Woman Hit With Traffic Ticket For Car She’d Sold To CarMax Months Earlier

When you sell your car to a used-car operation like CarMax, you’d assume that anything that occurs with that vehicle after that point is not your problem. But a California woman says she was charged with running through a tollbooth in car she’d handed off to CarMax months earlier. [More]

eBay’s VIN System Error Costs Me $1,000, They Don’t Particularly Care


It seems like a good idea on the surface: when an eBay Motors seller types in a car’s Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, the site automatically determines the make and model from that number and populates the auction with that information. It’s only a problem if that information is bad…which it was, and just that sort of bad info in a listing led reader S. to spend $1,000 more than he would have for the particular model of used Prius that he bought. [More]


Should Used Car Sellers Have To Repair Recalled Cars Before Selling Them?

According to a 2011 survey, there were 2.7 million used vehicles available for purchase that had at least one un-repaired safety recall. Now, California lawmakers want to require used-car sellers to make those repairs before the vehicles can be sold. [More]


Here’s A Bunch Of Stuff That Might Actually Be Cheaper In The Months To Come

For lots of things you buy, the general trend is for prices to increase over time. But there are some things that forward-looking folks claim will drop in price — at least for a bit — in this, the year 2013 CE. [More]


5 Warning Signs That You’re Buying A Flood-Damaged Car

As happens just about every time there is large-scale flooding in a region, you can expect that the car market will be, well… flooded (sorry) with vehicles that have been damaged by soaking in too-high water. Thankfully there are some indicators to look out for if you go car shopping. [More]

10 Signs Your Used Car Is Really A Rebuilt Wreck

10 Signs Your Used Car Is Really A Rebuilt Wreck

We often hear from readers horrified to discover that their perfectly lovely used car was once another owner’s total loss. They only find out much later, once something goes horribly wrong due to the previous damage. But once the vehicle is all fixed up and shiny, how is the average car buyer to know the difference? It turns out that there are distinctive signs that a car was previously in a crash or flood. Some you might notice yourself, and others require a mechanic’s eye. [More]

Because It's Such A Great Time To Sell A Used Car, Don't Try To Buy One Now

Because It's Such A Great Time To Sell A Used Car, Don't Try To Buy One Now

There’s a dearth of good used cars out there, so if you’ve got a particularly fine example you’ve been looking to unload, now is a good time to sell it, say experts. On that note, if you’re trying to find a cheap previously-owned vehicle, prices are probably not going to be in your favor. [More]

FTC Goes After Car Dealers For Lying To Customers About Trade-Ins

FTC Goes After Car Dealers For Lying To Customers About Trade-Ins

Have you ever seen a car dealership ad that promises to pay off the loan balance of your trade-in, even if you owe more than the value of the trade-in? Well, the Federal Trade Commission has stopped a handful of dealers from continuing to deceive buyers with this too-good-to-be-true offer. [More]

No, Of Course This Car We're Selling Has Never Been In A Severe Accident

Last year, Brandon’s car was destroyed in an accident, and he went shopping for a new-to-him vehicle. He found a nice 2008 Honda Civic at a good price with a clean Carfax report. Sweet deal! Now Brandon’s in the market for a new car. At another dealership, he learned that the Civic isn’t worth as much as he had thought as a trade-in, because the vehicle had sustained severe body damage in an accident, then was rebuilt. How did they know this? The now-updated Carfax report, of course. [More]

Woman Sues Car Dealership Over Dead Body Smell

Woman Sues Car Dealership Over Dead Body Smell

When buying a motor vehicle, many customers want that “new car smell.” But we’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that most car buyers don’t want something you’d refer to as “dead body smell.” [More]

Sketchy "Yo-Yoing" Car Dealers Can Take Your Down Payment And Leave You Without A Car

Sketchy "Yo-Yoing" Car Dealers Can Take Your Down Payment And Leave You Without A Car

Even though you’ve traded in your old car, made a down payment on your new one and driven it off the lot, make sure you are 100% sure that any financing you have on your vehicle is complete. If it’s not, you might soon find yourself out your down payment and without your new wheels — or even the car you traded in. [More]

Private Equity Bets Big Bucks On "Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships

Private Equity Bets Big Bucks On "Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships

In the second of a three-part series on “Buy Here Pay Here” dealerships, used car lots that target subprime borrowers with easy credit and triple the national average interest rates, the Los Angeles Times looks at how private equity firms have flocked towards the growing industry, lured by 38% margins. [More]

"Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships Investigated

"Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships Investigated

The Los Angeles Times has an excellent investigation into the national “Buy Here Pay Here” auto dealership phenomenon. These used car sellers purposefully target bad credit borrowers and offer them what no one else will: the chance to buy a car on credit. All they have to do is agree to 20-30% interest rates, a price well above the car’s Blue Book Value, and aggressive repo practices if they fail to pay up. But it’s not a big deal if they don’t. Borrower failure is baked into the business plan. [More]

Economy: Used Car Dealer Becomes Used Horse Dealer Too

Economy: Used Car Dealer Becomes Used Horse Dealer Too

With the economy in the dumps, used car dealers are having to get creative with the trade-ins. There’s long been used car dealers advertising they’ll take any trade that’s “push, pulled, or dragged.” One dealership is adding trots to that phrase, as they’re now accepting horses. [More]

Should It Have To Be Disclosed If A Used Car Was Smoked In?

Should It Have To Be Disclosed If A Used Car Was Smoked In?

You get into the seats, place your hands on the wheel and sniff. That’s not new car smell you’re getting, but the faint notes of incinerated tobacco leaves. Perhaps they’re peaking out from a cloying cloud of freshener, like a bra strap from a tank top. Dangit. You thought you found a good contender and wasted all this time to come out and check the car out, and now it turns out someone used to smoke in it. Reader Ethan wonders if this isn’t something that dealers should have to disclose, or at least something that should show up on CarFax. [More]

Expect To Pay More For A Used Car As Supply Shrinks

Expect To Pay More For A Used Car As Supply Shrinks

Between June and November of 2008, while the nation plunged into economic turmoil, car leasing dropped off by 58% as people looked to save money wherever possible. Fast forward to the present day where, because of that drop-off in leased vehicles, the supply of late-model vehicles coming up for resale will soon be shrinking. [More]

How To Avoid Flood-Damaged Used Vehicles

How To Avoid Flood-Damaged Used Vehicles

Disastrous flooding, such as what the Midwest and Southeast has recently suffered, tends to, well, flood the used car market with damaged vehicles that pass the eyeball test. There are ways to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous resellers try to move water-addled rides, though. [More]

Lithia Motors Doesn't Believe You Actually Want To Opt Out Of Their Text Message Spam

Lithia Motors Doesn't Believe You Actually Want To Opt Out Of Their Text Message Spam

Unwanted text message ads are annoying, but if the advertiser lets you opt out that should be the end of it, right? Apparently the folks at Lithia Motors, one of the nation’s largest auto retailers, think you might not have meant it when you told them to stop bugging you. [More]