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I need advice on selling used car

Circleville, OH |

I sold a used vehicle tonight as a private seller. The title has been notarized to new buyer and also have bill of sale. They called some hours later and said something was wrong with the car. I had no known of something being wrong with the car. It had drove just fine for me and had no issues. What is my legal obligation to this buyer? Do I have one since they bought the car "used""as is", not to mention we have no idea what they have been doing leading up to the time they called. When the car left it was in proper working order..What do we need to do???

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Attorney answers 3


"As is" means exactly what it sounds like, and any buyer of any used car that's sold without a warranty who understands that knows they need to get their own mechanic to inspect the car before deciding to take title.

Assuming you didn't provide any written or oral warranty or representation, you have no obligations to the seller.

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You owe no obligation to this buyer. Used motor vehicle is sold generally as-is unless you state otherwise. You provided no warranty. If they sue you, however, you will need to defend yourself in court - so watch your mailbox for a Complaint either in small claims or another court and make sure you comply with any deadlines in the mail. For example - if the Buyers file a complaint that requires you to answer within 28 days, you will need to file an answer and at that point I would recommend that you consult an attorney who can prepare a full answer denying their claims and asserting your defenses and to help you decide whether you need an attorney to appear for you in court. Otherwise, if you get sued and ignore it, you could end up with a judgment against you - even if you were right in the first place.


If you had the buyer sign something saying it was sold as is, then you may be okay. If not, then it is your word against the buyer's word on what the deal was. In a private sale in Ohio the seller’s only obligation is to answer questions truthfully, not hide anything, tell the truth about the vehicle mileage, not sell a dangerous-to-use vehicle, and sign over a clear title to the vehicle. There is no general 3 day right to cancel, or anything like that, in a car dealer sale or in a private sale unless it is part of the original deal. It’s true that buying or selling a car in a private sale can be risky business because the law is very different from a car dealer sale. In a sale between two people, neither of whom is a car dealer, in Ohio the only obligation on the seller is basically to answer the buyer’s questions honestly and not hide anything that the seller knows the buyer would want to know about. The seller has to tell the truth about the mileage on the car too by filling out correctly and honestly an odometer statement for the buyer to have. And many Ohio counties require a mandatory emissions test in order to get a vehicle licensed, but if the emission/pollution equipment was disabled or removed then the buyer may have the right to cancel the sale. But if the seller hides the truth or misleads or outright lies to the buyer, that can be an act of fraud and trying to claim it was sold “as is” won’t let the seller off the hook for fraud. There are some general tips at too. Also Ohio does not have a used car lemon law at all. Next time, if you want to make the agreement clear so no dispute comes up later, the buyer and seller should consider writing out a “contract of sale” which says what the year, make and model and “VIN” number of the vehicle is, and also what (if anything) is being represented about the vehicle or if it is being sold “as is,” and then both of them sign it and each keeps a copy. But a written contract is not required in most states to privately sell a motor vehicle. Car dealers, however, have to use a written contract in every sale. To find out for sure what your obligations and rights are in a private vehicle sale in your state, you need to talk to a local lemon law lawyer. Check this web page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Local Lemon Law Lawyers (they don't pay to be listed here and most of them are members of the only national association of consumer law lawyers): If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks. Ron Burdge,

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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. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on this link ( and find one near you