A Langley family is angry they're out a car and thousands of dollars in insurance after the Insurance Corporation of B.C. sold their car without their consent.

Brendan Lillies, 19, wanted to fix his 1992 Acura Integra after it was rear-ended -- but ICBC sold the car for scrap, and despite a four-month protracted dispute, still hasn't settled with the family.

"[A reasonable person] would go to the police and report the car stolen," said Brendan's dad, Charlie Lillies.

After being contacted by CTV News, ICBC apologized to the family.

"In this case we made an error," said ICBC's Adam Grossman. "We acknowledge it and we're doing everything we can to make that up with the customer."

In the accident, Brendan was hit from behind and then pushed into a car in front of him. The at-fault driver fled -- and ICBC assigned fault to Brendan.

ICBC said they would pay $2,700 for the car, even though only days before Brendan had put in a new engine, rims and tires worth more than $3,000. That, combined with the value of the car itself, should total more than $6,000, said the Lillies.

That's when Brendan's dad Charlie decided the family would pay out the claim and just fix the car themselves.

"We asked for the vehicle back, and they said, 'Sorry, the vehicle's been sold. You can't get the car back,'" said Charlie.

Even though they didn't sign a salvage waiver -- the paperwork that transfers the ownership from Brendan to ICBC -- ICBC had already sold the car.

That was months ago -- but ICBC kept charging Brendan for his insurance premiums. When Brendan tried to get a refund for the premiums, his dad says a clerk demanded that he sign the salvage waiver after the fact.

"It's just a lesson," said Charlie. "Do your homework before you make a claim -- they're not going to do it for you. They'll take advantage of someone who's just a young guy."

When ICBC writes off a car they sell it to a salvage yard, who sell it for parts. The Lillies tracked down the Acura to a salvage lot in Surrey, where they found its engine had been stripped, its rims and tires were gone, and there wasn't much left.

"I'm a bit angry about it," said Brendan. "It's not like I can walk across the street to my neighbour's house, grab his keys, throw his truck on Craigslist and sell it."

ICBC has made another offer on the car, which is about $4,000, said Grossman. If an independent arbitrator decides the car is worth more, then the company will pay more, he said.

Grossman said he couldn't find any other example of a car being sold for scrap without authorization.

"It's extremely rare," he said. "We are making up with an offer that's more than fair."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward