Latest in Buyherepayhere

Image credit:

For drivers with bad credit, new cars come with a kill switch

43 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Driving a car off a lot usually comes with a sense of exhilaration or freedom, but that thrill is short-lived when you've got a debt collector riding shotgun wherever you go. That's basically the case for a whole host of Americans with bad credit -- in use since the 90s, the New York Times reports that now some 2 million cars in the United States are outfitted with remote kill switches that shut cars down if their owners fall behind on payments. The system is simple enough: once installed, the so-called starter interrupt will sit in place and beep to notify drivers that their payments are coming up. Once delinquent drivers tiptoe past a certain threshold (which seems to vary by lender and state), some account manager somewhere hits a button and voilà -- that motor won't purr until someone pays.

As with most things that involve money and trust, there are a few ways to look at the situation. Lenders get to offer more loans (and collect waaaay more interest -- think twice monthly payments at 20 percent interest) while regular folk get to drive to work and pick their kids up from school. Sounds almost like a win-win... until you realize that beyond the sky-high rates, people's whereabouts are constantly forfeit -- some dealers have even installed GPS trackers without telling their customers -- and there's been at least once instance where a car was remotely disabled while someone was actually driving it. As John Oliver suggested for payday loans, maybe a better alternative to the buy-here, pay-here shops that use these methods is pretty much anything else.

[Image Credits: Pocketnavigation.de]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
43 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
‘Untitled Goose Game’ arrives today on Mac, PC and Switch

‘Untitled Goose Game’ arrives today on Mac, PC and Switch

View
One of the best mice on the market is on sale for $67

One of the best mice on the market is on sale for $67

View
The best home security system

The best home security system

View
Not even Allbirds is safe from Amazon's copycat ways

Not even Allbirds is safe from Amazon's copycat ways

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr