Haverhill, IA asked in Consumer Law and Business Law for Texas

Q: I’m a trying to purchase a vehicle from Texas. I live in Iowa. The TX dealership says I HAVE to pay for the Safepoint.

The dealership says it’s the law in TX you are required to have Safepoint. I live in Iowa. They say they already installed it. This is a used 2022 Tahoe. They are also charging me for VIT, which my research says is not my cost. The dealership claims it made a “mistake” in the price and can’t give me a deal. Unless I finance. We were going to pay cash. So the advertised $59K vehicle is now almost $66K with fees and taxes.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: VIT is a property tax assessed on the dealer, not on the purchaser. While a dealer can list VIT reimbursement on a sales contract, it is not required by law to be paid by the purchaser and is a negotiable term of any sales agreement.

Texas law does not require a vehicle to have Safepoint GPS. A dealer can provide it and can charge a purchaser for it. Like VIT, it is a negotiable term of any sales agreement. A Safepoint GPS device costs under $100 and takes about a half hour to install. While some dealers markup this cost, an educated purchaser will not agree to a substantial markup. They can be easily removed from a vehicle if a purchaser does not want one.

According to the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association: When featuring a sales price of a new or used motor vehicle in an advertisement, the dealer must be willing to sell the motor vehicle for that featured sales price to any retail buyer. A vehicle may only have one price. There should be no cash price, credit price, internet price, etc…just one price. The featured sales price shall be the price before the addition or subtraction of any other negotiated items. Destination and dealer preparation charges must be included in the featured sales price.

TTL (tax, title, and license fees) are collected on top of the sales price of the vehicle. A dealer may not feature a sales price of a new or used motor vehicle in an advertisement if the dealer does not have a motor vehicle available for sale at the advertised price.

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