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Buying a vehicle is a little bit different in every state. Whether it’s your first time or 100th time shopping for a car in California, it’s very important to understand that the auto market in this state has many unique characteristics.
Unfortunately, there are a decent number of small details that many California consumers tend to overlook; some of which can potentially end up costing a pretty penny!
The importance of being adequately prepared for the car buying process in California cannot be overstated. Here are three major things to keep in mind as you shop around.
1. You Are Legally Protected Against Defective Used Cars
Under the California lemon law, also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, buyers of used cars can potentially receive legal benefits if the vehicle has a defect covered by a warranty.
First of all, what is a “defect?”
Basically, a defect can be any problem with the vehicle that impairs the car’s use, value, or safety. Commonly, these types of problems, or defect, will stem from issues with the:
1. Engine 2. Transmission 3. Brakes 4. Ignition 5. Electrical system 6. Steering 7. AC/heat 8. Windshield wipers 9. Seat belts 10. Among others
The Lemon Law is present across the United States; however, most states differ from state to state. The California lemon law has its own specific requirements and will cover both new and used vehicles.
To qualify for benefits under the California lemon law, the used vehicle must be sold with a warranty, either dealer or manufacturer. This will be indicated in the Buyer’s Guide when the vehicle is on display at the dealership.
In order for the vehicle to be officially deemed a lemon in California, there are a few pieces of criteria that come into play.
Many consumers tend to think they are simply out of luck if they bought a defective used car. Unless you bought it “as is,” there is a chance you can still receive justice!
2. Vehicles MUST Be Able to Pass a Smog Test Before Being Sold
In California (and several other states across the country), vehicles are required to pass a smog test to receive registration. This must be done every two years to car models that are four years or older.
If the “Check Engine” light is on, there is a chance you will fail the emissions test. If this is the case, getting the vehicle fixed to pass can be expensive - potentially upwards of $1000!
Sellers in California have a responsibility to ensure that the vehicle they are selling is properly tested before being sold. If you buy from a dealership, you probably don’t have to worry about this - but you definitely do not want to take any risks.
Be sure you look at the documentation that indicates the vehicle was tested. Keep in mind that smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of service.
When buying from a private party, on the other hand, there is a chance the vehicle has not been smog tested.
As a general rule of thumb when buying used cars: ALWAYS get it inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchasing. It might cost you a couple of hundred dollars for the assessment, but the expense is pocket change compared to what you might end up paying in repairs.
3. The California Tire Fee ONLY Applies to New Cars
The “California Tire Fee scam” is a very common dealership scam seen across the state.
Per the California Public Resources Code Section 42885, everyone who purchases a new tire in California must pay the California Tire Fee of $1.75 per tire. So, for a new vehicle, this comes out to a grand total of $8.75 (including the spare tire).
When you buy a used car, the tires are typically not new. However, some car dealerships will add this on to the purchase price of the pre-owned vehicle.
The reason this scam is so widespread is that the cost is minuscule to the consumer - and tends to get paid with no fuss or second thoughts.
$8.75 is not much for a single person. But if a dealership sells 3,000 used vehicles in a year, that adds up to more than $26,000!
If you are buying a used vehicle from a dealership, don’t fall for the California Tire Fee scam! If they insist that the tires are new, take some measurements. New tires normally start with 10/32” to 11/32” of tread depth.
Buying a vehicle is an intricate process. Moreover, many dealerships are well-versed in sales strategies to squeeze the most money out of unsuspecting buyers. You certainly DO NOT want to go into it unprepared!
If you are looking to buy a vehicle in the state of California, keep these three things in mind!
Car dash cameras are all over the internet for sale. However, rushing into getting one can be good or bad, depending on your luck. It is although good to know that for you to get a dash cam that will serve you correctly, you need to pay attention to various factors to avoid buying the wrong dashboard camera and they include;
Commonly, a dash cam or any other camera is used for capturing images. However, don’t forget the kind of environment that you will want to use your camera. If you are fond of driving during the night, for example, you will need a camera with excellent night vision. There are also car dashboard cameras that have microphones and will capture both the images and sound.
Some can capture footages for longer hours, and the list of features can go on. There are so many companies that manufacture car dash cameras. Because they are all competing for the same market, which is car owners, they want to outdo each other. This is an advantage to the buyer since it offers variety.
To be safe, some car owners are keen only to purchase dash cams from globally recognized manufacturers. Although it is a more secure way of getting value for money, in most cases, such cameras are too expensive. What many people don’t know is that some low-cost dash cams can perform just like any high-end car dashboard camera.
You will, although not want to be the first person to buy a car dashboard camera from a new manufacturer in the industry. Note that some companies have been manufacturing technology for cars in a while but are only getting into making dash cams.
Dash cams are available in different sizes and even shapes. You cannot pick any because you will need to consider various factors like the kind of job you do. Some organizations don’t allow cameras in their premises, for example. If you are working for such an organization, a smaller and discreet dash cam can be an excellent choice to go with.
Like finding any other thing that you want, getting an excellent dash cam will take a considerable amount of research. If you intend to purchase you dash cam online, you need to watch out for con artists who pose like genuine car dashboard sellers.