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What you need to know when buying a car

Posted at 11:00 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 02:00:32-04

When it comes to buying a car, do you know your rights? Contact 13 gets a lot of complaints from car buyers, and there's one major mistake many are making. Tonight, a consumer alert you need to hear before your next vehicle purchase.

"This is 100% not normal," says Lynn Johnson.

She recently tried to buy this 2007 Chevy Equinox. She put $1,100 down and drove it off the lot. But she didn't make it home before she started having trouble.

"I swear the transmission was doing all kinds of crazy things," says Lynn.

She bought the SUV with more than 129,000 miles on it. But she says the used car salesman promised the Equinox was in good shape.

"They did say their mechanic looks over all of their cars," says Lynn.

The other issue was, she didn't know what her contract said about repairs.

"I never received the contract for the car," says Lynn.

She says she reached out to the salesman and management. She wanted them to take back the Equinox, and give her a refund. But it's important that you know, a used car lot isn't legally obligated to cancel a deal once you've signed on the dotted line.

"Used cars in Nevada are sold "As Is." There's no cooling off period. There's no right of rescission," says Kevin Malone with the DMV.

The DMV says once you drive a car off the lot, your responsible. So you better take a test drive, and get that vehicle checked out by a third party.

"You can and probably should take a used car to a mechanic. If the dealer doesn't like that, then be prepared to walk away," says Malone.

When buying a used car, at least run a vehicle history report, using Carfax or a similar service. And in the end, if you feel you've been taken advantage of, call the DMV.

"Our Compliance Enforcement Division has investigators that police the auto dealerships, make sure they are licensed properly, look into complaints," says Malone.

As for Lynn, she reached out to Contact 13, and we told her to file a complaint with the DMV. Then Lynn sent this email, telling the used car lot what she did.

That's when they decided to take back the Equinox and give Lynn her money back.

Now she has this warning for anyone, before you buy a used car.

"Research, research, research, research, and to not walk out without the paperwork. I should've seen the contract. I should've seen the contract, and shame on me for not," says Lynn.