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Can i return a used car in texas without a waranty?

Houston, TX |

bought a car 4 days ago, as is. I payed $275 out of pocket for an in depth inspection. The inspection guy gave me his papers and then quickly left before i could really talk to him about the inspection or the car. he did however say that it was in good shape, and there was nothing major wrong with it, it should be fine. we looked over the car with the salesman, and he assured us that the car was in good condition.we test drove it in the small area that they have there and it seemed ok, so we bought the car, with no waranty. ...... we live 4 hours from the dealership. 2/3 of the way home the car dies. after checking fluids again, and putting a new battery in it, it still would not start. we had to tow it to a mechanic. we drove the car for 3 hours. what are my rights?

the mechanic called today to let me know that the motor that is in the car is not the original motor. t was some sort of belt(im not mechanicly savy)that he will atest to, that was bad and has been bad and was not at all my fault. he said that the engine needs to be replaced, and the transmition needs to be replaced, and the car has been in this condition long before i bought it. i allso noticed that the car does not have an inspection sticker. isnt it illegal for a dealership to sell a car that cant pass a state inspection?

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You have two things going on here. First the inspector who apparently did a less than good job at inspecting and warning you about the vehicle. If you hired them to do a service for you and they did a bad job, then if they should have discovered the problem and did not, or they ignored it, then in most states they would be liable to you for the repair costs. The second aspect is the car dealer issue. There, more info is needed to know what rights you might have. Here's some general rules to guide you with. In a used car sale, your legal rights are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign. Look to see if anything was written down about any kind of warranty or guarantee or right to cancel the deal. But that’s not the end of it. There’s also a federal law that requires all car dealers to post on the window of all used cars they are selling a special “Buyer Guide” form (it’s often called a Used Car Window Sticker) that discloses whether or not a warranty comes with the car. Many small lot car dealers don’t comply with the law. If they don’t, then you may end up with a warranty after all (although your dealers will never admit it) and you may even have the right to cancel the sale (they won’t admit that either). The back side of the form has to be completely filled out and many car lots, big and small, fail to do that too and that can also trigger your right to cancel the deal. You can see what a Used Car Buyer Guide warranty form looks like on this web site page: Once you have already spent your money, it's not too late to have an independent repair shop inspect it and tell you what they think, but the best time is before you put down your hard earned money. Still, there is more than one way to get rid of a bad car or to get even when you’ve been ripped off. But you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (it's called "autofraud" or car sales fraud). Don’t call a lawyer who writes wills. Or one who handles criminal cases (even though you probably think the dealer who you bought from is a criminal) because there are special laws that cover car dealers. Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers ( and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. Next time, before you buy a used car, read this Avvo Legal Guide on how to avoid buying a lemon used car without getting ripped off: If this answer was helpful, please give it a “VOTE UP” below. Ron Burdge,,

Click here to see what a Used Car Buyer Guide warranty form looks like

Go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers

Did a business treat you unfairly? See what your Udap rights are to protect yourself, click here

Read this free online Avvo Legal Guide, What is Fraud?

This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. If you need a Consumer Law attorney, click the link above to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.


In addition to any other claims you may have, it sounds like you may have a claim under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (DTPA). If the dealer misrepresented any facts about the quality of the car or failed to notify you of any negative information that would have changed your mind about the transaction, the dealer may be in violation of the DTPA. The fact that you paid for an inspection complicates the situation somewhat, and your rights may be affected depending on whether the inspector was an agent for the dealer or affiliated with the dealer in any way. If the inspector was neglegent or deceptive, you probably have a claim against him too.

Generally (and assuming you no longer want the car), you may want to send a 10-day demand letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the dealer asking for your money back plus reimbursement for the extra expenses you incurred. If that doesn't work, you may want to have an attorney send a 60-day demand letter under the DTPA for your economic damages plus attorney's fees. If the dealer refuses to pay or work something out within the 60 days, you may be entitled to sue the dealer for your economic damages (x3) plus your attorney's fees plus possibly additional damages.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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