Are there any used cars laws?

are there any used cars lawsIt always seems too risky to purchase used cars but it is often a surprise to many drivers to discover there are actually laws that protect buyers. Even if you manage to find a seemingly great bargain, a used car that does not drive will only cost more money to repair or discard. Before purchasing a used car from just any dealer you see, learn more about the law and your rights as a buyer.

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Importance of Lemon Laws

Since there have been more scammers selling inoperable vehicles to buyers, lemon laws were set in place to minimize the risk of an unfair deal. A used car that is in poor condition at the time of sale is often called a lemon. Most dealers will present the used car in the best possible manner and will not inform potential buyers of the unseen problems within.

Not only are most dealers extremely tricky when showing buyers the car but sales contracts are also designed to avoid buyer disputes. While used car buyers must continue to finance the purchased vehicle, dealers will do everything possible to avoid compensating for repairs. With lemon laws in place, dealers cannot commit fraud by misrepresenting the used car or hiding pertinent details about its history.

Where Lemon Laws Apply

If you were stiffed with a lemon and not properly informed of the problems with the car then the lemon laws can work in your favor. It is crucial that you have sufficient proof that shows the vehicle was misrepresented and in the exact same condition at the time of purchase. Dealers will try to blame you and claim that the damage was there before so it is best to have evidence.

Although lemon laws should be enforced in every state, this simply is not the case. Only a handful of states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and a few others strictly enforce such laws. In other states like Arizona, there is only a period of 15 days or distance of 500 miles where the used car is under the dealer’s warranty.

there any used cars lawsOther Laws to Protect Buyers

In other states where lemon laws do not apply, other regulations such as the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) help to protect buyers from being scammed. This Federal law allows buyers to have an automatic warranty and assumption that the used car is operable and fit for driving.

Keep in mind that if the dealer you choose mentions the sale is for the vehicle “as is” then this law would not protect you. Only a few states like Maryland and West Virginia forbid dealers to disclaim this warranty in their sales contract. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also requires dealers to be responsible for the used cars they sell.

Dealer Laws

If any dealer sells more than six cars annually then they are required by law to post a buyer’s guide in each and every single vehicle being put up for sale. This guide will specifically state whether the terms of sale are “as is” or otherwise and details about warranty coverage. Another law that helps to protect buyers from getting stuck with a lemon is the Federal Lemon Law which is also called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

The specific intention of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is to keep dealers from disclaiming an assumed warranty at the time of purchase. Under the Federal Lemon Law, used car dealers cannot include any fine print to counter coverage if the car is not fit for transportation.

Certain states also enforce statutes that protect the consumer. State consumer protection laws are meant to stop dealers from deceiving potential clients in order to make the sale. Dealers are required to answer all of the buyer’s questions with complete honesty and disclosure. In addition, dealers may even be required to mention important facts about the car’s history even if buyers do not inquire.

Steps to Take With a Lemon

any used cars lawsIf you are one of the unfortunate used car buyers that was conned into purchasing a lemon then immediately take the appropriate steps if you hope for compensation. First bring the car to a mechanic and obtain a full report of the current condition. This is vital evidence to prove that you did not cause damage to the vehicle and that it was in fact sold to you in that manner.

It may also be helpful to consult with an attorney that is familiar with the applicable lemon laws in your state. This does not necessarily mean you have to take the claim to court but having the proper guidance and knowledge of the laws in your state will help a great deal. Even if you did not lose too much money on the used car, it is still beneficial to take it up with the dealer.

Many used car laws have been passed because of a high volume of court cases or disputes in the past. If you do not stop a dealer that does not disclose all the details about a used car to their customers then there will be more unsuspecting buyers just like you. Before you buy your next used car in hopes of saving money, be sure to find a reputable dealer that allows you to compare and view a wide selection of vehicles just with your ZIP code.

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