Car Dealers


A car dealer is a middleman who sells vehicles on behalf of an automaker, and usually has some financial incentive to reach sales goals. Dealerships also offer maintenance, repair and finance services, and are likely to carry replacement parts for the brands they represent. Car dealers can often offer financing at lower rates than a bank, and may even accept cash for a vehicle.

Most states have laws requiring car dealerships to give you the right to cancel your sale within a few days for a full refund. This is called a cooling-off period, money-back guarantee, or no questions asked return policy. The law varies by state, so check with your attorney general to see the rules in your area.

Dealerships make a profit by selling new and used cars, and by offering service contracts, accessories, and finance. They also sell parts and handle warranty claims for the manufacturers they represent. Most dealerships are independent, but some are owned by a parent company.

NPR has found that consumers are frequently mistreated at car dealerships, sometimes with serious consequences. Some state attorneys general have gotten involved in suing the industry, but it is hard to make a difference at the federal level. Dealerships also have a lot of power in their local communities, and can be powerful lobbyists for or against laws that could affect them. car dealers

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