liability of selling used car

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Calhoon
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liability of selling used car

Post by Calhoon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:13 pm

Was thinking about selling a used car on craigslist. The car is driveable -- I had been driving it to and from work -- but there are issues that would need tending to, chief among them are the strut, which I of course would be upfront. While it was old and not in the best shape in the world thought it would be a great project car for the right person.

But then I was questioning the liability if something would happen. For example, if the strut issue was not tended to, and the buyer got into an accident, would I potentially be opening myself up to problems?

123
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by 123 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:40 pm

I think you'd be okay as long as all known issues were disclosed to the purchaser. And a good way of documenting that disclosure is to list known issues of the vehicle on the bill of sale.
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hicabob
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by hicabob » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:56 pm

Instead of listing all possible defects perhaps an "as is" in the bill of sale? That's what car dealers seem to use.

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Alexa9
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:01 pm

Have issues in writing from your mechanic on the bill of sale that you each get a copy of.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:44 pm

You'd want to see what your state says and requires of you. Where I am, the car has to have issues disclosed but on top of that, the car has to pass state inspection for both safety and emissions. Exceptions are for very high mileage and older cars. "As is" is meaningless according to our DMV. The car has to be sold either as a registerable car with a warranty as defined for used cars, private party or for parts, which can not be registered again.

There are some states where "as is" flies. If you're unsure and don't want to deal with it, bring it to car max and just dump it for what they'll give you. Whenever I question the condition of a car I'm looking to get rid of, I trade it or sell it to a dealer.
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bottlecap
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by bottlecap » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:15 pm

I suspect you are over thinking this. Sell the car as is, be up front in the listing and with the buyer and you're not going to have liability.

You can google to see if the laws of you're state contain some hidden danger, but it's pretty doubtful there is. Otherwise, everyone selling a car would have to be a mechanic to avoid liability.

JT

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FIREchief
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by FIREchief » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:18 pm

My days of selling used cars to unknown individuals are over. I would rather take less dollars and just sell it to a dealer. People can and do sue for anything. The last car I sold had a blown head gasket (and likely a cracked head). I priced it accordingly (it was essentially a $1500 car that needed $1000+ in repairs). Buyers came out of the woodwork, but it took me a days to find somebody who I felt could actually comprehend the work needed on the car. I could have sold that car ten times in the first week. I could tell most buyers about the defects until I was blue in the face, but since it would still run I was very concerned that they would take it to their mechanic and then show up back at my door (perhaps armed) demanding money. No thanks.
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ZapRowsdower
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by ZapRowsdower » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:55 am

I just went through this same decision process with my old truck that I used for around the house chores. Still ran well, but was rusty and had some issues. I decided to take the loss and just donate it instead of dealing with the sale, might have cost me 1000-1500 to do so, but to me it wasn't worth the worry and hassle of dealing with an angry buyer or liability.

You could always try Carmax if you have one near you and don't want to donate. I will say, the process was very painless to get rid of it with the Salvation Army and it was nice to be able to do something charitable with it.

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prudent
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by prudent » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:42 am

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

likegarden
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by likegarden » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:32 am

For a few 100 $ it does not seem to be worth selling the car to a person who does not see the severity of the problem.

Months ago I traded in a car for $500 when buying a new one after fixing rust over a weekend and then noticed that mirrors no longer worked (fuses were OK). Otherwise I had fixed everything, bought also 4 new tires, but why ask for more stress for a few 100 $ when I am retired.
4 years ago though I sold a used car for $3,700 via Craigs List with everything working perfectly, though after fixing things. But this time I reduced stress significantly and bought a new one.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:44 am

As is sales generally means you have no liability as I understand it (provided there is no fraud - nothing you know about that you don't disclose).
Note that state laws vary. In some states you could hit an issue if the vehicle doesn't pass a state inspection for instance.
Of course even if you aren't legally liable it doesn't stop someone from taking you to court.

smitcat
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by smitcat » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:51 am

As is where is covers you for a used vehicle , boat , RV purchase with a private sale - but not of you are a dealer.
The buyer has the right to request an inspection by his or her agent and you can accommodate that or not as you see fit.

mega317
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by mega317 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:53 pm

smitcat wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:51 am
As is where is covers you for a used vehicle , boat , RV purchase with a private sale - but not of you are a dealer.
Are you saying a dealer can't sell a used car without a warranty? That is certainly not the case where I'm from. It's federal law for a dealer to put a buyer's guide on a used car and the first check box is "as is".

smitcat
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by smitcat » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:56 pm

mega317 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:53 pm
smitcat wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:51 am
As is where is covers you for a used vehicle , boat , RV purchase with a private sale - but not of you are a dealer.
Are you saying a dealer can't sell a used car without a warranty? That is certainly not the case where I'm from. It's federal law for a dealer to put a buyer's guide on a used car and the first check box is "as is".
I am saying that if you are a car dealer , boat dealer, or RV dealer your liability for a sale is much much higher than a private sale - you are a business selling a product.
If you are an individual selling a car, boat, RV there is a very slim likelihood you will have any liability unless yo are purposely changing the odometer or making non stock changes to the vehicle, boat , RV to disguise a safety issue.

daveydoo
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Re: liability of selling used car

Post by daveydoo » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:42 pm

I've done this at least a half-dozen times. Always draw up a bill of sale and state that you are selling it in "as is" condition. Not sure about every jurisdiction but what court of law would think that you are selling it with some implied warranty??

The bigger issue than liability, imo, is the personal safety issue if you're trying to unload a lemon. If it were a car that I did not have confidence in, I would trade it in or do CarMax or something. I sell my cars from my own garage and I don't want to misrepresent what I'm selling. If some private party seller did that to me, I'd be crazy-angry so I assume someone else would be, too. My cars aren't super-pretty but they're reliable. For a few cars, I spent a couple hundred to take 'em to the dealer and get the green vs red check box sheet. There are always some issues that I will not address (the sheet will show that I've clearly turned down the transmission and power steering flushes, etc.), but the buyer can plainly see that. I also don't over-represent how rigorously I've maintained them. "Had all the oil changes?" Me: "Probably not, but pretty close." I've made more sales on honesty than on quality of the product.

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