Next time you’re beating on a rental car, ponder how the car might end up on a used car lot someday. Will the next owner be told it was a rental? Hard to say, but a surprisingly large number of people buy former rentals without knowing it. And the law makes that even more likely.

In fact, in Michigan, car dealers can call former rental vehicles “program cars,” a law they got passed so they could legally mislead people who were car shopping. I’ve always wondered what a car seller would be told if they asked which “program” the car had been a part of. The “drug-running program in Miami,” or the “abused by every driver at Detroit Metro Airport program”?

This is becoming a little less common with Carfax etc but we know that these services sometimes miss things. And a sharp shopper should inspect the previous title before the final handshake. It’s just that some people somehow miss these things. And with most of the things I’ve talked about here, it is better to avoid this situation than to try and fix it later after you have made the mistake.

Here is the audio:

And the video:

And the truck at the top is not a rental as far as I know. I just saw it by the side of the road and thought it looked nice.

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Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 24 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation.

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