For the past several years, used car buyers in California have had to pay
a stiff fee of $30 if they wanted a vehicle history for any car they were
considering purchasing. Many other states make such information available
over the internet for a mere $2.50, and thankfully California may soon
be joining them. California’s high cost was because of a contract
between the state and the owner of Carfax—the company that state
residents must turn to in order to purchase a vehicle history—and
new legislation may soon be changing that arrangement.
The bill recently passed by state lawmakers that will make vehicle histories
available for a low fee over the internet has now been sent to the governor
for his signature. The expensive (for consumers) agreement with Carfax
came about when R.L. Polk & Co., parent company to Carfax, made an
agreement to assist the state in providing vehicle information to a federal
database, an activity required by a law passed by Congress in 1992. In
exchange for the help provided by Polk, the state agreed not to join 14
other states in making vehicle histories accessible online.
Life can already be tough for used car buyers. For years the “used
car salesman” has been the butt of jokes—based on the fact
that the buyer can’t see under that hood and find out what might
be wrong with the car, and salespeople with low morals take advantage.
The new law, if signed, will certainly make those lives easier. In addition,
however, used car buyers should know their rights under the
“A used vehicle is sometimes sold ‘as is’ or ‘with
all faults,’” said Norman Taylor, leading lemon law attorney.
“Ordinarily, this means that the buyer is simply agreeing to take
the vehicle in the condition it is in, regardless of what that condition
may be. In such a case, there is no protection the lemon law can offer.”
Taylor knows lemon law well. He has been a lemon law specialist since 1987,
and he and his firm, Norman Taylor and Associates, have handled over 8,000
cases for consumers with a 98 percent success rate. He is one of the leading
California lemon law attorneys in southern and all of California.
It highly benefits a consumer to only buy a used car if a warranty can
also be had with the vehicle. “Consider carefully before buying
a vehicle without the valuable protections that warranties can provide,”
To be absolutely certain before the sale is closed, the buyer should check
the vehicle buyer’s guide where the type of warranty for the car is shown.