Rights When Purchasing a Car


Purchasing a car can be an exciting endeavor; however, you must be an informed consumer to avoid being swindled in the process. After all, depending on where and from who you purchase the vehicle, you might buy a car that has a host of problems that will now be yours when the vehicle is in your name.

Knowing your rights before you purchase a car offers you some level of protection from this scenario.

Rights When Purchasing a Car


The Price Is the Price

When you purchase a vehicle for a certain agreed upon price, once you sign the paperwork, the price is the price. Some unscrupulous dealers will try to call you several days — or even weeks — later to try to get you to pay more money because the price has somehow adjusted.

However, you have the right as the consumer to pursue legal action if the dealer tries to swindle you in this fashion; keep your original paperwork.


Comparison of Loans and Interest Rates

If you obtain financing to purchase a vehicle, you have the right to pursue the best financing options for your situation, which applies even if the dealership is responsible for finding your financing for you.

Ask for several loan types and interest rate options, and request that the dealership present you with all of your options and the particulars of each loan to ensure that you will make the most informed decision about your car financing.


You Should Not Be Sold a “Lemon”

You have the right to purchase a vehicle that is in good working condition, which is the crux of the lemon law principles. Lemon laws vary among states, but the idea behind all of them is to make illegal a dealership or individual knowingly selling you a vehicle that has problems that will prevent it from running properly.

If you have to take a new car — or even used, but new to you — in for the same repair at least three times, you may have the right to file a claim under this provision.


Know the Vehicle’s History

As a consumer, you have the right to know the car’s history before you purchase it. You can do this through a commercial company, such as Carfax, or through your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles division.

Not only should you know about any major accidents the car has been in but also any damage it may have sustained from a natural disaster. This information ensures that you have a full accounting of the history of the vehicle before you purchase it.


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