When buying a used car in California, you probably take great care to ensure the seller is being honest and that you check out the car enough to see if it has any problems. When you buy a used car from a dealership, it is actually responsible under the law to do certain things, including disclosing some details about the car. There are laws at the state level regarding this, and there are laws at the federal level, such as the used car rule.

The used car rule is a Federal Trade Commission rule that, according to the Government Publishing Office, requires an auto dealer to be truthful when selling you a used car. This rule makes sure that dealers are held responsible for telling you about any mechanical issues. Dealers also cannot misrepresent any warranty terms or not tell you about the warranty before the sale concludes.

This rule’s main duty is to keep dealerships honest. It helps to reduce deceitful practices and helps you to ensure that what a dealer tells you is the truth. If it is not, then it gives you recourse. You can fall back on this rule to help you fight a deceptive dealership.

Laws, such as this one, are important. However, they do not guarantee that every used car you buy will be in perfect condition. It is by nature that “used” means it is not new and not in perfect condition. The law just helps ensure that if the dealership knows of an issue, it will let you know about it before the sale. This information is for education and is not legal advice.