There are numerous rules and regulations that apply to car dealers. Some are applicable to sales, while others are for leases; others apply only to financing. If you’re buying a used car from a dealer, you have rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act. These Acts protect consumers from “misleading or deceptive conduct, false representations and unfair practices.”
Aside from these federal regulations, each state also has its own Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices laws (UDAPs) to protect consumers. Typical UDAP statutes contain broad and general prohibitions against “fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive consumer transactions.” These laws apply to a broad range of transactions, from sales and leasing, to financing. Laws vary in every state, but contain similar elements and provide flexible and remedial action to prevent abuse of consumers.
Furthermore, under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act, all car dealers must be registered. According to the Act, any person who holds himself out as being in the business of motor vehicle trading, or who sells more than six vehicles or imports more than three vehicles within a twelve-month period is considered a motor vehicle trader and must be registered. Dealers who are not registered face a maximum fine of $50,000 for an individual or $200,000 for a company.
If you buy privately, as opposed to buying from a car dealership Burlington or other places host, you are not as well-protected. The Consumer Guarantees and Fair Trading Acts do not apply in this situation though in some circumstances, the Contractual Remedies Act does apply. If private sellers mislead you or engage in deceptive behavior when selling a car, you can take them to a Disputes Tribunal.
There are other lesser known laws protecting car buyers. The Federal Odometer Act is a federal regulation that protects consumers from those who tamper with a vehicle’s odometer. The Act provides compensation for damages from car dealerships Burlington buyers bought from. Many states likewise have laws in place protecting consumers from certain types of finance fraud and the charging of unusually high interest rates.
The Lemon Aid Law allows a consumer to void or cancel a motor vehicle contract or sale if the vehicle fails to pass quality standards and if the estimated costs of repairs of emissions or safety related defects exceed 10 percent of the purchase price. The law applies to both car dealerships Burlington residents buy from and private party sales of cars and motorcycles purchased for personal use.