Buying a Car from a Dealership
When you decide on buying a car from a California dealer, you will (or should) always see an “As-Is” sticker in the window.
The dealer can possibly sell you the car As-Is, but you are still legally entitled to certain “minimum” standards of operation for the vehicle. The following is a list of what you can ask when purchasing the vehicle (or shortly after purchasing the vehicle), to ensure you’re getting what you’re legally entitled to.
* Do all headlamps work (and high/low beams work)?
* Do brake lights work (including the middle-3rd light)?
* Do tail lights work?
* Do side markers and turn signals work?
* Does the rear license plate illuminating light work?
* Do the backup lights work, and do they work automatically when the vehicle is placed in reverse?
* Is the proper voltage getting to every light?
* Does the parking brake work properly?
* What is the condition of all brakes?
* Do the wipers work?
* Does the horn work?
* Is the fuel cap OEM or of a compatible grade?
* Do all the seat belts work and are they in good condition?
* Do the tires have “legal tread” of 1/32nd tread?
* Does the odometer work properly?
* Does the vehicle have a theft deterrent system? If so, does it have a siren, or it is just lights/horn?
* Does the vehicle have two license plates?
Most reputable dealers will inspect these items prior to your buying a car. Occasionally, they may only inspect prior to you taking delivery of the vehicle. In any event, those above listed items should work and if they don’t then the dealer will fix them.
If there are issues and you need to consult an attorney, you will need all of your purchase paperwork.
Additionally, if you are going to claim there is something missing or inoperable, then the vehicle will need to be inspected by a licensed shop, preferably a dealer of the make of the vehicle. You want to have a good “document trail” to present to the dealer or to an attorney.