Every year, thousands of California consumers purchase used automobiles from dealers claiming that they have “clean histories” or are “one-owner” vehicles, only later to find out that their vehicles were previously registered to rental car companies. Consumers are justifiably upset when they learn that they were tricked into buying prior-rental automobiles. Rental cars have a reputation (earned or not) of having been rigorously used and, in some cases, poorly maintained. Thus, many consumers believe that rental cars are more likely to require costly future repairs. Indeed, the mere fact that an automobile was previously a rental car tends to reduce its fair market values.
Luckily, California law imposes an affirmative obligation on this State’s car dealers to disclose known rental car histories to prospective buyers. So if you were tricked into purchasing a car that was previously a part of a rental fleet you may be entitled to a buyback under California’s vehicle code, the California lemon law, or this State’s other consumer protection statutes.
How Can You Tell if Your Car Used to Be Part of a Rental Fleet?
There are several ways of determining whether or not your automobile was previously a rental car. The first, and easiest, way is to purchase a vehicle history report from one of the prominent history report providers (e.g., Carfax or AutoCheck). While these reports are far from perfect (especially when it comes to disclosing prior accident damage), they tend to be quite reliable in reporting registrations to rental car companies.
What You Can Do if Your Car Turns Out to be a Prior Rental
If your newly-purchased used car turns out to be a prior rental, and the dealer did not disclose this fact to you, then you may be entitled to a full refund or to monetary damages. The best way to pursue a prior rental car case is to contact an experienced car dealer fraud lawyer.
At the Vachon Law Firm, we specialize in prior-rental cases, and we have the knowledge and experience needed to prove that the dealer knew about the prior rental history. What’s more, we offer free consultations in rental car cases and take consumer law cases on a contingency fee basis for no money down. So if you bought a car that turned out to be a rental, call us today at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665). You can also email us your inquiries.
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