The Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia (VSA) say there has been uptake as British Columbia motor dealers are displaying license decals on their storefronts. The decal identifies that dealerships have met licensing requirements and that consumers will have additional protections dealing with these dealers under B.C. law.
The decal is yet another step in helping consumers recognize the important differences between licensed dealers and curbers (unlicensed dealers). Unlike licensed dealers, who are required to disclose the history and condition of a vehicle, curbers often do not. And if they do, they may lie or misrepresent the history of the vehicle. Curbers do not offer the right to pursue recourse through the VSA if concerns about unpaid liens, undisclosed damage or improper practices arise. Nor do they contribute to the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund, which has provided $2.9 million in compensation to over 600 consumers since 1995.
Furthermore, if a licensed dealer is found to have engaged in misrepresentations during a transaction, the Registrar can order administrative penalties, consumer restitution, and in some cases, the cancellation of their license. The BC Supreme Court recently upheld two Registrar’s decisions in two recently released judicial reviews.
Hong Wong, Manager of Licensing at the VSA, reveals that licensed dealers are enthusiastic about the implementation of the new decal.
“Dealers take pride in being licensed and believe that the decal is a great way to let the public know it is a regulated industry. Consumers deserve to be confident in the licensed vehicle sales industry,” says Wong.
Ian Christman, the Registrar of Motor Dealers, confirms that consumer confidence in the industry is improving. According to a 2013 IPSOS survey, 67% of recent buyers gave the industry a positive rating (seven or above on a ten point scale). Recent buyers were also more confident – and gave higher ratings – than those who purchased two to five years ago. Other positive trends confirm that more buyers are now receiving mechanical inspection reports and vehicle history reports without asking.
Consumers are encouraged to look for the decal – about the size of a typical storefront credit card decal – on or near the front door of a dealership. Large dealerships have also begun requesting decals for other doors.
About the VSA: The Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA) is a delegated authority with the mandate to license all motor vehicle dealerships and salespeople in British Columbia. It has authority to administer and enforce the Motor Dealer Act, portions of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and related regulations. The VSA also offers consumer assistance and dispute resolution. Information and tips can be found at www.mvsabc.com.