Used Cars 101: Does The Lemon Law Apply To Used Cars?

Are you looking to buy a used car? Here is everything you need to know to answer the question, “Does lemon law apply to used cars?”

40 million used cars are sold worldwide each year, according to a recent study in Automotive News. People are choosing to opt-out of spending a minimum of $30,000 on a brand new car, and instead, purchase something used, but practical.

Of course, there are risks when buying any car, and this risk increases with used cars.

The lemon law, a law that protects consumer’s rights, is most commonly used with new cars. You may be wondering then, does lemon law apply to used cars?

Luckily for you, it’s possible it does, and you could be missing out on benefits if you own a defective used car and aren’t aware of the lemon law. Read on to learn more used car buying tips and the perks you could be receiving!

Does Lemon Law Apply to Used Cars?

Lemon laws are federal and state consumer protection laws, which were created to give rights to consumers in regards to product warranties and defective goods.

If the defect is deemed irreparable, the manufacturer must replace the car or give a full refund. It most often comes into play when a defective car requires manufacturer repairs on a specific part multiple times.

Almost all new cars come with manufacturer warranties that leave little up for interpretation, so these cars are always protected by lemon laws. When buying a used car, the warranties and legal protections might not be as apparent.

Many states have enacted new laws to protect used cars because so many have proved to have defects. This generally depends on how old the car is and how much mileage it has on it. However, it’s also possible that your used car is protected by certain warranties no matter how used it is.

What to Do If You Have a Lemon

There is nothing more frustrating than buying a used car, just to have it break down on you the next day and turn into a lemon car.

With lemon laws, if your used defective car was sold with a written warranty, you most likely qualify for a refund or replacement. This could be a manufacturer’s warranty or a warranty from the dealer you purchased it from.

Lemon laws differ with each state, and this is especially true when applying it to used cars.

In California, lemon laws can apply to used cars even when they are outside of their warranty, as long as the defect happened within the warranty time period. This is not true for all states, and the easiest thing to do is to contact lemon law lawyers, which often require no upfront fees and can generally get you attorney fee refunds if your used car qualifies.

Your Next Steps

If you are researching to buy a used vehicle, you can feel more at ease knowing the answer to the question, “Does lemon law apply to used cars?” and you will have some legal protections. Make sure your vehicle comes with a warranty that is valid for a least a year, and that your state recognizes used car lemon laws.

If you already own a lemon car, contact your lemon law professionals and research your current warranties. Log any repairs you’ve had to make, when they occurred, and what the age and mileage of your car.

If you live in a state with expansive lemon law protections, you just might get a nice refund or replacement vehicle. Check out our other posts for more informative lifestyle tips!

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