Keep your eyes peeled for red flags when buying a vehicle from an individual, as they might be a “curber,” warns the provincial government.

A curber is someone who sells vehicles for profit without a license, according to a government release.

“Curbers pose as private-sellers, often buying salvage or vehicles from various sources,” said Denny Huyghebaert with the province’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA).

“They may clean the vehicles, make superficial repairs and quickly turn the cars around for resale. Curbers operate illegally and often ignore consumer protection legislation which licensed dealers are bound by,” he said.

To spot a curber, there are a few key things to watch out for. First, ask for a driver’s license and compare this to the vehicle registration form. If the ID doesn’t match the registration, that’s a red flag.

Curbers often don’t want you to know where they live or work from, so they will offer to meet you at a coffee shop or mall parking lot to sell you the vehicle. Sob stories are also a common tactic, used to convince the person to buy the vehicle out of guilt or sympathy.

Other red flags include seeing multiple listings of the same vehicle with different names and phone numbers, and asking for payment in cash only.

To check on a vehicle’s history, search the vehicle identification number (VIN) on SGI’s VIN Search, a free service that will show the vehicle’s damage claims history in the province and the status of the vehicle, among other things.

To report a curber, call FCAA at 1-877-880-5550 or by email at