What can I do if I bought a used car on-line and it broke down not even 20 miles from where I got it?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011Fact Checked

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What can I do if I bought a used car on-line and it broke down not even 20 miles from where I got it?

My boyfriend and I both bought cars from this man. Earlier in the day we bought his car, drove it home and then went back to buy the other car. The second car drove fine when I tested it, but on the way home the timing belt broke. The man is not answering our calls. I found out that he does have a dealers license. I traded my car which was worth $4,000 for the car listed at $2,600 plus I gave him $200. The car has over $3,000 worth of repairs. When I bought it he said it had no mechanical problems. What can I do? I don’thave a receipt.

Asked on August 26, 2011 Georgia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Check the advertisement. If the advertisement states any facts, like that the engine is working properly or there are no mechanical problems, you may be able to sue the guy. Another way is to contact the online dealer and see if the online company can reverse the payment. If this is an internet type situation, you pretty much bought the car "as is", which means without warranty and at your own risk. The person may not need a dealer's license if he only sells motor vehicles without a loan or only a few cars per year. Check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state and see if it has regulatory authority or knows who has regulatory authority over such dealer licensing and see if the state police can help you obtain your monies back and help you return the motor vehicle.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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