Virginia Used Car Return Laws

By Bryan Cohen - Updated January 29, 2018
Overhead view of toys cars and a lemon

Other than a house, a car could be on of the most expensive things you buy. It's important to do your homework so you don't end up with a lemon. In the state of Virginia, there are several laws that allow you to return your used car if there is a problem with it. Virginia dealers are expected to act in good faith and tell you if the car has been previously titled or involved in a wreck.

When the Car is a Lemon

The lemon law in the state of Virginia is called the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act. While this law is not enforced by the government, it can be enforced by the private action of the consumer. A consumer has the right to return his car for a refund within 18 months if it has problems not disclosed by the seller. These problems may have led to the necessity for repairs or to the general annoyance and inconvenience of the buyer. The car is classified as a lemon if it has been repaired three times or more since purchase or if it has been repaired once for a serious safety defect. The seller must be willing to grant a used car return. Otherwise he can be sued for the sales price and any further damages incurred, such as the cost of repairs and attorney fees.

Demo Vehicles are Used Vehicles

In the state of Virginia a car that has been used as a demo may not be considered a new vehicle. This is also the case for a car that has been previously titled, as stated by the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. In the past, dealerships have been found guilty of fraud for selling vehicles as new when they previously titled. Where the dealership does not disclose that a car has been titled, it could prevent the buyer from re-selling the car later on. The seller potentially could sue the dealership for the cost of the sale plus damages.

You're Protected If You Buy a Wreck

Another aspect of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act protects used car buyers from purchasing a vehicle when the vehicle's history has been misrepresented. When a vehicle has been damaged in a wreck, that fact must be disclosed by the seller. It doesn't matter if the vehicle is being sold "as is." If a dealer induces you to buy a vehicle based on a misrepresentations of the facts, then he or she could be guilty of auto fraud. The buyer entitled to recover the full value of the sale back after learning of a car's previous history. If the dealer does not pay up, he can be sued for the price of the sale plus damages.

About the Author

Bryan Cohen has been a writer since 2001 and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double degree in English and dramatic art. His writing has appeared on various online publications including his personal website Build Creative Writing Ideas.

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