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We sold a used car in California for $5500K

Riverside, CA |

with the verbal agreement for this amount the Buyer would pay for re-smog since we deducted further ammount of 500. this was a cash deal and we completed a signed Bill of Sell. after 8 days he contacted us asking for full refund. We said sorry. Now 7 months later he served us with "Small Claims: suite. Is there Cal Law on our side defending us? Does Cal law assume private party car sells are "As is"?

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Attorney answers 1


As the seller, you have to provide the smog inspection certificate. Under California law, the seller of a vehicle is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Section 24007 (b)(2) of the California Vehicle Code provides that it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a valid smog certificate at the time of delivery of the vehicle.

The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification). The only other exception is a transfer of the vehicle to a family member (a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild).

An "as is" sale is often misunderstood. "As is" only refers to the seller's warranties. It does not relieve a seller from fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment. Nor does an "as is" sale relieve the seller of other legal obligations such as smog.

Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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