State Regulations in Connecticut
Buying & Selling Vehicles in Connecticut
Depending on whether you are buying or selling a used or new vehicle in Connecticut, you'll generally need to think about things like:
- Transferring the vehicle's title.
- Completing a bill of sale.
- Ordering a vehicle history report or vehicle identification number (VIN) check.
- Canceling or purchasing a car insurance policy.
- Registering the vehicle.
- Removing existing license plates.
- Passing a vehicle inspection/smog check/emissions test.
Additionally, it's important to be aware of some of the protections afforded to both buyers and sellers when making a Connecticut vehicle transaction.
On this page you'll find a basic overview of some of the protections for both parties for new and used vehicles.
When you're buying a vehicle, whether it's new or used, you are responsible for doing the research and leg-work that will help you get the best value for the vehicle you want.
Depending on whether the vehicle you are purchasing is new or used, you'll have some legal protections. Used vehicles purchased from private sellers generally require you to be more diligent in your research and you'll be mainly responsible for protecting yourself from a bad deal.
Buying a Used Vehicle in Connecticut
If you're buying a used vehicle from a licensed Connecticut dealer, you have some legal protection in the form of a warranty. Used car dealers are required to cover the cars they sell with the following warranties:
- If the vehicle is 6 years old or younger and costs between $3,000 and $5,000, the dealer is required to cover it for 30 days or 1,500 miles (whichever comes first).
- If the vehicle costs $5,000 or more, the dealer is required to cover it for 60 days or 3,000 miles (whichever comes first).
- If the vehicle is more than 6 years old, and/or costs less than $3,000, the dealer is not required to cover it with a warranty. The dealer is required, however, to print on the window sticker that the car is being sold "as is."
If you are buying a used vehicle from a private seller, there is no required warranty protection. Once the title changes hands, the car―and any potential problems― belong to the buyer. No matter what, it's a good idea to obtain a vehicle history report before signing the deal.
Buying a New Vehicle in Connecticut
If you're buying a new vehicle in Connecticut, you are protected by the lemon law. The lemon law basically creates a binding arbitration procedure in case a new car under warranty cannot be successfully repaired to conform to the warranty after a number of tries. A consumer may apply for a ruling, which, if favorable to the consumer, can result in a replacement vehicle or a refund from the dealer/manufacturer.
Vehicle sellers, both private parties and dealerships, also have some protections after selling a vehicle.
Selling a Used Vehicle in Connecticut
If you sell a used vehicle in Connecticut, it is sold "as is," with no warranty or guarantee of any type. Once you complete the title transfer and create a bill of sale, the vehicle belongs to the new owner and you have no obligation.
Selling a New Vehicle in Connecticut
To sell a new motor vehicle, you must be a licensed car dealer and you must follow the state-mandated licensing rules, which govern advertising, sale circumstances, and warranties. While the lemon law is mostly designed to protect consumers, it does generally allow the vehicle's manufacturer/authorized dealer a chance to fix any problems.