Archive June 2019

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Slow Title or No Title When Selling a Car or at Trade-In

I just picked up a great car at auction and have a customer that is really interested in buying today.  Should I sell the car even though I have not received the title to the vehicle? The short answer is: don’t do it! The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has spoken when selling a vehicle without a title.....proceed at your own risk. There may be a $10,000 administrative penalty waiting for you if you choose to take a chance and hope the title shows up in the mail by the time the customer drives off the lot (and the title does not have a recorded lien). Dealers need to be extremely aware of the 30-day deadline to transfer a title (or 45 if seller financed).  Unfortunately, many dealers often exceed the allowable timeframes to register a vehicle. Remember that vehicle registrations timeframes are routinely audited by the Texas Department of Motor vehicles and any anomalies or complaints may end up as significant penalties.

How to Become a Car Dealer in Texas

Are you interested in the automotive business, or currently work for a car dealer, and want to become an independent dealer with your own car business?  The list below contains a step by step guide on how to become a used car dealer in Texas.  

You can also find an online course to help explain everything you need to know at

Digital Curbstoning a Growing Concern

It used to be that Consumers looking to purchase used cars often consider buying from a private seller as an alternative to buying through a dealership. Curbstoners would prey on these consumer by parking a car on the side of a highway or empty field with a for sale sign on the window.  With more and more customers going online to purchase a car, curbstoners are following them into the internet.

Wheels, Tires, and Belongings After Repo: Personal Property or Affixed to the Vehicle?

TIADA frequently receives calls inquiring about personal property found in a vehicle after a repossession. If a customer defaults on their retail installment contract, the dealer should take precautions when dealing with personal property found in the vehicle after a repossession. 

Test Drive Procedures and Best Practices

When a vehicle is sold, and all the paperwork completed, liability for accidents shifts solely to the buyer. In a test-drive situation, however, the dealer still has ownership and control of the vehicle and there is the potential for significant liability exposure for an accident caused by the test driver if their personal auto policy denies coverage or has lapsed.

Be Careful Selling Warranties and Service Plans

A Pennsylvania dealership sold and leased cars with a manufacturer’s warranty for 36 months or 36,000 miles. It also offered retail and lease customers a product it called a “warranty,” but this may have been an extended service plan. The product excluded manufacturer’s warranty claims. 
The Pennsylvania attorney general pounced on the dealership, alleging that the product “failed to provide any meaningful value relative to the consideration paid by the consumer.” The AG’s press release was blunter—the headline said the dealership sold “valueless warranties.” In colorful language, the AG is quoted as saying, “This dealership took its customers for a ride” and “bilked customers out of their hard-earned money.” Ouch

Refresher on Texas Advertising Rules

There is a lot of confusion in the market surrounding advertising vehicles in Texas.  It is important to remember that advertising rules are VERY DIFFERENT for new car dealers vs. independent car dealers.  We are constantly bombarded with advertising from new car dealers utilizing the terms “discount”, “rebate”, “sale price” etc.