March 24, 2006

ICBC provides tips to avoid buying a stolen vehicle

Vancouver, British Columbia – In conjunction with National Fraud Prevention Month, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) advises consumers to be aware when purchasing used vehicles that may be stolen.

Among the tips presented are:

  • Confirm that the vehicle identification number (VIN) matches the vehicle registration form.

  • Check for signs of VIN tampering, including loose or mismatched rivets on the VIN plate, scratched numbers, or tape, glue or paint over the VIN.
  • Have a licensed mechanic check the VIN on the doorpost and engine firewall.
  • Insist on seeing the original vehicle registration form, not a photocopy, and make sure the license plate, vehicle make, model and colour match the description on the form.
  • Ask the seller to provide photo identification, and make sure the name and address on the form match that of the person selling the vehicle.
  • Inspect the odometer for signs of tampering, which can include marks on the odometer.
  • Check to ensure that the vehicle’s mileage is consistent with the vehicle’s condition, especially in high-wear areas such as the brake pedal, carpets, seats, steering wheel and seatbelts; keep in mind that a car travels an average of 25,000 km per year.
  • Uncover the vehicle’s claims history, such as through
  • Perform a lien search.

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