Myth or fact?
"The ad on Craigslist looked so tempting. The vintage Buick was a beauty, the price was good. The seller asked to meet at his cousin’s house, which I thought was odd, but when I took the Buick for a test drive, it ran great. The seller told me he was selling the car on behalf of his cousin. I was worried, but then the cousin told me over the phone that he approved of the deal. So I signed the paperwork to buy the car. Two weeks later, the real owner called to say he wanted the car back. I phoned the seller. I got a 'phone out of service' message. I'd been taken by a curber."
- Carlos, Surrey
A significant percentage of car ads that look like they are placed by private sellers are actually placed by curbers. A curber is someone who sells cars to earn income, but has not been licensed as a car dealer. Many curbers misrepresent the real condition of the car, hide major issues, or fail to disclose liens.
Buying a used car from a curber is particularly risky because there are laws that offer you protection if you buy a car from a licensed car dealer but not if you buy from a private seller. If you buy from a curber and have a problem, often your only option is to go to court.
Here are four steps you can take to protect yourself from curbers.