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Vehicle Dealers

People in the business of selling or leasing new or used vehicles must be licensed. When you buy from a licensed dealer you have protections that you do not have when buying privately.

Licensed vehicle dealers must:

  • disclose the vehicle’s history to the buyer
  • have approved contracts for the sale or lease of vehicles
  • be bonded
  • have a physical address either staffed by a salesperson during normal business hours or with a salesperson available by appointment within 3 days of a request
  • have a service department or designate another business to make repairs (if the repair facility is more than 80 kilometres away dealers must tell purchasers this before they buy)

Curbers

To report a curber contact the Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-880-5550 toll free or by emailing consumerprotection@gov.sk.ca.

People who sell vehicles without a dealer's licence are sometimes called curbers. They are in the business of selling used cars but they pose as private individuals. They commonly advertise through local newspapers and online ads. Curbers often get poor-quality cars and do not disclose a vehicle's history to potential buyers, often hiding serious accident damage or a sabotaged odometer.

Curbers may insist on meeting buyers in a parking lot, coffee shop or mall. They typically will only take cash and rush people into making a purchase. For example, they will refuse to let you take the vehicle for a mechanical inspection. The name on the vehicle documents will likely not match the one on their drivers’ license. Other signs that someone is a curber are multiple listing for cars for sale with the same phone number but different names or asking which car you are calling about when you call. They may tell you a story to explain why the sale must be rushed through and why the price is low.

Curbers are not licensed as required by law so you do not have the same protections you have when buying from a licensed vehicle dealer. Curbers entice people to buy by pricing the cars for less than you would pay elsewhere but it is not a bargain if you buy a defective car. Because curbers usually insist on being paid in cash it can be very hard to get your money back if you later find out the car has problems.

Advertisements

Advertising by dealers must:

  • have the name of the dealer
  • use a font that does not make the ad hard to read
  • not misrepresent the condition of the vehicle
  • not imply that a vehicle comes with a warranty or repair service if it does not
  • not claim that the vehicle is better than the competitor’s unless they can prove that claim
  • not use words like demo vehicle, wholesale price, at cost, discount, savings etc. unless these claims are true

Prices in Advertisements

If financing is offered the monthly payment advertised must be the total you will pay including payments on the vehicle, taxes and the cost of the interest on the loan.

Dealers do not have to put a price in ads but if a price is advertised it must be the drive-away price. This applies to ads on lots as well as ads in newspapers etc. GST and PST can be added to this price but no other fees such as freight charges or inspection fees can be added. For used vehicles, a window sticker on a vehicle on the sales lot is considered an advertisement.

Any add-ons to a car must be included in the advertised price unless they are something you can decline.

Examples of add-ons that may automatically come with a vehicle purchase include:

  • filling tires with nitrogen
  • installed or pre-paid protection packages
  • pre-paid warranties
  • pre-installed or pre-paid security or theft deterrent products/services (etching, etc.)
  • fuel, block heaters, etc.

If a new vehicle has a sticker showing the manufacturer’s suggested retail price dealers are not required to sell the vehicle at this price.

Dealers do not have to sell the vehicle for the advertised price if you are doing a trade-in or getting financing that was not advertised as part of the deal. However, even consumers who are not guaranteed the advertised price must be told about the advertised price.

Fees often called things like administration, documentation or services fees can only be added on to a selling price if the price was not advertised, there was a trade-in or the dealer provides financing that was not advertised. These fees are not required by the government so the dealer can decide not to charge them.

Disclosure

If the required information is not disclosed you may be able to return the vehicle for a refund or have the vehicle repaired at the dealer's expense. If you have questions about the disclosure requirements or wish to file a complaint, contact the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority toll free at 1-877-880-5550 or by email at consumerprotection@gov.sk.ca.

If a dealer knows or should know something about the vehicle that could reasonably affect a person’s decision to buy or lease it this must be disclosed. For new vehicles this includes but is not limited to telling you about repairs that were made to the vehicle if the cost of the repairs was 20% or more of the price of the vehicle. For used vehicles this includes but is not limited to dealers telling you...

  • if the vehicle has been used as a taxi, police or emergency vehicle, in organized racing or if it was owned by a car rental company in the last 24 months
  • if the vehicle was registered outside of Canada within the last 36 months and if the vehicle has been brought into Canada specifically for the purpose of resale
  • if the odometer is not accurate or has been replaced or altered
  • about sources that can be used to find the vehicle history
  • if the vehicle is not equipped with things such as signal lights that are required by law (if not you cannot drive it off the lot)

Dealers selling used cars must also provide you with a current printed VIN search result from Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

Deposits

Dealers can take a deposit of up to 2% of the price of the vehicle before you sign a contract to buy the vehicle. If you change your mind the deposit must be returned to you unless the dealer took the deposit to buy a vehicle that was not on their lot. The dealer must give you the terms of the deposit in writing.

Contracts for Sale

Always read a contract before you sign it. As with other contracts the fact that you did not read or understand it does not mean you are not bound by it.

A contract to buy or lease a vehicle must have certain information in it including…

  • name and address of the dealer and the buyer
  • date of the contract
  • make, model and year of the vehicle
  • VIN
  • information about any extras that will be provided
  • odometer reading
  • if the vehicle’s odometer is broken or faulty, has been replaced, has been rolled back or is in miles, a statement to that effect
  • price
  • amount of the down payment or deposit, if any
  • details of trade-in or exchange, if any
  • additional warranties, if any
  • if the dealer financed the purchase or lease, a statement to that effect
  • name of the salesperson

You must sign the contract and the dealer must give you a copy.

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