In Texas, federal laws apply to the purchase of used vehicles. One of these federal laws requires that consumers be advised of whether the car they want to buy is under warranty or not. This must be stated in the window of each car that is for sale: “As Is,” meaning, the car is not under warranty and the seller isn’t obligated to make repairs on faulty parts, or “Warranty,” meaning, the car is under warranty, and the notice must include information about which parts are under warranty and how long they will be covered under warranty.

It is illegal under federal law to change the odometer or alter the number of miles the car has incurred. Each car has an odometer statement attached to it, so it is important to see this document before or when you sign the buyer’s contract.

Can My Contract Be Void for Any Reason?

If the contract has been fully executed, put in writing and signed by both parties, it cannot be void. However, it is a common scam for buyers to trade in their old cars and form a verbal agreement with a dealer, then leave with a new car without putting their agreement in writing. Often by the time the agreement is finalized, the monthly payment is higher. This is not something that can be reversed under state or federal law.

It is also state law that any buyer must have liability insurance. There could be a problem with the contract if it turns out you don’t have liability insurance when or immediately after you are purchasing the car. Collision insurance could also be required by the bank or whoever is financing the car. This will cost more money for the buyer.

What Is Texas Law on the Buyer’s Guide?

When a car sale is finalized in Texas, the Buyer’s Guide laws are incorporated at that time. The Buyer’s Guide details are a higher authority than any of the terms of the contract. That is to say the contract can’t contradict the information in the Buyer’s Guide, and if it does, those terms in the contract will be void.

The Buyer’s Guide must be posted in the window, and if the sale or the contract is in Spanish, the Buyer’s Guide must also be in Spanish.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have purchase a car in the state of Texas and you think that the seller has violated state or federal law, the dealer may be liable. You should speak with a consumer lawyer immediately in order to be advised of your options.