When shopping for a used car, you may come across a vehicle being sold "as is". While most people understand what that means, let's take a closer look at this topic. Check out this excerpt from an article from DMV.org.
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What Does "As Is" Mean?
"As is" is a legal term describing the status of an item for sale. It means the item is being sold complete with all issues known and unknown. Essentially, the term frees the seller from legal recourse should an unexpected problem arise with the item after the sale.
In the case of a car being sold "as is," the term refers to a vehicle's warranty status. A car being sold "as is" is being sold without a warranty. That means that any problem with the car is no longer the responsibility of the dealer or private seller once it has been sold. All repair costs will come directly out of pocket for the buyer.
Buying an "As Is" Car from a Dealer
Since an "as is" purchase is a risk for the car buyer, there are typically several conditions determining when a dealer can sell a car with no warranty. The car must:
- Be sold under a certain price.
- Be over a certain age.
- Meet all requirements for safe and legal operation at the time of the sale.
- Have ownership transfer documents that clearly state the car is unsafe to operate.
A dealer is also typically legally obliged to inform a customer of a car's warranty status. These laws vary by state.
Buying "As Is" from a Private Seller
A majority of "as is" sales are from private sellers. Unless your purchase agreement states otherwise, a private sale is on an "as is" basis.
Private sales are much less regulated than sales at a dealer. Many states don't require a private seller to ensure the car will pass state inspection before selling it.