What does “As Is” Mean?

As you might expect, “as is” means just that, “as is”.  We regularly receive calls and complaints from consumers that purchase vehicles “as is” and want to take them back when a problem occurs.  When purchasing a car as is, once the consumer drives the car off of the car lot, the dealer/seller is no longer responsible for any further maintenance that may be needed, nor are they responsible for any breakdowns or other problems that may occur. Understand that when a car is purchased without a warranty, it is normally purchased “as is”.
Therefore, before purchasing a car, you may want to do the following:

  • Check the dealer’s policy about purchasing cars as is. 
  • Do a test drive under as many driving conditions as you can, highway and city, bumpy and smooth streets.
  • Take the vehicle to a mechanic of your choice to check it out and see if there are any current problems or potential problems.

Carefully examine and save all paperwork.  If the dealer verbally agrees to any repairs or makes promises, get them in writing.  The dealer/seller does not have to do anything about fixing your car, nor are they obligated to do anything regarding a repurchase or reimbursement.  If something does go wrong, check back with the car lot to see if or how they can assist you, but remeber, they are under no obligation.

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About Christine Hayley

I started with BBB|Cincinnati in 1997 as a Co-Op. Today I am the Dispute Resolution Director.