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Industry Tips

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Used Cars Sold As-Is

(Note: These tips pertain to the industry cited above and do not necessarily track our experience with the company in whose report they appear. In particular, industry complaints referenced below are typical of the industry as a whole, but not necessarily every company in the industry.)

Used cars are sold either "As Is" or with a limited warranty. Ask the dealer whether a used car is sold "As Is" or with a limited warranty. When a used car is sold "As Is," this means that the new owner is accepting the car in the condition it is in, and that the new owner will be responsible for any repairs that need to be done. When a used car is sold "As Is" the dealer has no obligation to assist the new owner with repairs. If the dealer promises to assist with any specific repairs, make sure those promises are put in writing on your sales contract.

When a used car is sold with a limited warranty, it will cover only what is stated in the warranty. Be sure to read and understand the warranty before deciding whether to purchase the car.

Before you buy a used car, the Bureau recommends that you have the car inspected by an independent mechanic. Do not purchase a used car if the seller will not let you inspect or test drive the car before purchase.

When you buy a used car from a private individual, it almost always is sold "As Is". You will have to pay for anything that goes wrong after the sale.

You can read more on the Federal Trade Commission's Used Car Rule at www.ftc.gov.

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