Arizonans may lose the ability to buy a new car without dealing with a car salesperson. On a 3-2 vote Tuesday, the Senate Transportation Committee adopted legislation that would eliminate the ability of buyers to hire independent auto brokers to handle the entire transaction.
The measure, crafted by car dealers, would require that someone from the dealership actually deliver the vehicle to the customer, whether at the dealership or at the buyer’s home or office.
But Jim Prueter, a senior vice president for AAA Arizona said that is precisely what customers don’t want — and precisely why they use his organization’s auto buying service.
“You come to AAA (because) you don’t want to buy an extended warranty and you don’t want to buy an $800 wax job and you don’t want to buy rust proofing on a car in the desert or upgraded wheels or stereos, pinstriping, floor mats, luggage racks on a sedan and who knows what else,’’ he told lawmakers.
Bobbi Sparrow, president of the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association, said there is a need for her members to be involved in the actual delivery.
Sparrow told legislators that the dealers are not trying to get rid of brokers, who make their money through a fee paid by dealers for selling one of their cars or trucks, but are only trying to impose some controls.
She said state law requires dealers to actually prepare the title and registration for a vehicle.
But Sparrow acknowledged that already is being done now, even in situations where the deal was negotiated by a broker and the dealer never sees the buyer.
Sparrow said dealers also ensure that buyers know how to operate their new vehicles safely.
“We wanted to make sure we explained the vehicle properly, how it would work,’’ she said. “We didn’t want them out on the street without them being shown the new safety features of a vehicle.’’
HB2386 now goes to the full Senate.