Wisconsin Auto Law Blog

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Wisconsin law gives auto mechanics and towing companies liens on the automobiles they repair, transport and store—as long as they meet certain statutory requirements. This article will identify those statutory requirements, as well as the process lien holders must use in order to legally enforce these types of liens. I. Wisconsin Auto Mechanic Liens Wisconsin auto mechanic liens are governed by Wis. Stat. § 779.41. Pursuant to that statute, an auto mechanic who transports, makes,…
Wisconsin’s lemon law—found in Wis. Stat. § 218.0171—governs the rights and responsibilities of consumers and automobile manufacturers as they relate to the repair, replacement and refund of new motor vehicles suffering from one or more nonconformities, or defects, while covered by a new vehicle warranty. This article will explain the basic legal framework of Wisconsin’s lemon law.  In doing so, the following topics will be examined: 1) the applicability of the law, including the identification…
There are several methods a consumer can use to finance the purchase of an automobile in Wisconsin.  A consumer can pay cash for the automobile, obtain a loan from a third-party lender, such as a bank or credit union, or finance the purchase directly through the auto dealer. Wisconsin auto dealers who directly finance the purchase of an automobile are required to use a legal instrument called a retail installment sales contract.  A retail installment…
There are several methods a consumer can use to finance the purchase of an automobile in Wisconsin.  A consumer can pay cash for the automobile, obtain a loan from a third-party lender, such as a bank or credit union, or finance the purchase directly through the auto dealer. Wisconsin auto dealers who directly finance the purchase of an automobile are required to use a legal instrument called a retail installment sales contract.  A retail installment…
Wis. Admin. Code § Trans. 139.055 is the Wisconsin administrative rule regulating financing contingencies in automobile purchase contracts. The rule addresses three specific topics: Dealer-arranged financing Purchaser-arranged financing Fees on void contracts Dealer-arranged financing is where a prospective purchaser agrees to let an auto dealer attempt to secure financing (i.e., obtain a loan)—usually from a third-party lending institution—on behalf of the prospective purchaser in order to finance the purchase of the automobile. Dealer-arranged financing comes in…
Wis. Admin. Code § Trans. 139.055 is the Wisconsin administrative rule regulating financing contingencies in automobile purchase contracts. The rule addresses three specific topics: Dealer-arranged financing Purchaser-arranged financing Fees on void contracts Dealer-arranged financing is where a prospective purchaser agrees to let an auto dealer attempt to secure financing (i.e., obtain a loan)—usually from a third-party lending institution—on behalf of the prospective purchaser in order to finance the purchase of the automobile. Dealer-arranged financing comes…
Wisconsin requires automobile dealers to maintain specific records related to the acquisition, sale and exchange of automobiles.  This article will briefly identify the specific records Wisconsin retail automobile dealers are required to maintain, the manner in which those records must be maintained, the location at which the records must be maintained, and the time period the records must be maintained. Wis. Admin. Code § Trans. 138.04, an administrative rule promulgated by the Wisconsin Department of…
Wisconsin requires automobile dealers to maintain specific records related to the acquisition, sale, exchange and financing of automobiles.  This article will briefly identify the specific records Wisconsin retail automobile dealers are required to maintain, the manner in which those records must be maintained, the location at which the records must be maintained, and the time period the records must be maintained. Wis. Admin. Code § Trans. 138.04, an administrative rule promulgated by the Wisconsin Department…
Wisconsin permits an automobile dealer to charge a “service fee” for services related to complying with state and federal laws and regulations.  This article will identify the items that may be included in a service fee as well as how those fees must be disclosed. Wis. Admin. Code § Trans. 138.05(8), an administrative rule promulgated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, governs service fees.  Service fees are fees charged by an automobile dealer for completing…
Wisconsin permits an automobile dealer to charge a “service fee” for services related to complying with state and federal laws and regulations.  This article will identify the items that may be included in a service fee as well as how those fees must be disclosed. Wis. Admin. Code § Trans. 138.05(8), an administrative rule promulgated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, governs service fees.  Service fees are fees charged by an automobile dealer for completing…