Car Buyers Beware When Buying from a “Buy Here Pay Here” Dealer

Buy Here Pay Here car dealers sell cars and trucks to persons with bad credit or no credit. The dealers are called Buy Here Pay Here because they finance the cars themselves. There is no credit check as with traditional car sales in which the dealer places the loan with an auto finance company such as Ford Credit or any of the other of hundreds of auto finance companies.

The BHPH dealers typically sell older cars often with mileage exceeding 100,000 miles. Some of the cars belong in a junk yard. The dealers will sell a car with little or no small down payment, but the price is often three to five times what the car is worth and the loan will be at an extremely high interest rate.

The good news is that in California a law provides protection for such buyers. Civil Code § 1795.51 requires BHPH dealers to provide buyers with a written warranty good for the first 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first. These warranties give the buyers true lemon law rights meaning if the buyer reports a defect in the warranty period and the dealer does not repair it after a reasonable number of attempts (or flat out refuses to attempt repairs), the buyer has the right to sue to get his or her money back.

Some BHPH dealers are not telling buyers a warranty comes with the car. Instead, they sell the car “as is.” This practice is illegal. By law, such a dealer has automatically given the buyer the warranty. Buyers stuck with a lemon car from a BHPH dealer may wish to contact Mark Anderson for further advice.

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