Curbstoning” is the repeated, unlicensed “flipping” of used cars for profit.

Curbstoning is illegal in most cities. What’s more, curbstoners put consumers at risk, release unsafe vehicles onto the streets, hurt local businesses, and deny local governments the fees and tax revenue they need to provide essential public services.

Because enforcement resources are spread thin, it’s up to car buyers to be informed, automotive dealers to beproactive, and municipalities to be responsive.

Would you buy a used car from a dealer who had no license, no permits, no liability insurance, and not even a business address?

Man with 
mechanical problems after purchasing a curbstoned vehicleThat’s what you’re doing when you buy a car from a curbstoner.

The term “curbstoning” comes from the practice of parking automotive “inventory” along the curb, although many curbstoners also use vacant lots and unmonitored parking lots as temporary places of business.

Curbstoners are car “flippers” – people who regularly buy cheap cars, fix them up to look decent, and sell them for a quick profit. They often pose as the car’s owner, but they’re not – so they can dodge limits on the number of vehicles an individual can sell before having to register as a dealer.

Curbstoned vehicles may be lemons, salvaged, or even cobbled together from parts from the wrecking yard. They may have been written off as total losses by insurance companies due to collision, flood, or other damage.

Sometimes, unethical used car dealers use curbstoning as a way to get rid of duds they can’t sell on their lots.

Once you buy a curbstoned vehicle, you have nowhere to turn if the car develops problems. If the problems are serious enough, the car may fail inspection or be denied insurance coverage. And, the law requires you to disclose the problems when you sell the car.

According to ABC News, experts estimate that 80% of the used cars in classified ads are not being advertised by individual owners. And, some state licensing officials say that as many as one in five cars sold outside a commercial automotive dealership are curbstoned.

It is up to you, as a buyer, to make an informed purchase. We’re here to help!


Indianapolis has adopted the following ordinance, and curbstoning is NOT a problem there.  Please consider adopting a similar ordinance in your community.


The outdoor storage or display of merchandise or

goods in any zoning district, the provisions of

which do not specifically permit such a use or in

violation of zoning district development standards

regulating such use is a zoning violation.



(a) Displaying vehicles for sale. No person shall

park a vehicle on any street or alley in the city

for the purpose of displaying it for sale.

(b) Using vehicle for advertising. No person shall

park a vehicle on any street or alley in the city

for the primary purpose of displaying advertising

of any nature.


(i) Portable signs. No person shall park any vehicle

or trailer or truck trailer on a public rightof

way, public property or on private property

which is visible from a public rightofway,

which has attached thereto or located thereon

any sign or advertising device for the basic

purpose of providing advertisement of products

or directing people to a business or activity

 Violations can result in citations,

a court appearance, and fines up

to $2,500.


Following is link to the Marion County website containing the ordinance:

***Click Here***