FTC Staff Report on Buying and Financing Cars: Part I

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In July 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued its “Staff Report on Buying and Financing Cars.” The Staff Report consisted of two separate reports – a report from the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (“BCP”) entitled “Buckle Up: Navigating Auto Sales and Financing,” and a joint study entitled “The Auto Buyer Study: Lessons from In-Depth Consumer Interviews and Related Research” issued by the BCP and the Bureau of Economics. This article, the first of a two-part series, will address the “Buckle Up” report.

The FTC’s findings in the “Buckle Up” report stemmed from a study conducted by the BCP in April 2017. The BCP interviewed 38 consumers who had recently purchased and financed a vehicle through an automobile dealer. The “Buckle Up” report compiled and analyzed the consumers’ answers to a variety of questions regarding auto advertising, price negotiation, financing negotiation, ancillary products and services, document consummation, and spot delivery. In particular, the “Buckle Up” report noted the following consumer issues in auto sales and financing...

Originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of Tennessee Dealer News.

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