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While auto dealers in the US are having a good time due to the record sales figures for used cars all over the country, the same isn’t true for all the customers. For instance, in several parts of Florida, including Pensacola, customers have to wait for months after buying a used car for the dealers to deliver the car title.

This issue directly results from an automobile industry that believes in selling off a used vehicle as quickly as possible, even if the dealer does not possess the title. But this brings in a lot of trouble for the buyer unless they get the title. The new owners cannot register their purchase or even drive the car after a certain period.

The issue is further escalated if the said car gets into an accident. In such cases, Pensacola Car Accident Lawyers need to put in a lot of effort to ensure a satisfactory outcome for their client’s suits.

A New Bill For Car Dealers

As a solution, some lawmakers are pushing for new legislation to increase the time allowed to dealers for transferring the car title to the buyers from 30 to 60 days. The proposed bill, known as House Bill 1517, is co-sponsored by Rep. Andrew Learned, D-Brandon, and state Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs. The bill is reportedly being advocated by lobbyists hired by online car dealers like Carvana and Vroom.

As per the draft, which unanimously passed the first committee session, dealers would get 60 days to provide new owners with the title and would need to issue a 60-day temporary tag that allows them to drive the vehicle. According to Smith, the primary intent behind this bill is to provide some respite to car dealers affected due to the ongoing pandemic.

He further claimed that while dealers transfer close to 90% of titles within the 30-day period, troubles with their finance companies have emerged as an issue. Since dealers tend to put up the car for sale while waiting for the title from the finance company, the car is often sold before they obtain it. As a result, they fail to provide the title to the customer.

According to Ted Smith, the President of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association, the problem has been there since 2018, but the pandemic has increased it further. In addition, as finance companies are short of staff, it’s taking them more time to deliver the titles to the dealers.

The Reaction To The Bill

The reactions to the bill haven’t been too optimistic. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the state tax collectors who deal with vehicle registration aren’t in favor of the bill. They are of the opinion that the bill may be harmful to the consumers.

For instance, Mike Fasano, the Pasco County Tax Collector, commented that while the sponsors of the bill think that they are attempting to fix this problem, they might end up making it far worse. On the other hand, the concerns of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles are related to the current draft of the bill.

According to the Department’s spokesperson, Aaron Keller, the most recurring complaint about car dealers in Florida is their failure to transfer the title to the new owner within the required period of 30 days.

The department has levied fines and taken action against online-only car dealers like Vroom and Carvana earlier for not transferring the titles to multiple customers within the stipulated time.

In their opinion, dealers should refrain from selling cars unless they are in possession of the title – this will save a lot of hassle for both the dealer and the buyer. However, extending the timeline for transferring the title is unlikely to work out, as there’s no guarantee that the dealer will follow the deadline.

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