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Can vehicle salespeople sell vehicles on the private market?

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2023 | Dealer Fraud

Pennsylvania imposes several rules that govern professional automotive sales. Professionals who make a living or even augment other sources of income with the money made from vehicle sales are required to fill out state paperwork and pass a background check to engage in their chosen profession.

State rules require licensing for anyone who sells four vehicles or more in a 12-month period. Of course, licensing can be a hurdle for those with certain criminal convictions, and selling a vehicle through a dealership comes with challenges and expenses.

Particularly in scenarios where salespeople want to make as much money as possible on a transaction or intend to do something that they know is unethical, like intentionally hiding known defects, they may try to conduct the sale by posing as a member of the public instead of outing themselves as a sales professional. What happens if a salesperson tries to sell a vehicle without disclosing their profession or true identity?

Their actions may lead to fraud claims

There are many different types of auto dealer fraud, and some of them have specific state statutes that address them. For example, there are disclosure rules that licensed sales professionals must abide by or run the risk of losing their license and potentially facing litigation.

Other actions are technically illegal because of other state requirements even if the law does not address them by name. Curbstoning is a perfect example. What professionals refer to as curb stoning is the practice of a professional engaged in automotive sales attempting to sell a vehicle by posing as its owner in order to trick the buyer or eliminate certain obligations during the transaction. Curbstoning can put buyers at a disadvantage because they may not realize that they can take action against the seller or the dealership that employs them. It could also lead to someone overpaying for a vehicle because the seller feels more comfortable misrepresenting its condition and misleading the buyer.

Those who have experienced curbstoning may need help identifying the sales professional and asserting their rights under Pennsylvania consumer protection laws. Fighting back against deceptive sales tactics can compensate consumers who have invested in damaged or low-value vehicles due to misrepresentation or manipulation on the part of a licensed sales professional.

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