Buying a used vehicle is always a trickier prospect than buying new.
New cars come with more built-in protections (express warranties) and Nevada laws regarding new cars are stricter.
While it’s always riskier to buy a used vehicle, Nevada does have some pretty good laws, though, that can help prevent you from buying a real clunker.
Nevada Used Car Warranty Laws
Nevada does not require all used cars to come with warranties.
Used cars in the state may be sold as-is (as long as the seller/dealer doesn’t have previous complaints, as explained in “Used Car Mandated Warranties” below.)
But the state does have implied warranty laws that apply to all vehicles not expressly sold “as-is.” (The “as-is” or similar designator must be clearly defined on a vehicle’s sales paperwork for it to be sold without these implied warranties.)
One of these implied warranties states that vehicles must be of “minimally adequate quality” and “fit for the normal use of a car”.
Basically, a vehicle not expressly labeled as being sold “as-is” must be operational and safe to drive on roads.
The second implied warranty states that a vehicle must be useful for the purpose for which you purchase it, if the seller is aware of that purpose.
If you need a vehicle that can tow a boat, for instance, and ask for a vehicle with enough towing capacity, it’s the seller’s responsibility to know the details of the product he or she is selling.
If the seller sells you a vehicle with too low of a towing capacity, you may have recourse under the law.
Of course, you’ll have to be able to prove the seller knew what you needed and sold you a vehicle outside the scope of what you requested.
Used Car Mandated Warranties
Along with the implied warranties on all used vehicles not sold “as-is” in Nevada, Nevada does have some required used car warranting laws.
These laws apply to any vehicle with over 75,000 miles sold by dealers with three or more unresolved complaints with the DMV.
Any dealer with three or more unresolved DMV complaints must offer express warranties covering the engines and drivetrains on vehicles with over 75,000 miles for a set period of time or mileage, according to the following schedule:
- 75,000-80,000 miles: 30 days/1,000 miles
- 80,001-85,000 miles: 20 days/600 miles
- 85,001-90,000 miles: 10 days/300 miles
- 90,001-100,000 miles: 5 days/150 miles
- 100,001 miles and above: 2 days/100 miles
If the vehicle breaks down during these periods, the dealer is required to repair the vehicle at no cost.
Nevada Used Car Return Laws
Most of the time, there is no right to return a used car in Nevada.
But there is one major exception.
If the vehicle is still within the lemon law rights period (one year of delivery to the original owner) and still under the original manufacturer’s warranty, the lemon law applies.
See What To Know About The Nevada Lemon Law for more information.
Used Car Warranty & Car Return General FAQ
To further your understanding of used car warranties and return rules here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Do used cars come with warranties?
Many do, but not all.
And in most states, used cars have no requirement to be warrantied.
Used cars may be sold either with a warranty attached or “as is.”
Those with warranties may also have very limited warranties, with either a short time/mileage window or only a few parts of the car that are covered.
All this said, dealerships often offer warranties as incentives to buy their pre-owned vehicles.
And, if they don’t, you can certainly negotiate one into your purchase contract.
Does an express manufacturer’s car warranty transfer to a new owner?
Generally speaking, yes, an express manufacturer’s warranty transfers to a car’s new owner as long as the warranty is still in effect (though, the rules or coverage period of the warranty may change).
But this isn’t always the case.
If a vehicle’s warranty does not transfer, this should be clearly spelled out in the vehicle’s paperwork, and the seller is also required to tell you.
Do extended vehicle service plans count as warranties?
Yes, in most cases, service contracts are considered a form of warranty under the law.
However, they’re unlikely to do you much good if real issues arise.
Service contracts typically don’t provide much more than general maintenance, so if your car breaks down it is unlikely the dealer will have a duty to repair it.
However, if they refuse to do your oil change, rotate your tires, or anything else actually included in your service plan, you can certainly seek justice under warranty laws.
Is there a federal law that deals with used car warranties?
Yes. In a way.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act applies to all warranties, regardless of whether those warranties are attached to new or used products.
The law is not specific to vehicles, but can be used to enforce any warranty on a used vehicle.
What’s in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (as it applies to vehicles)?
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act includes several key points that pertain to vehicle warranties.
These points are:
- No product is required to have a warranty (and many used cars don’t).
- The terms of a warranty must be fully disclosed in simple, understandable language.
- Any ambiguity in the language of a warranty is held against the warrantor (in this case, the manufacturer or dealer).
- Warrantors cannot require only branded parts be used with their products for a warranty to remain valid (Ford can’t require only Ford parts be used on your vehicle).
- Service contracts must follow these same rules.
Basically, if you feel like you’ve been duped by a warranty, you may have a case under the Magnuson-Moss Act.
And if your used vehicle does come with a warranty, the dealer/manufacturer must repair any defect for free and to satisfactory condition, or you can seek justice under your local (or the federal) warranty law.
What about the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off rule?
The FTC’s 3-day cooling-off rule or “right to cancel” does not apply to vehicles.
For more on the FTC’s rule and how (and why) it doesn’t apply to vehicle sales, see Does The FTC’s 3-Day Right To Cancel Apply To Car Purchases?