Dealership Sold Me a Bad Car What Can I Do?

Dealership Sold Me a Bad Car What Can I Do

There are times that when you want to buy a car from a dealer, the dealer tries to play a fast one and sell you a car that is not as good as he claims, and has a couple of faulty parts.

It could also be that the dealer genuinely wasn’t aware that the car was bad, before selling it. Either way, there is no way you would know if it is true that he wasn’t aware of the condition of the car.

When a dealer sells you a bad car, call his attention to the condition of the car, so he can revert by changing it, or possibly changing all the faulty parts. If the dealership doesn’t respond reasonably, report him to the state using the Lemon Law, or file a lawsuit against him.

Can Car Dealers Sell a Bad Car to Me?

Absolutely yes! Car dealers can sell a bad car to you, if you are not careful, especially when you are buying your first car.

Even repeat buyers fall victim to car dealers selling a car that is below par for them, as not all of them are car experts.

This is why you are advised to test out the car a couple of times before fully paying for it and registering it, to be sure that every part of the vehicle is as said, and you are very satisfied with the workings of the car.

Some car dealers can be dubious. When they get a car that should go through the necessary repairs, they try to save costs by concealing the faults instead of repairing them.

When they conceal the faults of the vehicle, they then sell to unsuspecting car buyers like you, people who don’t exactly know what to look out for in a car before buying.

They do this in the hopes that after the purchase is complete and the car is fully yours if you notice any damage to the car and you try to complain, they would shift the responsibility of repairs to you, completely. They do this to earn more profit on the sale of the car.

However, there are a few car dealers who are genuinely negligent and are not aware that the car has certain faults before selling it. For this reason, you should give the benefit of the doubt.

Why Would Car Dealership Sell a Bad Car?

It all boils down to the car dealer’s arrant lack of integrity. Many car dealerships, especially the small, unnoticeable dealerships care more about making money than about the customer’s safety, experience, or even feedback.

If a car that comes in requires probably a $2500 repair before it can be perfectly fine and good for a customer to purchase and use, and the car dealer knows that he can’t get as much profit on it as he would like, he would do very minimal repairs that won’t cost that much.

These repairs are usually done to conceal the actual faults of the car or to bring it to, at least, a safe condition for the buyer.

It is all about the profit. Dealerships try to get as much profit on a car as they can, and why would they spend so much to repair a car that they might not get a lot on?

Their thought process is, isn’t it better to do what will cost the least, and leave the bigger headache to the buyer while they enjoy the good profit they made on it?

The culprits in this kind of bad deal are usually small, local dealerships, as the big dealerships who have made a name for themselves couldn’t be bothered about earning little profit at the expense of damaging their hard-built reputation.

Also, they can easily sell at a wholesale price and still earn a little, without having to compromise on the quality of their vehicles.

Finally, another reason why car dealerships would sell you a bad car is negligence. Many are sincerely negligent, and they are not doing it out of a lack of integrity or excess love for profit.

Many dealerships are usually run in different departments, and the sales department can go on to sell cars they aren’t aware are damaged, probably due to lack of communication with the technical department, or undue pressure from management to sell cars fast.

In summary, car dealerships sell bad cars because they lack integrity, they care more about the profit, or they are not run effectively.

Dealership Sold Me a Bad Car What Can I Do?

If you find out that your car dealer sold you a bad car, there are several steps to go to redeem the whole situation:

1. Inform the Dealer

Reach the dealer and inform him about the situation. Sometimes, dealers take full responsibility for the car and request to change the vehicle for you, or bear the full costs of the repairs.

Dealerships that didn’t deliberately sell it for the sake of profit proffer this solution to buyers.

If they refuse to take responsibility for the bad car they have sold to you, and you are positive that you were not responsible for the damage to the car, move on to step two.

2. Ask for a Refund

After all honorable discussions have fallen through, the next best step is to ask for a refund. Tell them you don’t want the car anymore, you are not doing it again and they should give you your money back.

You can only do this if you are still within the time frame for the return given in the purchase contract. You can’t use a vehicle for eight months or so, only to come back to ask for a refund. Come on.

If the car dealership refuses to take the car back and refund you, then you seek legal help.

3. Hire an Auto Fraud Lawyer

Get a lawyer who specializes in auto fraud cases. When you bring in a lawyer, the complexity of the situation changes, and the lawyer can force their hand to get you a fair deal.

4. File a Lawsuit and Go to Court

If an out-of-court settlement is not possible, file a lawsuit and sue the car dealership.

However, be warned that this can be a very long process, especially if the car dealership in question is a big name.

They usually go to extreme lengths to protect their reputation, including hiring intimidating lawyers that threaten to get the judge to throw your case out of court and make you pay for damages in reputation through your teeth.

This is why filing a lawsuit and suing the car dealership is the last step in the process.

How to Avoid Being Sold Bad Cars by Dealerships

There are several ways to avoid the tricks and shady practices of car dealerships. If you arm yourself with this information, the days of falling victim to car dealerships are over!

Request for a Pre-Purchase Inspection

A pre-purchase inspection could take the form of you using the car for a whole day, or two, or a few hours.

Within the time the car is in your possession, you can spot all the faults that have been laden upon the car. This way, you can make informed decisions.

Don’t Go Alone

Go with someone well versed in cars and the shady tricks of car dealers, possibly a car mechanic that you trust, or a big bouncer that they wouldn’t want to mess with, haha!.

Ideally, going with a car mechanic will put you in a safer spot, as they would help you spot any fault in the car, and guide you into choosing a car that has no faults and would be good enough for you.

Inspect the Quality of the Vehicles They Have in their Garage

It’s a rule of thumb. If most of their cars look bad or are bad, then there’s every likelihood the one you are buying is also bad.

Check Reviews

In this age, most shops are listed in local directories online, and car dealerships are not excluded. Check the stars most customers are giving. Check the reviews from customers. This will help you make informed decisions.

And if your car dealer isn’t listed online, try getting feedback directly from people you know who have patronized them. Do not buy at a car dealer whose customers you can’t reach.


You must be extra careful when purchasing a car from car dealers, to avoid being swindled and given a bad car for a good price.

Ensure that where you are buying from is highly recommended, ensure you are not going alone, and make sure you get a pre-purchase inspection.

If you end up buying a bad car or some years of cars to avoid, go through the steps to redeem it. Inform the dealer. If he isn’t helpful, ask for a refund, and if he refuses, involve a lawyer and sue.