Ever wonder how lemon laws work for buying a used vehicle? The “lemon laws”, which protect car buyers against “bad” vehicles, are usually enforced to protect new car buyers. It is much more common to end up with a used car that a new one. A faulty car can leave you in a difficult situation, is more expensive to repair, and can become a money pit.
Even worse, lemon car owners still have to pay car payments even though their car is causing them problems. The dealer site signed a sales contract that protects the owner from going to court. Many of these cars can be dangerous to drive, or are inoperable. This leaves many consumers in the dark.
If the vehicle was sold fraudulently, there are laws to protect the consumer. This could mean that the vehicle was sold under false pretenses or that the title was misrepresented by the dealer.
These dealers often prey on the poorest, most vulnerable segments of the population. Here is the breakdown.
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Use Cars with Lemon Laws
Some states are pushing for tougher laws to protect consumers who have been cheated when it comes down to used cars. Only a few states have lemon laws. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Minnesota have solid lemon laws. New Jersey, New Mexico and New York are the other states. You are better protected if you reside in one of these states when you buy a used vehicle. A used vehicle warranty must be offered by the dealer based on the car’s age/mileage.
The dealer is responsible for fixing any problems that may arise during the warranty period. If the vehicle is still not fixed after several tires have been replaced, the dealer must repair it or refund the customer.
Seven other states have laws that protect consumers, require used vehicle warranties and set standards for used cars. You are probably covered if you reside in Arizona, Connecticut or Illinois, Maine and Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, or New Mexico.
You might be covered if you live in North Carolina or another state that uses deceptive methods to sell your car.
For more specific situations like buying from a buy here, pay here lot, the dealer must provide a 30-day/1,000-mile warranty. These laws are in effect when you purchase used cars from states such as California.
- For more information on specific laws in your area, please visit this page.
- Protect yourself without counting on the Lemon Laws
If you don’t live in a state that has clear laws about lemons, you could be in for a costly headache. These are easy ways to reduce the chances of being stuck with a lemon.
Low mileage cars are best: A low mileage vehicle does not necessarily guarantee its reliability for the long haul. Higher mileage cars are more likely to have problems.
A used car report should be available from the dealership. This report will include the vehicle’s history. However, this is not a foolproof method. If the problem isn’t reported to the DMV, or an insurance company, it might not be shown up.
Be aware of your emotions before you buy a car. Before buying a used vehicle, use your common sense and research skills.
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Know your dealer: It’s best not to buy from someone who isn’t qualified. For the exact make and model you want, check with a certified dealer.
Know the brand: It’s not about what the dealership didn’t tell you. Look for brands that are reliable and long-lasting and then shop for them.