Dealer New Cars Stock. Colorful Brand New Compact Vehicles For Sale Awaiting on the Dealer Parking Lot. Car Market Business Concept.

Inside the Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights

The Right to Drive a Good Vehicle

When buying a vehicle, it’s important for purchasers to know that they have rights as the buyer of the new or used car. California law provides what is known as a bill of rights within its vehicle code that lists out what each car buyer has the right to when looking for a vehicle from a licensed dealer. Here is what you should know about the buyer’s bill of rights.

Specifics for New and Used Cars

It’s important to note that the rights do differ slightly depending on the type of vehicle you are purchasing. For example, in either case, a dealer is limited to the amount of compensation they can receive from a financial institution that is financing the vehicle to the buyer. A dealer must also provide a detailed list of prices for all items being financed as well as a credit score for the buyer.

When buying a used car, however, these vehicles must meet certain requirements if they are being advertised as a “certified used car.” In addition, the buyer of a used car may purchase an option to cancel the transaction. These options are not provided for buyers of new vehicles.

Cancellation Option

A dealer selling you a used car at a price of $40,000 or less must provide an option that allows you to cancel the transaction within 2 days of purchase. If you purchase this option, then you are allowed to cancel the purchase and return the vehicle for any reason.

When you return the vehicle, you do so while meeting certain conditions, including the following:

  • Accompanied by all original documents

  • Returned in the same condition it was purchased

  • Without any tickets or other issues

  • With no mileage higher than what was stated in the contract (which must allow for 250 miles)

If these conditions are met, then you may return the used vehicle for a full refund.

Buyer Disclosures

When purchasing either a new or used vehicle, the dealer must provide you the following items:

  • A written-out list of all added-on items with accompanying pricing. This must also include a monthly payment that includes and does not include these additional items.

  • A copy of the credit score used by the dealer when applying for financing.


The amount of money added to the financing rate on your loan is limited by the bill of rights. Based on your financing agreement, the dealer cannot receive more than 2.5% of the loan amount if the term of your loan is less than 60 months. If your term is longer than 60 months, then the dealer cannot receive more than 2% of the loan amount.

Certified Used Vehicles

In order for a dealer to sell you a vehicle qualified as a certified used or pre-owned vehicle, they must have a mechanic inspect the vehicle and must provide you with a copy of the inspection report. If the vehicle does not meet the following criteria, then they cannot advertise the vehicle as certified pre-owned:

  • The vehicle cannot be sold “as-is” or have damage to the frame.

  • The odometer cannot be tampered with to hide the true mileage of the vehicle.

  • Unless repaired to safe operating condition, the vehicle cannot have suffered damage from a fire, flood, or other accident.

  • The vehicle’s title cannot be labeled as junk, salvage, non-repairable, or a similar qualifier.

If you have questions about your rights as a buyer or suspect that a dealer is infringing upon your rights, it’s important to speak with an attorney right away. Call Site:BusinessName} today at (909) 726-7112 or visit us online.