How to Return a Used Car in Missouri

by Brooke Pierce

When you buy a secondhand car, you should get a warranty from the seller. With a warranty, you will have a legal recourse if the car doesn't run properly -- or at all -- even after you make several attempts to have it repaired. Missouri's New Vehicles Warranty Law, also referred to as the lemon law, does not protect buyers with a used car. You should have a warranty from the seller and check what repairs are covered.

Fix your car.

Before returning your car, try to have your mechanic fix it. If the mechanic is not able to repair the vehicle, he will be able to help you to establish the cause of the problem. If you are not able to have the car repaired, take it to your dealer.

Keep records of repairs.

Note any repairs made to your car. The repairs you note should fall within the items specifically spelled out in the warranty. You need to prove that the defect existed at the time of the sale. The records from the mechanic as well as the warranty will be useful when you go to your dealer or seller.

Tip

  • You must have a warranty to return your car.

Write a notice to the manufacturer.

Before you begin the legal process, notify the manufacturer. Provide the manufacturer with the mechanic's report and warranty. This will give the manufacturer a final opportunity to rectify the problem. The seller or the dealer may agree to take the car back and return your money.

Try arbitration.

If the manufacturer denies your request, start an informal dispute process with the manufacturer. Before the arbitration process, find the Arbitration Board’s contact information on the Internet or in the manual of the owner’s vehicle that you purchased in Missouri. During this process, an attorney can be very helpful. An attorney with experience can present your evidence during arbitration, increasing your chances of winning the case.

Tip

  • Consider negotiating with the manufacturer before filing a lawsuit.

File a lawsuit.

If the results do not satisfy you, your attorney can assist you in filing a lawsuit. Missouri small claims court can handle your case if you paid less than $3,000 for the car, at the time of publication. If you paid $3,000 or more for the vehicle, file your case in civil court. Your attorney can help you in this process.

About the Author

Based in Amsterdam, Brooke Pierce has been writing automotive-related articles since 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Science in automotive engineering technology from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI.