Published 1:15 am Saturday, August 29, 2015


Attorney General urges caution when buying

Are you in the market for a used car?

If so, there are three important pieces of information you need to be aware of before deciding on a new set of wheels.

Andalusia Motor Co. Owner Ward Taylor encouraged folks to buy from a licensed dealer, get a Carfax report on the vehicle and make sure the dealer is reputable.

Taylor said in Alabama, all automobile dealers are required to have a license.

“If they’re not a licensed dealer, then they’re operating in the fringe,” Taylor said. “The state requires two different licenses for liability and a whole bunch of other stuff.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange recently said used automobile problems are among the most common complaints by the Consumer Protection Section of his office.

“Many of the protections available when purchasing a new vehicle do not apply when you are buying one that is used,” said Attorney General Strange.  “Therefore, it is even more important for consumers to be extremely careful before buying a used vehicle. There are many good and reliable used vehicles, but consumers need to be mindful of good practices and precautions.”

The Consumer Protection Section serves as a mediator of disputes between consumers and businesses. The Consumer Protection Section also receives consumer calls and provides information regarding check scams and mortgage fraud, as well as other consumer related fraud.

The second thing buyers need to be aware of is to never buy a car without getting a history report.

“If the dealer you’re dealing with cannot furnish a Carfax report, leave,” Taylor said. “Why would he not want to know he was selling a premium car?”

Taylor said without a history report, the buyer doesn’t know whether the car’s been through an accident, has rust or a bad title history.

“If they can’t furnish a history, that means he doesn’t care,” Taylor said.

When buying a used car, be sure to check to see if the dealer has a long reputation of doing business, Taylor said.

“The thing you have to really be careful about in the car business, is that somewhere they’ll have nice cars and cheap prices,” he said. “People fall victim to that.”

Taylor said buying a car from another person could be dangerous as well because he can buy the car’s title and clean it up real good, prompting an unaware person to purchase the vehicle.

“If it’s too good of a deal, then it’s not a good deal,” Taylor said.

An additional thing to look for when buying a used car is to check for recalls, Taylor said.