Running a car dealership is difficult work that comes tremendous responsibility and liability to customers and employees. You also do your best to run an ethical business to grow and retain your customer base. Improperly filing title transfers and satisfying liens on time is a great way to upset both your customers and the government.
Florida gives you 30 days to transfer a title and 10 days to pay off a lien. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently fined a Tallahassee dealership on 111 separate counts of not transferring car titles or satisfying outstanding liens on time.
This was a case where the dealer unnecessarily created a negative impact on their business. A customer reportedly filed a complaint after waiting seven months for the dealership to transfer the title on the vehicle they traded in. If the title is in that customer’s name, they would still be liable for any damage caused by the vehicle. Transferring a title in a timely manner isn’t only legal, it’s the right thing to do.
That same investigation found 17 trade-in vehicles that the dealership failed to satisfy the liens on. An advantage of the customer trading their vehicle in to a dealership is that the customer does not have to satisfy the lien before finalizing the transaction. This can create an unhappy customer who received an unexpected bill for a vehicle they expected to no longer have financial responsibility for.
Similarly, you cannot resell a trade-in vehicle until the lien is satisfied. Not only could you face a fine for not satisfying the lien, you lose additional money by not being able to resell the vehicle.
Don’t overlook the small stuff
A lot of work goes into running a car dealership. Sometimes it’s the little things rather than the big things that can harm your business and customer satisfaction alone. Don’t let filing your paperwork in a timely manner fall by the wayside.