A reminder to all dealerships on various aspects of the FTC Used Car Rule:

  • You must post a Buyers Guide before you "offer" a used vehicle for sale. A vehicle is offered for sale when you display it for sale or let a customer inspect it for the purpose of buying it, even if the car is not fully prepared for delivery.
    • At the top of the Guide, fill in the vehicle make, model, model year, and vehicle identification number (VIN). Write in a dealer stock number if you wish.
    • On the back of the Guide, fill in the name and address of your dealership. You must also fill in the name (or position) and the telephone number of the person the consumer should contact with complaints. You may use a rubber stamp or preprint your Guide with this information.
  • The Buyer’s Guide must be printed in BLACK ink.
  • Previously titled or not, any vehicle driven for purposes other than moving or test driving, is considered a used vehicle, including light-duty vans, light-duty trucks, demonstrators, and program cars.
    • Pre-owned, certified cars are included in the Used Car Rule
  • The Buyers Guide must be posted prominently and conspicuously on or in a vehicle when a car is available for sale. This means it must be in plain view and both sides must be visible. The FTC suggests: the rear-view mirror inside the car, on a side-view mirror outside the car, or on a side window.
    • A Guide in a glove compartment, trunk or under the seat is not conspicuous because it is not in plain sight.
  • If you conduct a used car transaction in Spanish, you must post a Spanish language Buyers Guide on the vehicle before you display or offer it for sale.
  • You may remove the Guide for a test drive, but you must replace it as soon as the test drive is over.
  • Generally, the guide is a disclosure document that gives consumers important purchasing and warranty information, the Buyers Guide tells consumers:
  • whether the vehicle is being sold "as is" or with a warranty;
  • what percentage of the repair costs a dealer will pay under warranty;
  • that oral promises are difficult to enforce;
  • to get all promises in writing;
  • to keep the Buyers Guide for reference after the sale;
  • the major mechanical and electrical systems on the car, as well as some of the major problems that consumers should look out for; and
  • to ask to have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before they buy.

Below are links to an FTC publication summarizing these requirements:
A Dealer's Guide to the Used Car Rule         Online version

A Dealer's Guide to the Used Car Rule         PDF Format

Note also that Auto Industry Division has a goal to visit every dealership in Colorado to conduct a basic compliance audit—this is item #1 on their audit check-list

See the July 9, 2008 issue of CADA Open Road for more information on these audits from Auto Industry Division.


If you have questions on any legal or regulatory topic, please contact:


Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
 290 East Speer Boulevard Denver, CO  80203
 Telephone:  303.831.1722  |  Facsimile: 303.831.4205