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Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan

FCAA is Saskatchewan’s financial and consumer marketplace regulator.

Curbers

  • Curbers

    A curber is someone who is in the business of selling vehicles without a license. The word curber comes from the practice of parking vehicles on the side of the road/curb with a “For Sale” sign.

    Curbers often get poor-quality cars and sell them from parking lots. They advertise through local newspapers and online ads and do not disclose a vehicle's history to potential buyers, often hiding serious accident damage or a sabotaged odometer. Curbers may have the same phone number listed for many cars, often asking "which car?" when a potential buyer calls. They may say they are selling vehicles for friends or have sad stories to tell. They often insist on meeting in parking lots and rush people into buying. The name on the vehicle documents will likely not match the ones on their drivers’ licenses. Curbers want cash and may ask buyers to lie on the title transfer documents to save money, and will not give you your money back if you change your mind about your vehicle purchase.

    Curbers pose as private-sellers, often buying salvaged vehicles from various sources. They clean the vehicles, make superficial repairs, and quickly turn the cars around for resale.

    For information about curbers select from the options below.
     


    How to spot a curber
    Five tips:

    1. Documentation does not match  - Compare their ID to the vehicle registration form (don’t accept a photocopy). If the seller’s ID doesn’t match the registration, be careful, this is a red flag.
    2. Below Market Value – Vehicles for sale are often priced below market value. If the price seems “to good to be true,” that’s a red flag.
    3. Multiple listings - Do you see the same phone number and different names with multiple vehicle listings in ads? You may be looking at a curber vehicle.
    4. No inspections - Curbers often refuse to allow a vehicle inspection by a mechanic. This is a red flag.
    5. Meet at a coffee shop or the mall - Curbers do not want you to know where they live or do business, so some curbers may insist on meeting at coffee shops or mall parking lots to show you the vehicle and finalize the sale.
    6. Cash sales only - Curbers love cash sales. Cash is hard to track and leaves no paper trail.
    7. Sob story - Curbers use sob stories to play a person’s general good nature and kindness. They will use these stories to rush the sale, using guilt and sympathy to keep a person distracted from evaluating the vehicle properly.
       

    Check the vehicle identification number
    Check the VIN number. The SGI VIN Search is a free service that reports the following:

    • the status of the vehicle (if it’s normal, rebuilt, stolen, unsafe etc.);
    • whether the vehicle’s registration has expired by reporting its most recent Saskatchewan registration expiry date;
    • its damage claims history in Saskatchewan since Nov. 1, 2002; and
    • whether the vehicle purchaser is required to pay Saskatchewan PST.

    There are additional VIN search options, including the Cross Canada VIN Search, which costs a nominal fee. Learn more about conducting VIN searches or consult the SGI guide to buying safer vehicles.
     

    Protections under the law
    Licensed vehicle dealers are required by law to provide information to the consumer before a vehicle can be sold. Curbers often don’t provide information to consumers. 

    Licensed vehicle dealers are required to:

    • disclose the vehicle’s history to the buyer;
    • have approved contracts for the sale of the vehicle;
    • be bonded; and
    • have a locatable address.


    Report a curber
    If you would like to report a curber, you can contact FCAA toll free at 1-877-880-5550 or by email: consumerprotection@gov.sk.ca.

    Consumer Protection Division

    Suite 500, 1919 Saskatchewan Drive

    Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4H2

    Tel: (306)787-5550

    Toll free: (877)880-5550

    Fax: (306)787-9779

    Email: consumerprotection@gov.sk.ca

    Documents & Links

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