Car Buyer's Bill of Rights

The Car Buyer's Bill of Rights affects retail vehicle sales by requiring California-licensed car dealers to provide an itemized price list for financial items, such as warranties and insurance, and provide buyers their credit score with an explanation of how it is used. It does not apply to motorcycles, off-highway motor vehicles, and transactions between private parties. 

Consumer Credit Score Disclosure

Dealers must provide a "Notice to Vehicle Credit Applicant" written document, in at least 10-point type, separate from the sale or lease document, which states:

Auto Financing Fee Caps

If a dealer obtains financing on your behalf, the dealer compensation from the financing institution is limited to no more than either:

This limit does not apply when assignment requires the dealer to bear the entire risk of financial performance for the consumer or when the assignment is more than six months after the date of the conditional sale contract.

Purchase Price Disclosure for Items Included in the Monthly Payment

The dealer must provide a written document with the price of specified items purchased and their effect on installment payments (California Civil Code §2982).

Prohibited "Certified" Used Vehicles

Used cars advertised as "certified" must meet specific requirements. The dealer must perform a complete inspection of the vehicle and provide consumers with a copy of the inspection report.

Dealers are prohibited from advertising a vehicle as "certified" if the:


Used Car Buyers

Consumers who purchase a used car for less than $40,000 must be offered a two-day contract cancellation option agreement.

NOTE: There is no "cooling off" period unless you purchase a contract cancellation option agreement.

EXCEPTION: The contract cancellation option agreement does not apply to used cars priced at $40,000 or more, new cars, private party sales, motorcycles, off-highway vehicles, recreational vehicles, or vehicles sold for business or commercial use (does not include pickup trucks purchased for personal use).

Cancellation Option Specifics
If you choose to purchase the contract cancellation option agreement, expect to pay:

If you return the vehicle within the time specified, the dealer may charge a maximum restocking fee of:

NOTE: The contract cancellation option agreement fee is nonrefundable. However, if the dealer charges a restocking fee, they must deduct the contract cancellation option agreement fee from the restocking fee. If the dealer did not charge for the contract cancellation option agreement and sold or transferred title of the vehicle the buyer used as a down payment or trade-in, the fair market value or value stated in the sales contract must be refunded, whichever is greater.

Contract Cancellation Option Agreement Vehicle Returns

The dealer must provide a full refund of the sales tax, registration fees, and deposit or trade-in vehicle collected from the buyer. If the buyer did not return the vehicle by the standards above, the dealer may refuse the return of the vehicle; however, a written notice must be provided to the buyer.