DMV: Understanding the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights

March 18, 2013

Car purchases from private sellers can be risky. Dealerships must honor a set of legal protections offered by the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights (FFVR 35).

Bill Of Rights

The Car Buyer's Bill of Rights is a regulation that stipulates certain elements of the sale of cars through dealerships and dealers. Most often, it applies to used car sales. It does not have anything to do with driving rights per se, but it is a set of DMV (or MVD) rules and regulations that help to protect motorists and consumers while making automotive purchases. Understanding your DMV rights can be a difficult process, but a proper knowledge of the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights will help to ensure that you take full advantage of the benefits available to you as a customer and motorist.

Before Purchasing

The Car Buyer's Bill of Rights ensures that customers have peace of mind while purchasing cars by enforcing a mandatory return policy on all cars. In some locations this option exists for the two days following the purchase of the car, while in others, the deadline for return is later. In all cases, the customer is entitled to a full refund of the price of the car. To ensure you have the ability to return a purchased car at a later time, you may need to purchase the return policy from the dealer. In these cases, you would not receive the money for the return policy back in the event you do choose to return the car. Cars that are returned in this case must have fewer than 250 miles driven since the time of purchase and must be in the same condition as when they were sold.

Trading Cars

If you purchased a used car by means of trading in a car you previously owned, and if you've purchased the return option for the new car, the dealer must legally keep your trade-in car off of the market until the return option expires. This ensures if you decide to return the car, you'll be able to collect your original vehicle once again.

Honesty in Advertising

The Car Buyer's Bill of Rights has certain stipulations regarding the way in which dealers may advertise used cars. It ensures dealers are not able to pass used cars off as new vehicles, and also protects you from mark-ups in price. Dealers must show the price of the car without add-ons or other options, and must detail the exact costs of any of those add-ons. This helps to retain honesty on the part of the dealer in pricing the car.

A portion of the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights that deals with lenders and dealerships ensures that dealers cannot mislead you in the interest rates they advertise on car sales.

For more information about the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights and how it can protect you when you purchase a used car from an authorized dealer, consult your local branch of the DMV, or request a copy of the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights from your local government.