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Picture this: all your cars are lined up beautifully on your lot. You open for a day of business with potential sales lined up. In walks an auditor and you are hit with several fines. Why? Because you made one simple mistake when it comes to your vehicle buying guides. In this article, we’ll define what a buyer’s guide is, the common mistake most auto dealers make when it comes to buyer’s guides, and how to proactively avoid inspections and fines related to the issue.

If you prefer an audio-visual version of this blog, click below. 

What is a Buyer’s Guide?

A buyer’s guide is a federally mandated document. It says Buyer’s Guide at the top, “as-is no dealer warranty” or “comes with a warranty” along with some other information. On the backside of the Buyer’s Guide is a list of all the parts and pieces of the car that may or may not be warranted.

The Most Common Mistake With Vehicle Buyer’s Guides

The buyer’s guide must be displayed on the window of a vehicle for sale. It cannot be on the front seat, backseat, in the trunk, or in the stack of sales paperwork– it must be displayed on a car window. It’s the easiest violation that an auditor/inspector will find. Inspectors don’t have to go into the office, they don’t have to review computers, and they don’t have to review any paperwork. Literally, by stopping on the dealer’s lot or even from the street driving by, they can see if there’s a Buyer’s Guide missing on a vehicle, and if there is and the vehicle isn’t marked with a Not For Sale sign, then that can be a violation for which they will assess a fine against the dealer.

What Car Dealers Should Do

Regularly auditing your lot of vehicles for window-displayed Buyer’s Guide is the best way to avoid non-compliance and the fine associated with it. Maybe make it part of a weekly routine or checklist. Doing so will proactively keep money in your business by avoiding silly Buyer’s Guide display fines.

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Steven Lefkoff

Steven is the founder of Lefkoff Law and is committed to providing legal educational resources for businesses. Lefkoff Law serves Georgia-based small businesses and specializes in supporting car dealers.

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