Web DebtSmart.com
DebtSmart.com
Monday, July 6, 2020   
 

How is Your Automotive Aptitude? Take the Car Quiz!
by Craig Kimmel
Ask Craig your question! Craig Thor Kimmel is a nationally recognized automotive consumer advocate and managing partner of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C., the nation's largest lemon law firm. For more information on automotive consumer issues, visit http://www.lemonlaw.com
Printable format
FREE subscription to DebtSmartŪ Email Newsletter and FREE software too!

Craig Kimmel

Buying a car can be both exciting and intimidating. You land on the lot, looking to get behind the wheel of the shiny new SUV, convertible, sedan, sportscar you had seen in the flashy TV commercial. Oh, wow...they have the color you want, with the features you want....it is a match made in heaven! Sign me up, I am ready to ride home in my dream car, right? WRONG! STOP! Take a breath. Aside from a home, this is going to be one of the largest purchases you make. The wrong choice could spell disaster for you down the road, while if you know what you are doing, you could find yourself on Easy Street.

 

To test your automotive aptitude, I have put together a 10-question quiz on car buying and consumer rights, based on the myths and misconceptions we hear the most. Take out a number 2 pencil and see how well you fare:

TRUE OR FALSE

1) If I buy a car and something goes wrong with it, I have three days to return the car. It's a law.
 
2) Once I have driven a car off the lot and signed a sales agreement, there is no way a dealer can change the price on me.
 
3) If I purchase a car and later figure out that I can't afford to make the payments, I can return the car and it won't affect my credit as long as I can prove financial hardship.
 
4) I can ask the dealer to show me what he paid for the car he is selling.
 
5) If I buy a used car and the car has been in an accident, the dealer must tell me that prior to sale.
 
6) The Lemon Law not only applies to major problems such as the transmission and engine, but also to electrical problems, water leaks, rattles, and paint problems.
 
7) If a new car is in the shop for 30 days in the first year, regardless of whether it's for the same problem or different problems, the driver can file a lemon law claim.
 
8) If I have a manufacturers warranty and something goes wrong with my car, I have to take it to the dealer where I purchased the car, even if it's far from my home.
 
9) Used cars are covered under the Lemon Law.
 
10) A consumer under the age of 25 may be denied a loaner while their car is in service because of their age.

 

ANSWERS

1) If I buy a car and something goes wrong with it, I have three days to return the car. It's a law.
False. It's one of the most common misconceptions around. This 3-day rule applies to home sales such as vacuum cleaners and cutlery. It is not for cars. Once you sign the papers, and you drive the car off the lot, it is yours no matter if the check engine light turns on when you are driving home or if the tire falls off. This is more of a reason why you should test drive the exact car you are planning to buy BEFORE you sign the final papers. Also, if you are buying a used car, pay to have a private mechanic look at the car prior to purchase. There is a worksheet available online which you can take with you when purchasing a used car. Plus, check out on-line car reporting services, such as www.carfax.com, which can provide the history of the vehicle.
 
2) Once I have driven a car off the lot and signed a sales agreement, there is no way a dealer can change the price on me.
True. Once you sign a retail sales agreement, the sale is binding and the car is yours for the amount of money agreed upon. If a salesman tries to call you later and tell you that your financing didn't go through, or they forgot to add in the commission for the salesperson, and they need you to come back to the dealership, be very weary. You could end up the victim of "spot delivery" a practice some shadier dealers commit to get you to buy the car on the spot. Then, they pressure or threaten you to come back 3 or 4 weeks later and pay more money. If this happens to you, hold on to all of your original paperwork. You could file a lawsuit against the dealer.
 
3) If I purchase a car and later figure out that I can't afford to make the payments, I can return the car and it won't affect my credit as long as I can prove financial hardship.
False A retail sales agreement is binding so if you buy a car and then figure out you can't afford it, don't think anyone is going to cut you a break. You are financially responsible for the terms of the agreement regardless of the situation and if you don't abide by agreement, it will significantly hurt your credit report.
 
4) I can ask the dealer to show me what he paid for the car he is selling.
True. It is a good practice to ask to see the dealer's invoice to find out exactly what type of profit the dealer is making off the purchase. If the dealer doesn't want to show you his invoice, you have to question what he may be hiding.
 
5) If I buy a used car and the car has been in an accident, the dealer must tell me that prior to sale.
False: When it comes to accidents, it's a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. If you buy a used car and you never ask the dealer about the history of the vehicle, he is not required to tell you. However, if you ask if the car has been in an accident, the dealer is now liable if he gives you wrong information. This is very important to know and another reason why you should use carfax to research a vin number prior to purchase of a used car. Also, if you buy a new car, the dealer is not responsible for telling you about any damage that cost less than $500 to fix, so if the door was scratched and they buffed it out prior to you buying the car, they do not have to tell you.
 
6) The Lemon Law not only applies to major problems such as the transmission and engine, but also to electrical problems, water leaks, rattles, and paint problems.
True. When many people think of lemons, they think that it has to a major catastrophe, but problems such as mold, lights flickering, knocking in the front end, and electrical sliding doors could all be a basis for a lemon law claim, provided the car has been in three times for the same problem or for the same part. Keep track of your invoices. In addition, if you notice a severe paint problem, a manufacturer normally has only one chance to fix that problem and if it's not fixed to your liking, you can file a claim. For more information on the Lemon Law, you can visit www.lemonlawamerica.com
 
7) If a new car is in the shop for 30 days in the first year, regardless of whether it's for the same problem or different problems, the driver can file a lemon law claim.
True. Many Lemon Laws cover cars in the shop for an extended period of time. The Pennsylvania Lemon Law, for example, covers cars that are in the shop for 30 days in the first year. That includes if the car is waiting for a part on back order. The New Jersey Lemon Law covers cars in the shop for 20 days in the first year. The only thing that normally doesn't count is recalls. The number of days does not have to be consecutive either.
 
8) If I have a manufacturers warranty and something goes wrong with my car, I have to take it to the dealer where I purchased the car, even if it's far from my home.
False. No matter what your dealer tells you, if your car has a manufacturer's warranty, you can take it to any authorized manufacturer service shop for repairs. You do not have to take it back to the dealer you bought the car from. Also, if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving at a particular dealership, you can switch and get your car serviced at another shop at any time.
 
9) Used cars are covered under the Lemon Law.
False. Used cars are not covered under the state Lemon Laws. However, if your car has a manufacturer's warranty and there are a number of significant repairs, you can file a claim under the Federal Law known as the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
 
10) A consumer under the age of 25 may be denied a loaner while their car is in service because of their age.
True. Certain rental car agencies will not rent cars to drivers under the age of 25. If you a younger consumer, you need to ask about the loaner car policy before you buy your car to protect yourself.

So how did you do?

8-10 right SPEED RACER --You have CAR-nal knowledge and the drive to get a good deal on wheels.

5-7 right FAMILY SEDAN--Be comfortable in the fact that you know a lot about the car buying process. You should feel safe visiting your local auto dealer.

2-4 right 1964 PINTO--I don't know where you got your information on autos, but it is not reliable. You are liable to stall when it comes to making a deal or you could find yourself traveling down a road to disaster.

0-1 right LEMON! Go back to car-buying 101. Don't go to any dealership alone! Learn about your rights.

For more information on consumer rights, the best and worst cars on the road, car-buying tips and more, visit www.lemonlaw.com

--End--

 

Subscribe FREE and start finding new ways to save money and pay off your debt.

"The DebtSmart Email Newsletter is packed with cutting-edge strategies for solving credit problems. I highly recommend it."--Gerri Detweiler, radio host and author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook




DEBTSMART MEDIA MENTIONS
NBC 10 News:
Money King Secrets
<Photos and Video>
CN8:
Art Fennell Reports
<Photos and Video>
CNN: CNN Newsroom
<Photos and Video>
CNN: American Morning
<Photos and Video>
ABC: Action News
<Photos and Video>
CNN/fn: Your Money
<Photos and Video>
<See all Television Interviews>

Subscribe to the DebtSmart® RSS Feed
     
   Add to Google