Car Law from A to Z: Q is for Questions

Before you purchase any vehicle, you should ask plenty of questions.  Obviously if you are buying a new vehicle with the original manufacturer’s warranty some of the following questions are unneccessary and irrelevant.  However, if you are looking at purchasing a used vehicle read on and make notes. 

Ask about the vehicle’s history, condition, previous owners, any major defects, etc.

Ask if you can arrange to have your mechanic inspect the vehicle prior to you completing any paperwork to purchase the vehicle.

Ask to take the vehicle on a test drive and possibly even to keep it for a day so you can get a feel for the vehicle’s handling and operation.

Ask the seller if she has the owner’s manual and any of the vehicle’s service records.  Questions...questions..

Ask an individual/private seller to see the original Certificate of Title prior to your payment of any money for the vehicle.  If the seller does not have the title it could mean there is a lien or loan against the title.  Or it could be something worse…..such as the dealer offer to sell a vehicle to which the seller does not have the title a/k/a lacks legal ownership of the vehicle.

Ask the seller to pay for a warranty on a used vehicle.  If this is unacceptable ask the seller to give you a written warranty on the vehicle.

Ask as many questions as you feel necessary to make a well-informed decision. In deciding whether to make the purchase, consider the sellers’ willingness to answer your questions and/or provide the information you have requested. Then once you begin the paperwork, ask questions about any forms or documents that you either do not understand or that seem incorrect or inconsistent.

Ask questions now rather than later because, legally speaking, later may be too late.  Doing your due diligence can be the difference between happiness and heartache when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.  Be empowered and informed; happy hunting!



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