The term “curbstoning” comes from the practice of parking automotive “inventory” along the curb, although many curbstoners also use vacant lots and unmonitored parking lots as temporary places of business.
Curbstoners are car “flippers” – people who regularly buy cheap cars, fix them up to look decent, and sell them for a quick profit. They often pose as the car’s owner, but they’re not – so they can dodge limits on the number of vehicles an individual can sell before having to register as a dealer.
Curbstoned vehicles may be lemons, salvaged, or even cobbled together from parts from the wrecking yard. They may have been written off as total losses by insurance companies due to collision, flood, or other damage.
Sometimes, unethical used car dealers use curbstoning as a way to get rid of duds they can’t sell on their lots.
Once you buy a curbstoned vehicle, you have nowhere to turn if the car develops problems. If the problems are serious enough, the car may fail inspection or be denied insurance coverage. And, the law requires you to disclose the problems when you sell the car.
According to ABC News, experts estimate that 80% of the used cars in classified ads are not being advertised by individual owners. And, some state licensing officials say that as many as one in five cars sold outside a commercial automotive dealership are curbstoned.
Georgia House Bill 144, our anti-curbstoning bill, passed and went into law July 1st, 2007. Georgia Code Section O.C.G.A. §40-2-39.1
This statute falls under the jurisdiction and enforcement of title 40 which is motor vehicle and traffic law. That means that any city, county or state law enforcement officer is authorized to enforce the anti-curbstoning laws. Law enforcement officers can write tickets to the individual vehicle owner, the property owner and/or even the lessee of the property. The fines and penalties range from $100 to $1000 for each violation, and/or up to 12 months in jail.
In almost every community vacant lots or parking lots of private businesses are loaded up with cars for sale, especially on the weekends. These are prime areas for criminal activity. Drug dealers, money launderers and even a terrorist would rather buy a used car from an individual than buying one from a legitimate auto dealer These are also prime locations where stereos and wheels are stolen.
Information courtesy of the GIADA and STOPCURBSTONING.COM