A reader: I just bought a used car. It was the worst experience of my life. I traded in my old car. Now, they told me my credit was denied. I just want to give the new car back and get my old one returned. The dealer told me I could not cancel. I didn’t even sign the pink slip from my car, so can they sell it? What can I do?
Action Line: There are a lot of factors involved in buying any vehicle. If you are making the purchase from a dealer, be sure to check their Business Review and rating with the BBB. This is a free service and can offer you great information on complaints, licensing and background of a company so that you can make a wise buying decision.
If you have already made the purchase and are having issues, BBB always recommends that you go back to the company and speak to someone in authority to try to resolve the problem. If that doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with BBB. Our complaint process takes up to 30 days and our aim is always to try to resolve the dispute.
Here are some great tips from the DMV on how to be a smart shopper:• Be aware that there is no “cooling off” period on vehicles purchased from a dealer unless you obtain a contract cancellation option, which is available when buying specified used cars from a licensed California dealer.
• Know and understand your rights as a consumer. Know the value of the vehicle you wish to buy. Check the value with a vehicle pricing guide, newspaper ads, Internet, or by comparison shopping.
• All California dealers must have a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) report to show you. For a private sale, you may obtain a NMVTIS report at http://www.vehiclehistory.gov/ for a nominal fee.
• Read and understand your purchase contract. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
• Read and understand the manufacturer’s warranty and any additional warranties (service contracts) offered by a dealer.
• Compare interest rates.
• Understand the DMV fees that are being charged. Because fees are subject to change, visit the DMV’s website for the latest fee schedule.
• Understand that on vehicle documents an “or” between co-owners’ names indicates one owner can sell the vehicle without the other’s signature. When a slash (“/”) indicating “and,” appears between the owners’ names, the signature of each owner is required.
If you feel that you have not been treated fairly and honestly, you can file a complaint with DMV as well. You can go online to dmv.ca.gov or you can visit your local DMV investigations office. DMV licenses and regulates new and used car dealers in the state of California.