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Attorney General Highlights General Rules for Buying a Used Car

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/attorneyge_5587.mp3

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is offering tips for consumers who are interested in buying a used car. KSMU’s Matt Evans explains why.

Earlier this week, seven used car dealerships across the state of Missouri, including one in Springfield, were cited for safety violations that could have put their customers in danger. Supercars, Inc. of Springfield will have to pay $7,500 in restitution for selling used cars without a safety inspection. Koster says Supercars would have the customer sign an affidavit stating that the car was meant to be used for rebuilding, salvage or junk even though the dealership would allow the customer to test drive the car and drive it off the lot.

“The buyer didn’t take time to read the document and like all of us who are increasingly confronted with credit card contracts and other contracts that are very time consuming to read in a fast paced world, you can get caught by surprise and that’s what happened in these cases.”

Koster says reading the contract thoroughly is just one of the precautions consumers need to take when buying a used car.

“Well, if you’re a buyer at a used car lot, you want to make sure that the safety inspections have been done, that there is an appropriate title that is being given to you, and that the titling of the automobile is correct.”

He also says that a vehicle history report is something that every consumer buying a used car needs.

“If I was buying a used automobile I’d run a check and make sure that I had documentation that this car had never been in an automobile accident before and a reputable dealer will give you that kind of assurance and give it to you in writing.”

Koster goes on to say that there are many honorable used car dealerships, but the seven that were caught were not playing by the rules.

For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.