If you’ve been thinking about buying a used car and you’re counting on some law here in West Virginia bailing you out if it doesn’t work as advertised, then think again. While the state does have a lemon law that protects new-car buyers for some time after their purchase, there are no similar protections on the books for used-car purchasers. West Virginia law was updated on July 1 giving second-hand car buyers even fewer rights.
West Virginia Code sec. 46A-6-102(4) was updated on July 1. This piece of legislation now states that dealers may sell any vehicle that’s seven or more years old or that has more than 100,000 miles on it “as is”. Any vehicle that is being offered for $4,000 or under may be sold this way as well.
The signing of this bill into law earlier this year made it where dealers don’t have to guarantee that a car that they sell a customer is in good working condition. This means that consumers can no longer rely on a car having some type of warranty simply because it was bought from a dealer.
While this law may deter many individuals from purchasing high mileage, older or low-cost cars, this piece of legislation is bound to catch many unsuspecting car buyers familiar with the old way of doing things off guard. This is especially likely to happen since many West Virginia residents likely still assume that the state’s lemon law applies to used cars just as it does new ones. This isn’t the case though.
One of perhaps the best things that you can do when purchasing a used car here in Charleston or elsewhere in West Virginia is to have a skilled mechanic look it over to make sure that it’s in sound working order before you buy.
If you don’t take the step to have a mechanic check out your vehicle before your purchase and you end up with a nonfunctioning car on your hands, then you may have few options at your disposal. You may be able to return your car to the dealer if only three business days have elapsed since you made your purchase. If more time has passed, then your options may be limited. An attorney can advise you of your right to a replacement and repairs in West Virginia.