ICBC's inclusion of more comprehensive information in its vehicle claims history report improves an important buying tool for consumers, according to the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C.
In addition to providing a record of any damage claims filed on a vehicle with ICBC (including the type of claim, the date and amount of the filing, as well as the vehicle's current status), a report will now specify the primary area of damage as well as any outstanding claims or estimates for repairs.
Previously, there was a $15 fee for the basic online report plus an additional $17 charge to access the detailed damage estimate, which would take an additional 24 to 48 hours to obtain. ICBC is now making all information available online for $20.
While this is a positive step, the ICBC service does have limitations for a significant portion of vehicles available across B.C., according to Doug Longhurst, director of communications for the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority.
"ICBC history reports do not to include claims information from outside the province or claims handled solely by private insurers," warns Longhurst.
"Approximately 17 per cent of all vehicles in B.C. have been registered in other jurisdictions, while at least 17 per cent utilize private insurance."
Vehicle history reports are provided by the dealer as a best practice. If one is not provided, be sure to obtain your own. A comprehensive report, like CarProof, will provide information that might be missing from the ICBC report.
Because a vehicle history report does not include information about the mechanical condition of a vehicle, the ideal course of action is to obtain a professional mechanical inspection, either from the dealer or via an independent mechanic.
"Consumers should request all the information a dealer has available and make their criteria and priorities known at the get go," explains Longhurst. "At the end of the day, consumers are advised to protect their interests by becoming active participants in all negotiations."
The Motor Vehicle Sales Authority is provincially mandated to license dealerships and salespeople in addition to offering consumer information and providing dispute resolution services.
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