purchasing process

Before the Purchase

  • Highly recommend that all consumers purchase used vehicles from licensed dealers. It is key that a consumer test drive any potential purchase.
  • Best that a consumer exercise the right to have the vehicle checked by a mechanic before the purchase.

As-Is Purchases

  • As-Is means the dealer is selling without a warranty, and if there is any mechanical breakdown after purchase repairs are the responsibility of the buyer.
  • Unless a consumer can prove a subsequent mechanical failure was due to a known fault purposely concealed, or repaired in a temporary manner that is deceptive in its purpose, the selling dealer is not likely to be held liable.
  • Dealer's failure to disclose material facts can void an As-Is sale Comer vs Person Auto Sales Inc.368 F Supp.2d 476 (M.D.N.C. 2005)

Bill of Sale

Itemizes the entire purchase price to include:

•NC Road Use tax
•Tag fees
• "Doc Fees"
•Trade-in allowance
•Debits and credits for equity in trade or trade-in payoff
•Down payment
•Prices for ancillary products (such as Service contracts)
•Associated sales tax

Title Issues

  • A dealer is required to have possession of the vehicle title before offering for retail sale.
  • The physical possession of the last issued title is the only way a dealer can verify the existence of any "Brands", odometer discrepancies, or to confirm no outstanding liens against the previous owner


  • It is significant that a warranty is included in the purchase price. A warranty is provided directly by the dealer
  • Where most confusion sets in is when a service contract is provided by a third party provider, at an additional cost to the buyer.

Required Disclosure

  • Dealers have a duty to disclose  any material information a consumer would want to know that would affect the decision to purchase.
  • If a dealer has knowledge of any prior damage to the vehicle the dealer has a duty to inspect and disclose the findings of that inspection.
  • By statute (NCGS § 20-71.4.): a dealer must disclose any fire, theft, flood, or salvage history; and if the vehicle is five model years old or newer the dealer must disclose any body damage that exceeded 25% of the values of the vehicle at the time of the repair.
  • A dealer must disclose the odometer reading at the time of sale, and must further state if it is actual mileage, in excess of mechanical limitations, or if the mileage disclosed is not the actual mileage.
  • North Carolina DMV Odometer Disclosure Statement and other documents