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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 01-04-2015, 07:08 PM   #1
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What does "Total theft of auto" mean?

I was looking forward to buy a vehicle from a private seller.
The car was perfect. So I decided to buy it.
But when I checked the ICBC claim history, I found that it has a claim history of "Total Theft of Auto" 2 years ago.
So I asked the seller about it and he said he never knew about it as he didn't own that car at that time.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:13 PM   #2
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Means car was stolen
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
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Stolen and possibly stripped of interior, engine, VIN tags and/or recovered after it was written off.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:32 PM   #4
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It means that at some point… the car was left unattended in Surrey.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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Thanks but it's legal to buy that car if I am not wrong.
The car is really in good shape, I checked it before with a mechanic.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by riasat.abir View Post
Thanks but it's legal to buy that car if I am not wrong.
The car is really in good shape, I checked it before with a mechanic.
So what's your point?
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:52 PM   #7
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So what's your point?
Just to be sure, if the car is ok there isn't anything wrong/illegal buying it.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:53 PM   #8
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It means the vehicle was stolen and the owner(insured) was paid out; then it was recovered afterwards. I believe that time period is 30 days, give or take. It would then be sent though the auction by ICBC where a body shop or auto dealer bought it, repaired it if needed, and then sold it to the public. That's my understanding from ICBC.

Since you are dealing in the private market it's always buyer beware. Always do an ICBC or CarProof before spending your hard earned money. It surprises me that this step is still missed or forgotten during a vehicle purchase.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:05 PM   #9
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It means the vehicle was stolen and the owner(insured) was paid out; then it was recovered afterwards. I believe that time period is 30 days, give or take. It would then be sent though the auction by ICBC where a body shop or auto dealer bought it, repaired it if needed, and then sold it to the public. That's my understanding from ICBC.

Since you are dealing in the private market it's always buyer beware. Always do an ICBC or CarProof before spending your hard earned money. It surprises me that this step is still missed or forgotten during a vehicle purchase.
Thanks, it has no other claim history. Also the status is NORMAL. My seller ran it for a year.

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Old 01-04-2015, 10:10 PM   #10
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Thanks, it has no other claim history. Also the status is NORMAL. My seller ran it for a year.
I wouldn't buy a theft recovery unless it was a stupid rare car, but maybe its just me.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:28 PM   #11
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If it checks out with your mechanic, it's probably ok to buy from a safety point of view.

The decision is whether you want to be explaining the vehicle history to the next buyer when you sell. A lot of people will walk away when they see the record.

I had a similar situation last month where the car I was looking at had a $33K vandalism declaration. Everything had been replaced (wheels, brakes, interior trim), but I didn't want to deal with the hassle when it came time to resale. I would walk way unless this is a very rare car with no other alternatives.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:33 PM   #12
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I wouldn't buy a theft recovery unless it was a stupid rare car, but maybe its just me.
Agreed.

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Old 01-05-2015, 12:47 PM   #13
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I gotta ask, what car is it OP?

Reason being, a "total theft" car is perfectly OK from a safety/mechanical point of view but definitely lowers the resale value of the car. After all, why buy a "non-clean" status car when you can get a "clean title" car for a couple hundred bucks to a thousand more? If this is a car you know 110% that you will be "running into the ground" so to speak, or some super rare car that rarely ever sells in mint condition, or some cheap beater that costs less than a Mac Pro, go for it.

If this is a car that you are not sure about keeping long-term, or you are the type of person to change cars like my girlfriend changes her purses, I would definitely stay away unless the car in question is much cheaper than similar, clean status cars on Craigslist and you are confident you can flip it to break even at the very least.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:50 PM   #14
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Yes, I know this is a month late.... but if anyone still cares about some decent input, here is it:

You can call ICBC to learn more about the incident.

I had a "Total theft of Auto" too.

Mine had a incident value of $50 on it.


I called them and the women said that sometimes a car can be accidentally reported stolen (mistaken owner I guess?) and even if nothing is wrong with the car, they associate a nominal value with the incident and leave it on the ICBC history....

Now times may have changed as my "Total theft of Auto" was in 2002, but you might as well call to learn more.
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