Buying a Used Car in British Columbia

  • Recorded on: March 23, 2021

  • Length: 60 minutes


Lawyers Mario Garcia of Ratcliff LLP and Ian Christman of the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC answer common questions about buying a used car in British Columbia. Learn what to look out for when buying and how to work out problems if they arise.


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Factors to consider when deciding whether to buy a used car from a dealership or through a private sale. [3:45]

  • How to deal with a misrepresentation by a private seller about the condition of a used car. [7:50]

  • What you can do if a used car you bought from a dealership turns out to need multiple repairs. [14:35]

  • What you can do if you buy a used car and it breaks down the first time you drive it. [19:25]

  • Whether it’s normal for a dealer to ask for a deposit. [26:50]

  • What you can do if a dealer misrepresented something about a car you bought. [28:05]

  • What red flags to look for when buying from a private seller, and what paperwork you need for the sale. [29:20]

  • What you need to know about liens when buying a used car. [34:10]

  • How to deal with a voided warranty on a used car you bought from a private seller. [41:45]

  • Whether a dealer can ask you for your driver’s licence when you test drive a car. [44:40]

  • What it means when a used car is sold “as is.” [46:15]

  • Whether an unregistered lien can affect a used car sale. [49:20]

  • How much you can rely on a clearance certificate issued after a vehicle rebuild. [50:45]


Mario Garcia

Mario Garcia

Mario Garcia is a lawyer. His areas of practice include business law, corporate structuring and reorganizations, and First Nations economic development. Mario became involved with access to justice initiatives first with Pro Bono Students Canada and later on working with the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia.

Ian Christman

Ian Christman

Ian Christman is the Chief Legal Officer and Registrar for the Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia. The VSA oversees retail sales of vehicles in the province.

Attendee feedback

“Awesome platform to get information and knowledge!”

“Very informative and neatly organized with the best resource speakers. Thank you!”

“Excellent discussion. Thank you to the speakers.

“Will be letting my son know about you ... excellent resource you provide.”

“Thank you, Paula, Mario and Ian. It's a great presentation!”

Additional resources 

From People’s Law School:

From Dial-A-Law:

From the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC:

Additional resources:

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This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

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