Buying A Used Car? Know Your Legal Rights

If you can't afford to buy a new car, buying a used car is a good option when you must have transportation but are low on money. When you opt for a used car, whether you buy it from a used car dealership or another individual, you may be getting a well-maintained car or one that has been in accidents, or even a flood. You just don't know. Since used cars can't talk about their past, you need to know your legal rights when it comes to buying a used automobile. 

Good Practices Of A Reputable Car Dealership

A reputable used car dealership knows the laws surrounding used cars and will abide by them. Whenever you buy a new car, federal law says that the seller must give you a written statement of its true mileage. If the dealer can't, or won't, disclose a car's mileage, move on and look for another dealership to buy your car. 

It is a fraudulent act for any car dealerships to tamper with an automobile's odometer, which is the gauge on the dashboard that displays a car's mileage. There are both state and federal laws that treat this incident as fraud. If you buy a car and can prove that the odometer has been changed, you can get your money back and may be able to sue for punitive damages and attorney fees. 

A reputable car dealership will ask you to sign a bill of sale or some type of contract when you buy a car. You should also request a written bill of sale when buying from an individual as well. These contracts are signed by both you and the seller, and if you have this document it makes suing the seller easier if the car turns out to be a lemon in disguise. 

Understanding Warranties Is Important

When you buy a used car from an individual, you most likely agree to buy the vehicle "as is." However, the vehicle may still be covered under an original warranty or an extended warranty. If it is, you must find out if the warranty is transferable and read the paperwork. 

Some used car dealerships may offer a warranty, and some may sell cars "as is." If you plant to buy a car "as is" you should ask the seller to sign a statement about the condition of the car and when it was sold. The seller is not required by law to disclose any hidden car defects, but he or she must respond truthfully if asked about the car's condition. 

If you do buy a used automobile and problems arise, and the car comes with a warranty, the problem is most likely covered. However, if you have no warranty and believe the seller lied to you about the condition of the car, and you can prove it, you may be able to sue or use the law in your favor. 

When buying from used car dealer, like Auto Max, just make sure you know what type of warranty the dealership offers. This way you won't be blindsided if something goes wrong with your used automobile.