Alberta and southeast B.C. flooding will have made many vehicles unsuitable for the road. Vehicles with a documented history of flood damage, such as those written off by insurers, are not eligible for importation into B.C. for highway use. Also, B.C. registered vehicles with flood damage will get a non-repairable (or D) status. This means they can be sold only for parts or scrap, not for transportation.
In addition to these Canadian vehicles, it's been reported that U.S. vehicles damaged by Hurricane Sandy are now in Washington State, so be careful. Flood damaged vehicles may be offered for sale in B.C. Although licensed dealerships are prohibited from selling flood damaged vehicles without full disclosure of their condition, consumers should learn to protect themselves. Using free online tools, consumers can check the status of a vehicle and if the vehicle is from a flood affected area. Getting a complete vehicle history report is highly recommended.
Watch a video on spotting flood damage
Check a vehicle's status (B.C. vehicles only)
Look for vehicles from flood areas (Out of province and U.S. vehicles)
When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the transaction doesn’t end there.
Once you have negotiated and agreed upon a price with the salesperson, you will then be brought to the business office, where you will be offered with a variety of ‘products’ related to the vehicle. This is often a confusing process, because the average consumer may be too unfamiliar with these products to know whether they should or should not opt to purchase them.
An example of a product that will be presented to you in the business office is an extended warranty.
This is worthy of careful consideration! Due to the potential for overlapping coverage, and the reduction in coverage that usually comes with an extended warranty, it is important that you are clear in your understanding of this agreement.
The need for an extended warranty varies on every sale, based on the age and condition of the vehicle, the way in which you as the driver plan to operate the vehicle, and the comprehensiveness of the warranty itself. Make sure you understand what is not covered by the extended warranty, and also the responsibilities that you are taking on to maintain the effective status of the warranty (i.e. regular vehicle service). Also, make sure you understand who is the provider of the coverage.
Finally, remember that if there is still a manufacturer warranty on the vehicle at the time of purchase, you may want to wait until that warranty is nearing its end before you decide to purchase an extended warranty. These are things to consider before you purchase a vehicle, so that you are not overwhelmed when you are brought into the business office.
Do you have a warranty story? Let us know in the comments below!
Did you know that EVERY VEHICLE DEALERSHIP and EVERY VEHICLE SALESPERSON in British Columbia must be licensed by the VSA? Well, they do!
It's important that you know that this industry is regulated. Not only does it help to mend the historically dented reputation of the "used car salesman," but it is also useful to know that if a problem does arise with the sale of a vehicle, there are protections in place. You are not afforded these protections when you buy privately!
Here's a tip: When shopping for a vehicle, ask to see salesperson licences!
Knowing that the vehicle sales industry in BC is licensed and regulated, do you feel better about purchasing a vehicle?
Let us know in the comments below!
If you have ever purchased a used vehicle in BC, you may be familiar with the words “No Details” found on an ICBC Vehicle History Report. When purchasing a vehicle, it is important to obtain records that detail any prior damages that the vehicle may have sustained. However, an ICBC vehicle history report previously may have listed an incident, but provided no details on what actually happened to the vehicle.
ICBC has recently improved upon their vehicle history report, and will now include the primary area of damage, as well as the estimated value of most outstanding claims.
It is important to learn as much as possible about a vehicle before purchasing it, so here are some recommended practices for consumers:
- First, make sure the vehicle meets all of your requirements, including your budget;
- Ask the dealer for a recent mechanical inspection report on the vehicle, and if needed, ask to be taken through the report point-by-point so that you fully understand the vehicle’s condition;
- Obtain a comprehensive vehicle history report. Consider that while ICBC reports have been recently improved upon, www.CarProof.com offers vehicle history reports that list details for all Canadian provinces, and include within them all information that can be found in an ICBC Vehicle History Report.
One question that gets thrown around a lot is "What's the difference between a deposit and a down payment?" Well, here's some stuff you should know about deposits:
Deposit: A sum of money paid by the buyer to the seller, to be forfeited if the buyer does not perform his/her/its part of the contract.
By making a deposit you demonstrate your good faith and intention to proceed with the deal. As excited as you are about your purchase, it’s not a bad idea to protect yourself and expect the unexpected. So, take the time and read the fine print!
Have you ever had any problems with deposits (ie not getting it refunded when you feel it should have been)?
NOT ALL DECLARATIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL
If you're buying a vehicle from a dealership, there are certain things that the salesperson must tell you about the vehicle. The most common declarations (or "decs") are damage history, past uses for the vehicle (ie. emergency vehicle, taxi, racing, etc.), and whether the vehicle was brought in from out of provice. For a full list of must-declare conditions, click this link: http://bit.ly/pANxAW
One thing to consider about declarations is how they impact the product value.
For example, a replaced windshield on an older vehicle, although probably installed as a result of damage sustained to the original windshield, is not necessarily a bad thing.
Don't reject a vehicle simply because it has a damage record; instead, consider how the damage has affected the real value of the vehicle.
Another example of this is multiple minor damage repairs (dents, scratches, etc.) versus one major damage repair (frame damage, etc.). The major damage will likely have a greater impact on the actual value of the vehicle.
Have you ever discovered problem with your vehicle that should have been declared by the seller?
A common misconception about purchasing a vehicle from a dealership is that you can return the vehicle if you're unsatisfied with it. A common belief is that there is a 10 or 30 day grace period, during which one could try out the vehicle while deciding whether or not to keep it.
There is no law that states that you have the right to return a vehicle; if you bought it, it's yours.
A particular dealership may have a return policy, which you should sign at the time of purchase. This is not to say, however, that ALL dealerships MUST have such a policy.
If there is a legitimate issue with the vehicle, or with the way in which the vehicle was sold to you, that's a different story! Simply because there is no legal right to return a vehicle does not mean that a vehicle cannot be returned under certain circumstances.
Watch the video above to hear Ian Christman (Deputy Registrar, VSA) discuss vehicle returns at the 2011 Smart Shoppers event, held by the Better Business Bureau of BC.