December 21, 2013

does a used car dealer in Arizona have to display a price on each car for sale?

The Arizona Department of Weights and Measures requires that "all commodities" offered for sale in Arizona have a price posted on or near the item for sale.  I have a book called "Arizona Auto Advertising Guidelines" that was compiled by the Arizona  Attorney Generals office in 1995. It is interesting reading.  It lists topics like "Lowest Prices/Guaranteed Lowest Prices", "Name Your Price", "Clearance Sale"and "Credit Availability" among others.   A dealer should not use claims such as "everyone financed", "No credit rejected" or similar statements unless the dealer can and is willing to extend such credit to any individual under any circumstance.  It states that all used automobiles must have a price sticker when being offered for sale. 

"We believe that the buyer of a used car should have the same information about the price as the buyer of a new car."

As I drive around Phoenix, I look at used car lots. Federal law requires that each car should have a Buyers Guide in the window that discloses whether there is a warranty on the vehicle being sold.  In Arizona There is an implied warranty that says that car will be driveable for 500 miles of 15 days from the time of sale.  It also describes what will happen if the car develops a problem. 

Arizona Law requires that there should be a price sticker on each car. 

I am amazed at the number of used car dealerships that do not post either of these stickers on the cars they have for sale.  These dealers do not realize that if an inspector was to come on their lot looking for the sticker, the dealership could be fined $1,000 for each car that doesn't have a sticker on it. 

Is it really worth not putting the stickers on??

November 15, 2013

Many consumers look on  You can find just about anything you might want, and a few things you really would not want to take home with you.  One of the busiest areas on is the auto and truck section.  I wouldn't want to guess the number of entry's that are made everyday, but it is staggering.

There are 3 auto sections.  all, dealer and private party.  According to Arizona statute 28-4301-35 a "used motor vehicle dealer" is defined as a person, other than a new motor vehicle dealer, who buys, sells, auctions, exchanges or offers or attempted to negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in, or who is engaged in the selling, four or more used motor vehicle dealers in a contiguous twelve month period.  Used motor vehicle dealer does not include a wholesale motor vehicle auction dealer, or a public consignment auction dealer."

If you look at private party listings, copy a phone number from an ad and put it in the search bar.  I have seen as many as 15 cars listed with the same phone number at the same time.  If you apply the statute listed above to the person offering these cars, that person is considered to be a dealer by the State of Arizona.

If you want to take a chance, that is ok.  The car you are looking at may be a great one, but it also could be ready to fall apart.  Also I would make sure that I take someone else with me to help examine the car and make sure there are no serious issues.  Some of the newer transmissions can be $2000-3000 or more to rebuild.  The better thing to do would be to visit a used car dealership,at least you then know exactly where to go back to if you have a problem.  Also there is no such thing as an "as-is" sale of a car in Arizona, so if there are problems, you can work something out with the seller to get the car repaired or get your money refunded.

November 2, 2013


Are you aware that every used car for sale at a dealership is required to have a Federal As-Is warranty sticker since this was required since 1985. Non compliance can be subject to up to a $10,000 civil fine for each car that is displayed without a sticker.

I see many lots that don't display the federal sticker.  When asked why not, they say "Nobody ever checks on this".  Not displaying these could be terribly expensive if you get caught.

In Arizona used cars are sold with a 15 day, 500 mile implied warranty. This means that the car will run and drive in for this length of time. This doesn't require that the a/c blows cold or the power windows work.    If you are not able to drive it safely  for normal everyday use, the dealer is required to fix it, take the car back and cancel the deal or come to a solution that is acceptable to both parties.  Because of this in Arizona it is against the law for a dealer to sell a car "As-Is".  It is ok to sell a car that has mechanical problems if the problems are clearly marked on the purchase order and the buyer acknowledges that he is aware of these problems.
The following link describes the law that has been in effect for almost 30 years.

July 6, 2013

Is the carfax fox losing his bite?

Several months ago CARFAX was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that the vehicle history reporting company engages in anti-competitive practices and violates antitrust laws. 

The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks damages of more than $50 million. It also alleges that Carfax, through exclusive agreements with auto companies and popular classified auto Web sites, is "monopolist in the sale of vehicle history reports.

I heard there was a comment made by a manager from the block at a Phoenix auto auction that they wouldn't be using CARFAX any longer. 

I have used CARFAX and Autocheck  on the same car.  In most cases the information given is almost alike.  The most important things odometer rollbacks and salvage titles usually show up on both.

What the automobile buying customers do not realize is that there are many unreported accidents. Have you ever known someone who was involved in an accident in a parking lot?    I am not sure how many body shops report to these two sites, but I don't think it is a lot.

If you have been in an accident and are working with an insurance company, here is a site that can give lots of information.

June 28, 2013

I enjoy speaking with our customers when they are either here making a payment or getting their cars serviced.  The customer I was speaking with today had bought her car from us about 18 months ago.  The a/c compressor was going bad and it was one of those that is more expensive than the others.  She didn't look forward to spending the money to replace it.

She brought up  liking the way we did business and was enjoyed the car she purchased.  Also that when friends mentioned needing a car, she always told them about us and that we were pretty easy to get along with.

She had been looking at new cars, particularly the ones that have a 100,000 mile power train warranty.  And ws surprised when she was told that they might be able to get her financed.  She realized that having a good record with our company helped her credit score.

I hope she gets her new car, even though  will miss seeing her as a customer.

October 15, 2011

Like it or not, the Holidays are coming!

I have been seeing Christmas decorations in stores for about a month.  Wow! I've never understood pushing the envelope. Maybe next year they will put the decorations out before Labor Day!

On another note with the Holidays come the requests for the charities for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  This is where I find a weakness.  I know that there are a lot of people out of work or underemployed.  A lot of families where the income is way down from where it used to be.

There are a lot of charities out there.  some of them are very good spending a large part of their income taking care of their charitable mission.  There are others that will use most of the income for overhead and spend very little on the charitable mission.  Due your job, make sure the charity you are contributing to is on the up and up.  The BBB does keep tabs on them.

I did notice a store with a sign  we would deck our halls after Thanksgiving.  I give them a compliment. 

January 26, 2011

Visiting with an old friend

A customer came in today and purchased another car.  What is unusual about this is that the last one he purchased was in 1994.  It was a much simpler time.  Sales tax was only  6.8%.    He bought a 1988 Honda Civic.  He paid for it in a couple of years. After it was paid for he came in a few times to say hello.  But today he came in out of the blue and bought an 8 year old Audi.  We spoke for a while about the car and my father and mother who were both very active in the business at that time. I get nostalgic when I look at records from back then.  Everything was lower priced.  The sales tax, The wages and the price of cars. A 9 year old Civic is 50% more than the 4 year old civic was then.

It seems like everything is more expensive, but you are making a lot more than you did back then.  The ultimate question I like to ask.  Are cars and houses worth a lot more today than then or is the money just worth less?

I really appreciate the loyalty that brings a customer back after all that time!