• Dealers must give express warranties in Connecticut:
• If the car costs between $3,000 and $5,000 and is less than 7 years old (The dealer must cover all repairs necessary to keep the vehicle mechanically sound and operational for at least 30 days or the first 1,500 miles, whichever comes first).
• If the car costs more than $5,000 and is less than 7 years old (The dealer must cover all repairs necessary to keep the vehicle mechanically sound and operational for at least 60 days or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first).
• If the car costs less than $3,000 and is more than 7 years old, the dealer can sell the car “As Is,” meaning no warranty, if the dealer provides a disclaimer on the front page of the contract of sale and you indicate your assent to the disclaimer.
• A dealer cannot exclude or limit an implied warranty on a car that costs more than $3,000.00.
• The express warranty must provide that if the car breaks down during the warranty period, the dealer is responsible for all repairs necessary to keep the vehicle mechanically sound and operational.
• If the car is in the repair shop for more than a day, the warranty is extended for every day the car is in the dealer’s or his agent’s shop.
• A dealer cannot limit a warranty under the above conditions by using phrases such as “fifty-fifty,” “labor only,” or any other words that attempt to limit the dealer’s responsibility to the buyer.
• Look the vehicle over very carefully and insist on a test drive. Look at the car during daylight. Any damage, defects or other problems will be easier to spot.
• Have a trusted mechanic perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle before purchase.
• Make sure that the dealer puts in writing and makes part of your contract any promises to correct any conditions or to make certain repairs upon your purchase of the vehicle.
• Be wary of odometer tampering. An unscrupulous seller may roll back the odometer to trick a consumer into paying more for a used car than it is worth. Before buying a used car, check the vehicle history using the car's vehicle identification number (VIN).
• You can check the vehicle history online. For example, the Department of Justice’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) at www.nmvtis.gov
is an online system that offers accurate information about a vehicle’s title, odometer data, and certain damage history. Expect to pay up to $4 per report. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) at www.nicb.org
also maintains a free database that includes flood damage and other information so consumers can investigate a car’s history by its vehicle identification number (VIN).