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I bought a car, private sale and the car won't pass safety inspection in NH

I purchased a car from a private sale. I have a bill of sale that does not imply a warranty or does it say “as is” When I looked at it, I was unable to see under the car due to an injury so I was not aware the whole underside of this car is completely rust out. I drove the car, ran great! Looked descent on the body panels, no indication that there would be a problem. I can’t get a sticker because it is found to be very unsafe. Can I return this without having to go to small claims?

I don’t know the laws in your state, but most likely you’re stuck. Next time, get a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic.

I think you have to investigate whether the previous owner had failed the NH inspection for rust issues. If yes, you can prove fraud. If not, you’ve got a problem.

This is why a pre-purchase inspection is so important in a used car purchase. If the seller blocked such an inspection that you requested you might have a case.

Sorry to hear that, I’m in similar shoes right now as the 92 mazda miata I just purchased is not what i i hoped it would be. I hope mine passes the inspection. I’m in CA.

Thanks to all that have responded. He told me he scraped the valid sticker of the windshield that it did pass safety in May. It is far fetched that this would have passed the safety inspection with the wholes in the rocker panels and floor. 2 days before Christmas my engine blew in my car and I was someone desperate for a car as I’m under medical treatment after surgery. I think this was a huge misjudgement on my part.

“Let The Buyer Beware”…When buying a car in an inspection state, have the seller get a new sticker BEFORE you give him the money…You can have a car inspected at any time, no matter when the sticker expires…It sounds like this car had no sticker when you purchased it…What a red flag that was…If the seller can’t/wont provide a fresh sticker, walk away…

Unfortunately in NH, the state inspection stickers is non-transferable and have to match the new owner registration. I think this is one tough lesson for me! I’ve been in the auto business for many years and I should have known better. It truly stinks that some people can take advantage of someone in such a position. I think if it were under different circumstances, I would have been more careful.

The car body is the most neglected as far as inspection is concern. Everyone wants to know, how much did you change the oil. Few start pealing back the carpeting or running a magnet over the panels or taking a screw driver to the subframe…too bad. Passing Inspection is more important then rattles and even the motor in some cases.

I really don’t know how people live with themselve on things like this. Everyone has to take a hit once in a while but to pass it on to someone unsuspecting is pretty low.

You already talked to the guy so I guess the next step would be to have a cheap lawyer write a cheap letter demanding a refund. Then when you don’t get it, it would be worth the effort to take it to small claims court just to mess with him. I think you do need to show that it failed inspection immediately after you bought it though to make your case. Just you saying it doesn’t prove anything. The judge might give you some money back or split it down the middle which you may never collect but at least you messed with him a little and it will be a public record if anyone googles him. Of course if it got stolen, that would be insurance fraud.

@MarioGar I also live in CA and have bought my fair share of used cars. My cars never had to pass anything over than a smog inspection. So what is this inspection that YOUR car has to pass?

Too bad it wasn’t in MA. The Lemon Aid law is for exactly this situation. If it fails first safety inspection and cost of repair is >10% of total value, deal is reversed.

First thing I would do if you can’t verify yourself is to get second opinion. Safety is subjective in some cases- like rust. Might have gotten an overzealous inspector.

MA…you mean that commie/ pinko state that tries to watch out for consumers ? We have similar legislation here in Maine that may be helpful too…but unfortunately not to OP. I would put a call into the state attorney general’s office…ASAP. Being classified as “elderly” is a big help as well.

In NH, all private sales of automobiles are legally “as-is” unless otherwise expressed in writing. It does not need to be on the sales paperwork. And it does not need to be able to pass inspection.

I sincerely hope you didn;t pay too much. You could try to resell it (I’d do it with full disclosure, but you are not legally obligated to do so). You may need to write off any loss as the cost of an education.

My bro lives in DC. His dash control for fan speed was broke so the cable dangled down. Car failed inspection since it was an issue that might force driver to take eyes off road to adjust fan speed. He pain 300 for new dash assembly. Sweet.

I sold our Nissan Sentra last year in good condition with over150,000 miles on it to a guy who wanted a cheap car for his son. I explained that the tape deck did not work, which was the only defect. I also gave him a binder with all the things done to the car for the last 15 years we owned it. The car was sold “as is and where is”; he had to pick it up at our house with his new license plates.

I had no qualms about it passing the test, since it involved tires, steering, lights, brakes, and mirrors. This is the normal way for private parties to sell vehicles.

“Caveat Emptor” dates back to Roman days and could cover a bad horse or a defective chariot!

MA…you mean that commie/ pinko state that tries to watch out for consumers ?
That’s the one!

“Caveat Emptor” dates back to Roman days and could cover a bad horse or a defective chariot!
I got bad news regarding your inspection. The horse is missing a shoe and the chariot has a bad U-joint. We have the shoe in stock but the U-joint is coming all the way from Greece. No sticker for you. Check back in a month…

@ Twin Turbo, I actually looked at why it failed inspection. Both rocker panels are rotted as the floor board on r/f. Both CV boots are torn. The R/fender is not even secured on the lower half due to the rot. I worked in the service dept for years and this stage of rust is immediate failure for safety. It stinks, I know better but I was also desperate because I was scheduled to move 4 days later. Being single, no other means of transportation, I believed the guy when he assured me he had a current sticker.

A look at the NH statute on used car sales from a private parts shows you have no recourse and with a very few minor exceptions used cars from dealers are also AS IS.

I wouldn’t be too quick to blame the seller on this. It’s at least possible that whoever put the previous sticker on there just slapped one on without really inspecting the car closely.
You didn’t notice the rust because an inability to look underneath so maybe the same thing applies with the seller; inability to look underneath or maybe not even caring to look. It could be that the seller just drove the wheels off of it and assumed by getting a sticker everything was fine.
Just saying.

One more note. I’m out of work and on workman’s comp. I had to borrow the $1300.00 to buy this charmer. It really has put me in a bad position. Needing more surgery as well as PT. I really appreciate all the advise and I hope I can sell it for what it is.

this reinforces my uncle’s declaration that the worst time ever to buy a car is when you really NEED one.