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Neighborhood Autos
Attributes of a Responsible Dealer

Here are some things that may help you select a dealer who utilizes “Responsible BHPH Practices.”

  • Overall appearance of the dealership.
  • Operation neat and tidy
  • Vehicles are clean and well displayed
  • Facilities are well maintained – A dealer that has a nice, well maintained facility and takes pride in their inventory, likely plans to be in business for a long time. This dealer may be more capable and willing and willing to provide assistance to the customer after the sale.

Required consumer disclosures are posted

  • A “buyer’s guide” (FTC sticker) is displayed in the window of every vehicle for sale on the lot. If you see vehicles for sale without this guide, this is an irresponsible dealer.
  • The business licenses are posted in the building. Many municipalities require a posting of the dealer’s business license for consumers to review.

Dealership offers a warranty or service contract on their vehicles

Dealers who utilize “Responsible BHPH Practices” choose to offer warranties/service contract on the vehicles they sell. If a dealer sells their vehicles “as-is, no warranty,” you may need take more time to make sure this dealer has a good reputation and you should check out the vehicle more thoroughly.

Dealer allows test drives and ample time to inspect the vehicle

If a dealer refuses to allow you to take test drive, you should not purchase the vehicle.

Dealer provides vehicle history reports

One way to feel more comfortable about purchasing a used vehicle is to obtain a vehicle history report from companies such as AutoCheck or Carfax. While these reports are not perfect, many dealers choose to run these reports on every vehicle they sell.

Dealer reports to the credit bureau

You should ask the dealer if they are going to pull a credit report and if you purchase a car will they report your payments to the credit bureau. If you are concerned about your credit and potentially rebuilding it, reporting is a service you should ask about before your purchase. Dealers who utilize “Responsible BHPH Practices” will answer that question and the customer should then decide if they want to do business with this dealer.

Dealer complies with state and federal laws

A dealer is required to provide certain disclosures and policies to you as part of the vehicle purchasing process. This is a list of the basic requirements you should receive:

  1. A privacy notice during the credit application process.
  2. Your signature on an acknowledgement (usually included on the credit application) that the dealer plans to pull a credit report.
  3. A bill of sale or buyer’s order detailing the price, trade-in value, taxes and fees.
  4. A retail installment contract stating the interest rate, payment schedule, insurance products included in the sale (if applicable), and an itemization of the amount financed. This document may also include information about the dealership’s return policy (sometimes referred to as the cooling off period) and will also describe the dealership’s arbitration process (if applicable).
  5. If you have a trade-in on which money is owed, it should be noted on the contract that the dealer is responsible for making the payoff on your vehicle.
  6. A notice of use or disclosure of starter interrupt or GPS device.
    • If any of these items are not described in the dealership’s paperwork, this could be a sign of a dealer who is not responsible.
    • You should receive a copy of all paperwork signed before you leave the dealership.

If the dealer has promised anything during the sales process it should be in writing

This form may be called a “due bill” or “we owe.” If a dealer does not provide you with this written document detailing items owed to you, you should ask for it in writing.

Dealer should provide a receipt for the down payment

The dealer should always provide you with a receipt for the down payment. You should ask the dealer when you will receive your new tags or title.

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA), founded in 1946.

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