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New Law Protects Car Buyers

A new law goes into effect July first that requires dealers in California to clearly display a “used” vehicle’s history.This law is the first of its kind across the nation. Until now, it was up to the consumer to do the homework before purchasing a car.Car dealers in California are now required to mark used vehicles with bright red warning stickers if they are listed in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System Data Base as junk, salvage, or inundated during floods.According to Walter Alfaro, the General Manager of Perry Ford Lincoln Mazda of Santa Barbara, “It protects the customer, it protects the dealer and the prior owner of the car. We know the history, exactly what the right value when selling the car and we’re making the right disclosure.”Dealers are also required to provide information, similar to a “Car Fax” report.”If a vehicle has been in another state and had damage, or if people keep changing the title, it identifies exactly what happened to that vehicle.”According to the Center for Auto Safety, California has the largest market for salvaged cars.The organization says that is because there are many young people, low income, immigrants and military families. The law also requires them to register vehicles electronically. That’s expected to save the state millions of dollars each year in D.M.V. paperwork. In exchange dealers are allowed to raise the fee for titles and registration by 25 dollars.Most feel the cost is worth it, if it saves the consumer from potential headaches.The law does not apply to R.V.s, motorcycles,and off-highway vehicles.Click on the picture to get more information and see the video version of this story.

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