Purchasing a car is one of the most expensive propositions most of us make after a house. According to the National Institute for Consumer Education, the average price of a new car is about $18,000. Some people can afford this price and many of look else where for less expensive alternatives, a used vehicle. They cost us a lower base price, Insurance generally costs less, they depreciate less than new cars do and it is easier to negotiate. Even a used, as the years pass is becoming increasingly complex on par with the technology growth in the auto industry. Used or new, we are at a loss with so many systems and processes to comprehend in a car. While the models of the cars available in the market are increasing manifolds it puts us all in a state that we come to heavily rely on the advice and mercy of a car salesman. That is why we need the intervention of lemon laws, in case we are taken out on a long ride over a lemon car.
If you are living in the state of Florida and have bought yourself a car in the state of Florida, there are laws that protect you with your investment.
The Florida lemon law
In addition to any dealer or manufacturer warranty, Florida's Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, also known as the Florida lemon law, provides new automobile buyer's protection from obviously defective new automobiles.
The Florida lemon law states that:
- If after three repairs for the same problem a dealer is unable to fix your Florida lemon car, you have to notify the manufacturer
- You must report the problem with the Florida lemon to the dealer within the first 18 months of your ownership or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first
Under the Florida lemon law, when you buy or lease a new motor vehicle, you must receive a Florida lemon law booklet explaining your rights.
Does the Florida lemon law cover used cars?
The Florida lemon used cars are NOT protected by the Florida lemon law, which is why:
- It is extremely important that you should thoroughly inspect a Florida used car before purchasing it
- The warranties expressly provided by a dealer with a Florida used car are very important documents which entitle you to your Florida lemon law rights
- The manufacturer's active warranty is a very important document as it entitles you to your Florida lemon law rights as a Florida used car owner
- As a Florida used car buyer, you should closely inspect the tires, suspension, engine, drive train, steering, brakes, and the interior of the Florida used car
- As a Florida used car buyer you should take a mechanic to inspect the Florida used car you intend to buy
Why the number of miles on a Florida used car is important?
Since the Florida used cars are "used", the number of miles on them is important.
- Under the Florida lemon law, vehicles with lower mileage on the odometer are more valuable than those with higher mileage on the odometer
- Under the Florida lemon law, a vehicle's odometer cannot be altered, disconnected, or tampered with
- Under the Florida lemon law, if the odometer reading appears odd, check the odometer statement available with the current owner
- Check with the title number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to get a complete history of the vehicle since its manufacture, at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- Under the Florida lemon law, unless the notice of vehicle's previous use is included with the title, the resale of taxicabs, police vehicles, for-hire vehicles or rebuilt vehicles is prohibited
Problems associated with car repairs rank number one in consumer complaint
Problems associated with repairing a car rank the highest in consumer complaints, according to the Office of Florida Attorney General.
According to the Florida lemon law:
- All repair shops in Florida must register with the State of Florida
- For repairs that cost more than $50, the repair shop must provide the consumer with a written estimate
- The shop must also contact the consumer before exceeding the estimate by $10 or 10%, whichever is greater
- After any repair work is completed, the repair shop must provide a legible copy of the repair invoice showing the work done
- After any repair work is completed, the repair shop must provide a legible copy of the itemized description of parts and labor charges along with the warranty, if any
The Florida lemon law – Used Car or New Car Repossession by Creditors
Since You can buy a new vehicle or a Florida used vehicle on credit, you should remember that:
- Creditors retain significant rights over the vehicle if you do not honor the loan agreement
- If you default on your loan, the creditor has a right to seize the vehicle, at his own discretion without prior notice
- After repossession, the creditor may keep the vehicle in lieu for the unpaid debt or resell it
- Either ways, you must be informed by the creditor
- You have the right to demand that the vehicle be sold
- Any money received from the sale beyond the amount of the debt be returned to you
- If the vehicle is to be sold at a public auction you must be notified of it, in advance
- When the vehicle is sold, the sale must be conducted in a commercially reasonable manner
- When the vehicle is sold, the price must approximate the vehicle's fair market value
- The creditor may reinstate the your credit
- He can even allow you to buy the vehicle back