Would you buy a used car from a dealer who had no license, no permits, no liability insurance, and not even a business address?
That’s what you’re doing when you buy a car from a curbstoner.
The term “curbstoning” comes from the practice of parking automotive “inventory” along the curb, although many curbstoners also use vacant lots and unmonitored parking lots as temporary places of business.
Curbstoners are car “flippers” – people who regularly buy cheap cars, fix them up to look decent, and sell them for a quick profit. They often pose as the car’s owner, but they’re not – so they can dodge limits on the number of vehicles an individual can sell before having to register as a dealer.
Curbstoned vehicles may be lemons, salvaged, or even cobbled together from parts from the wrecking yard. They may have been written off as total losses by insurance companies due to collision, flood, or other damage.
Sometimes, unethical used car dealers use curbstoning as a way to get rid of duds they can’t sell on their lots.
Once you buy a curbstoned vehicle, you have nowhere to turn if the car develops problems. If the problems are serious enough, the car may fail inspection or be denied insurance coverage. And, the law requires you to disclose the problems when you sell the car.
According to ABC News, experts estimate that 80% of the used cars in classified ads are not being advertised by individual owners. And, some state licensing officials say that as many as one in five cars sold outside a commercial automotive dealership are curbstoned.
It is up to you, as a buyer, to make an informed purchase. We’re here to help!