When money is tight, buying a used car “as is” may be tempting. But is it worth the risk? Find out what you are giving up before your sign the title.
Used Cars Come with Explicit and Implied WarrantiesMost new cars come with a full or limited warranty on the car and its systems. They promise that if something goes wrong with the car in the first several thousand miles, the dealership will make it right. Certified pre-owned cars often come with similar, but more limited warranties. Most warranties state:
You (or anyone you sell the vehicle to) are entitled to
service on the vehicle during the warranty service.
Services within the scope of the warranty are free of
If the dealer can’t repair the vehicle after a reasonable
number of tries, you may choose to replace it or get a full refund.
You are usually entitled to the warranty service regardless
of the reason for the repair.
A used car dealer may also create an implied warranty by suggesting a vehicle is fit for a particular use. For example, if you tell your sales representative you are looking for a truck to tow your camper and the salesperson shows you a particular vehicle, he or she is implying that it will do the job.
Buying a Used Car “As Is” Removes All WarrantiesEven the basic implied warranties can cover a lot of repairs if you end up buying a lemon. But if you purchase a used car “as is”, you are agreeing that the dealership will not offer any warranties at all. No matter what repairs are needed, you will be the one paying the bill.
If you decide to buy an automobile “as is”, be sure you know what you are getting. Do a background check on the vehicle and ask the dealership to provide a detailed list of any maintenance or repairs they have done. This can give you a glimpse into any ongoing problems the car has.
“As Is” Doesn’t Forgive FraudEven if you buy an “as is” car, your dealer is still required to be honest in its dealings with you. If they make false statements about work done, or tamper with the odometer, you could still have a claim against the dealership. Document everything the dealer told you about the car, so if a major problem arises later, you will have evidence against the dealership.
Dani K. Liblang is a lemon law lawyer at The Liblang Law Firm, PC. If you were sold a lemon, contact The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., for a consultation.