Washington State Used Car Sales Laws

by Brooke Pierce

If you own a used car and live in Washington state, there are laws that protect you as a consumer. Knowing these laws will help you in case you encounter problems with your used car. Ask the dealer to provide you with a warranty and sales contract when buying a used car.

Implied Warranty

This warranty shows that the car is fit for ordinary driving purposes. All vehicles sold in Washington state must have this warranty. The vehicle should be free from major defects and safe for driving. The duration of this warranty depends on the mileage, age and price of the car. The Washington State Consumer Protection Act provides these protections.

As Is

The term “as is” refers to a car being sold with all the risks assumed by the purchaser. The person selling will not be held responsible for repairs or any problems that occur later. A car can be sold without a warranty only if the customer willingly and knowingly waives the warranty and is provided with a statement of the particular nature or sections of the car that are not covered.

Tip

  • You waive your implied warranty only if:

    • You are well and adequately informed about the effects of buying a car “as is."
    • You freely and knowingly assume all the risks involved.
    • You do not purchase the extended service contract.

Lemon Law.

You can return a used car that develops problems that cannot be fixed to the manufacturer for a replacement or repurchase, under Washington state's lemon law. You must have made at least of four attempts to repair your defective vehicle to qualify your car as a lemon. Also, this must be within your warranty period.

Service Contract

When you purchase an extended service contract, the dealer cannot disclaim the implied warranty, and the vehicle cannot be sold “as is.” It is important to know the service contract available as well as the extent of coverage, conditions to keep the policy valid and cost.

Advertised Price

The dealer is required by the state law to sell you a car at the advertised price even if you do not know the advertised price. The dealer is not allowed to bait and switch to confuse consumers. The state law requires that the actual cost of the car be the advertised invoice price without the manufacturer’s incentives and hold backs.

Limited Warranties.

These will pay a portion of the repair costs during the warranty period. Ensure that the dealer puts in writing all these representations and promises. The implied warranty cannot be waived if the dealer gives you the limited warranty.

Tip

  • Ensure that you understand the coverage and exclusions of the limited warranty.

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.