While selling your car yourself typically benefits you the most because you can make the most money this way, it can be a hassle for you. You may have to deal with several people inquiring about your car through the Craigslist ad you posted before you find someone who wants your car and is willing to pay the price you asked. Once you sell your car and the new owner drives away, leaving you with a nice check or envelope full of cash, you probably feel you’re dealing with that car is over.
In most cases, it is over. You’ve sold the car and the new owner is now responsible for anything and everything the car offers and has as part of the deal, but there are times when something bad can happen and that new owner comes knocking on your door. Unfortunately, there are some new owners of used cars that don’t understand what they’ve bought and somehow think you should be responsible if something isn’t quite right on the car they bought. Thankfully you have your own course of action that can be taken which will likely turn out in your favor.
When a person buys a car from another individual the agreement is nearly always an understanding that the car being sold is being sold “as-is.” This means that whatever condition the vehicle is in is what they are paying for and you are under no obligation any further once the car is sold. Even if the buyer threatens to take you to court if you don’t fix or repair something after the sale, they typically don’t have any real course of action except to take you to court and learn that an “as-is” car has no warranty on it at all.
The only way you can have any problem with this process is if you either implied or wrote a warranty for the vehicle or you were untruthful in your advertisement of the vehicle. Some terms cannot be held against you at all. These terms could be “runs great” or “drives like new” but items that are more concrete could actually be held against you if you weren’t forthright in the dealing of the vehicle and your advertisement. These concrete terms could get you into trouble, which makes it important you’re completely up front with what the vehicle you’re selling actually offers.
What do I mean by concrete terms that can stand up in a court of law? These are terms that describe the actual vehicle such as the year, make, model, miles, and equipment offered on the vehicle. Beyond these items, most of the rest of the description is perception based and couldn’t be held against you. There’ve been many people, who sold their old Ford Pinto models and said they were gorgeous vehicles, but that can’t be held against them at all; beauty is simply in the eye of the beholder in this case.
Is it frustrating to have someone sue you over a used vehicle you sold? Certainly, it is, but nearly all cases won’t have any negative results for you as long as the vehicle you sold matched the advertisement you put on Craigslist perfectly. One piece of advice though, if you have a vehicle that you need to sell, it’s better to sell to a stranger than a friend. A friend may use your relationship to their advantage and expect you to fix items that need to be repaired after the sale, which puts you in a bad position. Find a stranger to take your vehicle off your hands and keep your friendships strong by keeping business separate from friendship, and for more information on this topic, be sure to check out this video by Steve Lehto.