California car buyers have rights that protect them from dealership fraud. If you're in the process of purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle, you should be aware of your rights as a car buyer. Our California lemon law attorneys have put together six important rights that every car buyer should be aware of before purchasing a car.
California Car Buyer's Bill of Rights
- Certified Vehicles Must Meet Specific Standards. Car buyers have a right to sue a dealership that sells them a "certified pre-owned vehicle" that doesn't meet specific requirements.
- Dealers Must Provide a Detailed Price & Must Offer Limited Financing. All car buyers must receive buyer disclosures and limit on markups. This means that dealers need to provide buyers with a detailed price list for all the items being financed.
- All Car Buyers Have the Option to Cancel. Licensed dealers must offer car buyers that pay $40,000 or less the option to purchase a 2-day cancellation before signing the contract. If you purchase the option to cancel, you have the right to cancel the sale within two days for any reason. You would need to return the car with no excess miles of what the contract allows, with all the original paperwork, in the same condition received, and free of tickets or liens.
- Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Must Be Inspected: Dealers must perform a complete inspection of pre-owned vehicles. The dealer must give you a copy of the inspection report. The car can't be considered certified by the dealership if it has been labeled as a lemon law buyback, manufacturer repurchase, salvage, junk, non-repairable, etc. If the odometer was tampered with or the vehicle has frame damage, it can't be considered a certified car.
- Obtain a Notice to Vehicle Credit Applicant: For new and used cars, the dealer must give you a Notice to Vehicle Credit Applicant. This shows the credit score that was used by the dealer, the name, and contact information of the credit-reporting agency and their range of all possible credit scores.
- File a Lemon Law Claim: If you purchased a new or certified pre-owned vehicle and it turned out to be a lemon, you can file a claim to request repurchase of the vehicle and compensation for repairs.