By June 18, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Car insurance can cost a lot for a car that’s better given up.

Reader question:

I have a car that I’m still paying on, and everything goes wrong with it. I have to make my payments late because I spend so much fixing the thing. Besides that, and my car insurance rates, I’m just really strapped for cash. What can I do?


Good question, Will.

Look, in a situation like this it looks like you’ve been cheated by your car dealership. This happens all the time, and most people don’t do anything about it because they don’t think there’s much they can do. Really, though, who wants to be paying high car insurance rates on a car that doesn’t even drive? How do you fix that? There are laws.

Most people would rather have a brand new car than a used one, but for many that just isn’t an option. Because of this, they feel trapped and have to go to some less-than-trustworthy dealerships to get a used car that may seem to work fine at first, but then everything falls apart. Some will just suck it up because, hey, that’s what they get for getting a car for so cheap, right?

Wrong. There’s a thing called a Lemon Law, and though it’s different in every state, in most states it’s based on a federal law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which, passed by Congress in 1975, requires dealers to give customers detailed warranty information in writing and enforces the promises in these warranties.

How do you know if you have a Lemon? Find out the requirements for a lemon from your state. In Virginia, for example, a vehicle used for family, household, and personal reasons that has had to be repaired three times or been out of service for 30 days on an 18 month warranty is a Lemon. Once you’ve determined if your car is one, you’ll have to hire a lawyer and take the dealership to court for damages. In some states, you don’t even have to hire an attorney. For more info, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs for your area.


Fashun Guadarrama.

Posted in: Auto Insurance

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