The province is cautioning Albertans to do their research before importing or buying new or used vehicles from the United States.
More than 230,000 vehicles were damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy and the province worries some of them may be on their way to Alberta
"Vehicles are a major purchase and Albertans need to be aware of their rights and the risks of importing a vehicle from a private or online seller," Service Alberta Minister Manmeet S. Bhullar said in a news release.
"Some consumers believe they can get a better deal by shopping independently for new and used vehicles over the U.S. border," says John Bachinski, executive director of the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council, the industry regulator in Alberta
Buyers can research the title history of a U.S. vehicle by:
- checking the U.S. National Vehicle Title Information System www.vehiclehistory.gov/ for title fraud involving the vehicle;
- checking the Canadian Police Information Centre website www.cpic-cipc.ca for Canadian stolen vehicle information; and
- purchasing a CarProof or CARFAX vehicle history report for information on prior registrations and insurance claims.
Importing vehicles is a complex process, said Bachinski.
Vehicles brought into Alberta must pass an out-of-province inspection at a licensed inspection facility.
If there is evidence the vehicle was submerged in water at or above the bottom of the dash, the vehicle is considered non-repairable and cannot be licensed in the province.