Dealer Disclosure


My father bought a car that was represented to him as a demo car that was over on miles & couldn’t be sold as new, but it wasn’t really a used car…I just ran a carfax & it ends up that it was a rental car that the dealer bought at auction. What legally can he do? Does anyone know where to find the laws on this? Everything I’m finding focuses on the warrenty.

Thanks for any help.


Nothing. It was sold to him as a used car. And fraud is almost impossible to prove.

Besides, the way the industry works, of it was a rental car from another dealership that came from their inventory, and it has never been registered, it could still be classified as a “new” car.

The real questions are is it covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty for the advertised period? Did he pay a fair price, assuming it as a used car? Is the car okay? And is he happy with it?


Is there any paperwork that says the car was a Demo??? If it was only through oral conversation did he RECORD the conversation??

If so then you have some legal rights. The least you can do is make a complaint to the AG’s office. They get enough complaints they’ll launch a investigation…MAYBE…


Did he pay a used ca price, or a new car price? And does it have a new car warranty?


Check with the AGs office in your state as it is going to vary from state to state.

JMHO, but I doubt he’s going to get anywhere with this.
A demo is technically a used car and the warranty period begins on the day the car is put into service as demo.

It’s over on miles, so maybe it was a dealer demo that was used a rental unit for people leaving their cars at the service department or as part of a car rental program at the dealer. My brother in law had a minor accident once and he rented a demo Camaro to drive for a week while his vehicle was at an independent body shop being repaired; and he drove it a lot.

Eventually the miles get high enough, the car has been around too long with no buyer in sight (referred to as a Lot Lizard or Lot Leper), and the dealer sent it off to auction to increase cash flow a bit rather than continue to pay interest on it each month.

Maybe he was lied to or maybe not. Salesmen are allowed a bit of leeway legally in promoting a vehicle and this is called “puffing”.


Since there could be a disagreement over what constitutes the word “used”; this from the Feds.

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every used car they offer for sale. This includes light-duty vans, light-duty trucks, demonstrators, and program cars. Demonstrators are new cars that have not been owned, leased, or used as rentals, but have been driven by dealer staff. Program cars are low-mileage, current-model-year vehicles returned from short-term leases or rentals. Buyers Guides do not have to be posted on motorcycles and most recreational vehicles. Anyone who sells less than six cars a year doesn’t have to post a Buyers Guide

The Feds also state (hard to believe!) NEVER rely on the spoken word during a car deal. Writing only.


It sounds like the dealer lied simply on the beginning life of the car. They admitted it was a used car. Cars that are demo’s (at least in Pennsylvania) get to be sold as new cars. There is a mileage limit, but that is why they are taken from the salesmen at a certain mileage. If you paid a good price, then it shouldn’t really matter. The real kick in the butt would be if you paid a new car price for a used car. However, I don’t see how you can prove the dealer lied since all the paperwork should indicate it was a used car and they said it would be sold as a used car.



From an ethical standpoint, what has your father lost? So he was lied to by a car salesman. Who hasn’t been lied to by a car salesman? Does the fact that it was a rental rather than a demo mean that the car is somehow worth less? I fail to understand why the distinction is so important. What is the condition of the car? Has your father had problems with the car that make this an issue?