completed an out of province or state inspection do I also need to provide a mechanical fitness assessment?
Yes. Both the mechanical fitness assessment and the out of province vehicle inspection certificate must be completed. The legislated use of each of these documents is significantly different.
Do auctions have to provide buyers with a mechanical fitness assessment?
Only auctions can sell vehicles without a mechanical fitness assessment.