How to Return a Used Car Bought in Texas

by Brooke Pierce

In Texas, the lemon law protects you if you buy a used car from a licensed Texas car dealer. Your vehicle still needs to be covered by the original manufacturer's warranty and not the extended service contract. If you suspect your car is a lemon, you'll need to follow a few basic steps if you wish to return it.

Keep records.

Keep detailed, accurate records of all issues you have had with your car, the number of times it was repaired and the amount of time that it was not available while undergoing repairs. These records provide evidence to qualify your car as a lemon.



Notify the manufacturer.

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, you must notify the manufacturer through a written notice about the issue you are facing with your car. You must give the manufacturer an opportunity to repair your vehicle. Wait for feedback from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer fails to rectify the problem and denies your request for a replacement, you can file a complaint.


Consider an informal settlement before filing a complaint.

File a complaint.

File a lemon law complaint form and a fee of $35, at the time of publication, with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Provide the notice of complaint giving the manufacturer a final chance to rectify the situation. A DMV employee will review the complaint and attempt to provide a solution through arbitration. If there is no solution, the matter will be directed to a hearing examiner. Both you and the manufacturer will be required to present a case.

Wait for the hearing examiner's decision.

The hearing examiner will give a final written decision to you and the manufacturer at the close of the hearing. The examiner will provide a ruling as to whether you can return the used car to the manufacturer for a replacement or get a refund for what you paid for the car. You and the manufacturer will be given a chance to challenge the final order. You can do this by filing a motion for rehearing with the DMV.

File an appeal.

If the outcome does not satisfy you, file an appeal with the state district or appeals court in Travis County, Texas. An attorney can help you through the case if you are concerned about the procedure.

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