Educational Consumer Tips

Used Cars-(Georgia) Buyer's Rights

Author: Better Business Bureau

The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company.

The FTC used car rule requires dealers to place a "Buyers Guide" in the window of their used vehicles. The "Guide" tells whether the vehicle comes with a warranty or with no warranty (as is).

According to the Consumer Protection Agency in Atlanta, there is no lemon law protection or three-day right to cancel. Dealers often sell used vehicle "as is". Sales reps person may make verbal promises that you need to get in writing if the vehicle is sold "as is". Misrep- resentation or contractual violations by non-franchised dealers are regulated by the Secretary of State's Used Car Board . They may be reached at 478-207-2440. Those made by franchised dealers may be a violation of the Fair Business Practices Act).

Look for a completed buyer's guide which explains the warranty terms, if any, located on the window, dashboard or other conspicuous location on the vehicle. The guide is required under federal law.

If the vehicle is less than 3 years and has less that 36,000 miles, it probably is covered by the mfg. warranty. Before you buy the vehicle, get a copy of the warranty, make sure it is transferable to you and make sure the sales agreement says mfgs warranty still applies. Some vehicles with higher mileage may still have warranty coverage on the drive train or extended warranty coverage through a mfgs certified used car program. Ask the dealer if either situation applies.

If the dealer offers to sell you an extended warranty, ask the dealer how long the company has been in business and whether the type of service contract sold by the company is regulated by the Dept. of Insurance (DOI). You can call the DOI Property and Casuality Div. (404-656-4449) to check this information out for yourself.

Ask about the history of the vehicle. Had it ever been involved in a serious accident or was title ever issued as salvage, rebuilt or similar designation? Was it ever stolen, damaged by flood or fire or subject of a warranty claim. Ask if the vehicle was ever a rental car, police car or taxi.

Never leave your trade-in or sign over its title until the sale is final. Make sure you get a copy of the retail contract.

These are some helpful tips from your Better Business Bureau.