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What Is Curb Stoning?

  • 2 min read

Why is it important to verify who you’re purchasing a used vehicle from? There are a lot of what’s called unlicensed dealers or curb stoners out there that are buying and selling cars over the internet. It’s a lot easier to do now than it used to be. curb stoners historically get their name because they used to have to sell cars from the curb. As an unlicensed dealer, they didn’t have a dealer lot or showroom to sell from. As a result, they would just have cars at their house on the curb. They would put an ad in the classifieds in newspapers, and sell these cars directly from the curb. 

Why is curb stoning problematic?

First of all, an unlicensed dealer is against the law. It is illegal to sell vehicles without a dealer’s license. Second, an unlicensed dealer has no regulating authority overseeing their business practices or their inventory. Without outside oversight to hold the “dealer” accountable, it’s highly probable that the vehicles for sale will have a variety of issues such as odometer tampering, certificate of destruction title, prior theft, or mechanical problems.

What is odometer tampering?

Odometer tampering is when a vehicle’s odometer is purposefully changed to reflect a lower mileage to increase the value of a vehicle. Odometer tampering is often found with curb stone vehicles due to the lack of regulatory oversight of each vehicle’s odometer. A dealer’s license is required to log the odometer of each vehicle on their lot, which is why it’s much less likely that a licensed dealership will have tampered with the odometer. Curb stoning is a state-level crime, while odometer tampering is a federal offense that carries hefty legal repercussions and possible incarceration. 

Protect yourself from curb stoning practices

Before purchasing a vehicle, investigate the dealer to ensure that they are properly licensed in your state. Most states require that to have a dealer’s license, you also have to have a physical location to sell your inventory. Call the dealership prior to visiting and ask about their licensing. Dealerships that are properly licensed have nothing to hide and will be more than happy to prove their status as a legal seller.