Credit Reports and Buying a car
If I walk into an auto dealer and ask for information about a car, can they order a credit report on me?
An automobile dealer may obtain a credit report only in those circumstances in which you clearly understand that you are initiating the purchase or lease of a vehicle, and the seller has a legitimate business need for the consumer report information in order to complete the transaction. (Of course, with your permission, a dealer can order a credit report on you.)
If I take a test drive, does that give the auto dealer a right to get a credit report on me?
A request to "test drive" a vehicle does not indicate an intent to initiate the purchase or lease of the vehicle. Accordingly, if you ask to test drive a vehicle, the dealer must obtain written permission from you before obtaining a credit report.
I want to pay for my car with a personal check. Does this give the dealer the right to get a credit report on me?
I want to pay for my car with cash. Can the dealer request a report?
No. There is not a permissible purpose for doing so.
Does the dealer need my signature in order to request a credit report?
No. As long as it is clear that you are applying for credit, the dealer has a permissible purpose to get a credit report.