What is the Law about Returning a Used Car in Indiana?

June 19, 2023 - 12:49 am - 4 min read

Purchasing a used car can be a great option if you are on a tight budget or simply looking for a better value. However, what happens if you end up being unhappy with the car after purchase? Can you return it and get your money back? In Indiana, there are laws that dictate the rights of both buyers and sellers in these situations. In this article, we will explore the law about returning a used car in Indiana.

The Lemon Law in Indiana

One law that applies to the purchase of any car, new or used, in Indiana is the “lemon law”. This law is designed to protect consumers who may have bought a vehicle that is defective or not functioning as advertised. In Indiana, the lemon law applies to new cars but not used cars. However, there are other options for those who purchase a used car that is defective.

Indiana’s Buyer’s Right to Inspection

When buying a used car in Indiana, buyers have the right to inspect the vehicle before purchase. This includes both a physical inspection as well as a test drive. During this inspection, buyers should keep an eye out for any visible damage or defects. Additionally, they should test drive the car to ensure that it runs smoothly and that there are no major issues with the engine or other important systems.

If the buyer finds any problems during the inspection, they should bring them to the attention of the seller. In most cases, the seller will make repairs or address the issues prior to the sale. However, if the seller does not fix the issues or disclose them to the buyer, the buyer may have legal recourse.

The “As-Is” Rule for Used Cars

When purchasing a used car in Indiana, it is common for sellers to use the “as-is” rule. This means that the car is being sold in its current condition and that the seller is not responsible for any repairs or defects that are not disclosed prior to the sale. This can make it difficult for buyers who later discover issues with the car to seek recourse. However, there are some exceptions to the “as-is” rule.

If the seller made any promises or guarantees about the condition of the car, these may be enforceable by law. Additionally, if the seller actively concealed defects or issues with the car, the buyer may be able to take legal action. In these situations, it is important for buyers to keep careful records of any communication with the seller and to document any repairs or issues that arise after the sale.

Options for Returning a Used Car in Indiana

In Indiana, there is no specific law that allows buyers to return a used car. However, buyers do have a few options if they are unhappy with their purchase. One option is to negotiate with the seller to return the car and receive a refund. This is often only possible if the buyer can prove that the seller made false promises or concealed defects.

Another option is to pursue legal action against the seller. This may be possible if the buyer can prove that the seller acted fraudulently or violated other consumer protection laws. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire an attorney to represent the buyer in court.


Purchasing a used car can be a great way to save money and get a reliable vehicle. However, it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to these types of transactions. In Indiana, buyers have certain rights when purchasing a used car, including the right to inspect the vehicle before purchase and the right to pursue legal action in certain situations. By understanding these laws, buyers can protect themselves and make informed decisions when buying a used car.


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