What does it mean when a car is sold “as is”? It means that the transaction occurs for the car in whatever condition it is in at the moment of the sale. In other words, the buyer is legally accepting the responsibility for any and all repairs needed after the car is driven off the lot of the used car dealer. The buyer is accepting the car with all of its known and unknown problems. When buying used cars in this situation, the buyer should take extra precaution to examine and check the background information to find the best used car to buy. If anything wrong with the vehicle is discovered after the purchase, it is the buyer’s responsibility, unless there was an instance of fraud in the deal.
The good news is that the used car dealer must clearly state that a vehicle is being sold “as is”. Dealers state this on the Buyer’s Guide by checking a box labeled “As Is- No Warranty”. The government has set up regulations to protect consumers from unknowingly buying a vehicle that is “as is”; however, once the vehicle is purchased it most likely cannot be returned. There are some exceptions and modifications set up by the Attorney General for “as is” vehicles. If on the Buyer’s Guide the box is checked, and the dealer promises to repair or cancel a sale if there are any problems, then make sure that promise is written in the Buyer’s Guide. Buyers should be wary if the car is marked “as is”.
If you purchase an “as is” vehicle, you can check out the Federal Trade Commission for information regarding things that can be done to the car in its specific state. Look up “As Is- No Warranty.”
Consider why the car is being sold “as is”. You should be getting the car for a low cost; a great deal for what it is, because you may need to put more money into the car to make it last. It is similar to buying a “fixer-upper” house. Just like the car, there are unknown repairs that need to be dealt with that the seller is unwilling to make themselves. Before deciding to buy a car and settling on a purchase price, think about the price of the vehicle and consider that there may be imminent repairs. If the used car dealer is selling the car “as is”, there is usually a reason for it. The dealer does not have to disclose any known problems to the customer. For instance, a car’s structure is important to its longevity, and if a car has structural damage it is very difficult for a buyer to get that information without doing research outside of the dealership.
That is why it is important to do proper research before buying a used car, like running a CARFAX Vehicle History Report to discover any unknown issues. Doing your homework on how to buy a used car “as is” will give you more confidence when shopping. Once the car is purchased there is no option to return it at any time unless it has been stated in the contract before purchasing the car. Be aware that once an “as is” vehicle is purchased, that vehicle becomes the owner’s problem. Dealers make sure to protect themselves when selling an “as is” car, and consumers should do the same.