Consumer Sourcebook: Used Car Sales

Consumer Sourcebook – Autos: Used

Every year, thousands of people buy "previously owned" cars. The majority of used car buyers are satisfied with their purchases. However, used car buyers can run into problems that do not exist in the new car market. Some problems may be similar to those of new car buyers, such as misleading advertising and oral promises. Used car buyers should take special care to "shop smart." This section covers some of the rights and protections you have as a used car consumer in New Hampshire.

Used car buyers can have as many problems with so-called "spot delivery" sales as new car buyers. For more information on "spot delivery sales," refer to Autos: New, Watch Out For…Spot Delivery Sales.

New Hampshire has neither a "cooling off period" to cancel a used car sale, nor a used car "lemon law." Although some states have such laws, New Hampshire's "lemon law" applies only to new cars (refer to the section on Autos: Lemon Law, and a "cooling off" period is nonexistent in either new or used car sales. New Hampshire does offer protection for the used car buyer by regulating the sale of "unsafe" used cars (i.e., cars that cannot pass state inspection), in addition to warranty protection under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Further protection is extended by a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule requiring used car dealers to provide certain information to their customers about the cars they sell.

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