Buy Here, Pay Here: Get a Warranty, Use a Warranty
A couple of years ago, the Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights was made into law. One of the remarkable changes that it made was that “buy here, pay here” dealerships must provide 30-day warranties on their vehicles. Over the last couple of years, this has created three trends.
First, many “buy here, pay here” dealerships are just ignoring the law. They are not giving warranties on all their cars. This is an important point that is often missed: They have to warrant all their cars, not just the ones that they are financing. So, if you walk into a dealership that advertises that they will finance you, make sure that you get a warranty. If you aren’t taking advantage of their financing, you should still snap a few pictures of their advertisements, so that you can later prove that they did offer financing.
Second, the “buy here, pay here” dealerships will stall to get you past your 30 day warranty. They will tell you that they cannot meet you on a particular day, that their mechanic is out, that they just do not have room on the lot at the moment, or a myriad of other tales to prevent you from bringing the vehicle in for repair. Ignore these excuses. Take the vehicle in as soon as you possibly can. Every day counts.
Third, once the “buy here, pay here” dealerships finally take your vehicle for repairs, they will not give you a repair order or an invoice. This is completely illegal. They have to give you a repair order up front and an invoice at the end, even for warranty repairs. Make sure that you get these papers. They are integral to proving your case.
“Buy here, pay here” lots can have some good deals, and now that they have to give warranties, it can be a good place to buy a vehicle. But, just as in any purchase, you have to be careful and protect yourself.