What is an As-Is Sale?
Posted 21 July 2016 12:00 AM by J.D. Byrider
Car buying is never easy. It’s tempting to go to your local classifieds and just buy a car from a neighbor instead of shopping around dealerships. Taking the simple, cash-only route might seem like it saves you money since you don’t have to worry about financing charges or paying for a dealership’s involvement, but it can cost you in the long run.
What is an as-is sale?
Selling a car as-is shields the seller from any legal responsibilities for the car as soon as the paperwork is signed. If the car breaks down on your way home, it’s already your responsibility. If there’s a mechanical problem the seller didn’t disclose, it’s on you to fix it. The law is on the side of the seller in as-is sales.
Where do you find them?
You’re not likely to find an as-is sale at a car dealership. These kinds of sales are usually used by private sellers. If you find a car parked with a “for sale” sign, or buy a car off Craigslist or AutoTrader, you’re probably buying an as-is car. Private sales, those between two individuals who aren’t affiliated with a dealership, are usually, by default, an as-is sale. Laws protect people trying to sell their old vehicles, but don’t have as many concerns with the people taking a gamble on buying one of these vehicles. You can see if your deal is “as-is” by looking at the paperwork. Legally, they have to disclose the sale’s status plainly and clearly.
What’s the problem with as-is sales?
There may be nothing wrong with an as-is car. Your vehicle could run for years with no problems, just like the seller promised. However, you could also end up with a vehicle that stops running after a week. If you’re not car-savvy, it’s not a good idea to buy a car as-is. You may not notice signs the vehicle has problems, but a mechanic would be able to spot them easily.
How do I evaluate the vehicle?
If you’re not a mechanic, you should the vehicle to a professional to have it inspected. Even if you’re familiar with changing your own oil or performing basic maintenance, you should still take it to a mechanic. You may need to drive with the car’s owner to a repair shop for the inspection, but it’s well worth it to get some certainty about the car’s condition. You should also inspect the title and make sure it’s clean. If the car owner doesn’t want to show you recent paperwork on the vehicle, consider pulling a Carfax® or AutoCheck® report.
What are my other options?
Remember that you’re not locked into a private sale just because you have bad or no credit, or because you don’t have the money for a large down payment. You may be able to qualify for an inspected, computer-tested, reconditioned and serviced vehicle at J.D. Byrider. We don’t base approvals off of just your credit score, so you may be able to drive away the same day with a great vehicle that has a limited warranty or optional extended service agreement.
To learn more about other common car-buying terms, read our glossary. It will tell you about advancement, APR and other car buying and financing terms you should know before you buy.
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