Apart from a buying a home, buying a vehicle is likely the next big purchase one can make. So it’s important to make sure you have enough information about vehicle buying process. Massachusetts is considered as one of the states that are pro-consumer. This is good news to car consumers and anyone planning to purchase a vehicle in this state. The state has strong laws that protect vehicle consumers and it has tried to educate its residents about these laws and other information about vehicles. The consumer laws in this state are very strict. If you are a vehicle seller in Massachusetts, you might not be happy about these laws. Below is a guide on car buying and selling regulations in Massachusetts.

Buying a New Car

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) can help you make good decisions regarding vehicles and how to purchase them. But there are also some resources that you can use for the same reason as explained below:

  • The state has a strong Lemon Law that regulates new vehicles. The law requires any vehicle sold in this state to pass inspection within 7 days from the sale date.
  • There is also a pro-consumer vehicle legislation pending. This law intends to set new regulations regarding motor vehicle dealers, giving special attention to sale and purchase financing agreements, as well as advertisements.
  • There is also the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. This office supervises vehicle sales by putting up important consumer protection notices.
  • Massachusetts Driver's Manual. This is also another resourceful manual with helpful information about vehicles.

Selling a New Car

Massachusetts allows only licensed vehicle dealers to sell new vehicles. Private sellers are only allowed to sell used vehicles. Dealers in Massachusetts are carefully regulated by state law.

Buying a Used Car

When buying a used vehicle, you should be careful not to be a victim of a bad deal. You may end up purchasing a defective vehicle. You need to be well-educated about the lemon law and the process of buying vehicles and handling paperwork for vehicle registration and titling. There are also some resources that you can use for the same reason.

  • The state Office of Consumer Affairs provides an informative guide with more information about buying and selling a vehicle to a private party.
  • The state has a strong Lemon Law that regulates used vehicles. The law requires any vehicle sold in this state to pass inspection within 7 days from sale date.
  • The Attorney General’s office also provides an informative guide with more information about leasing a used car in Massachusetts.

Selling a Used Car

There are few guides to selling vehicles in Massachusetts when you compare them to buying guides. If you are a private seller, the best policy is to be honest. If you are a dealership, the state regulates your business. So you should operate by rules set by various state regulations. If you are selling a vehicle to a private buyer, you should be aware of the following things:

  • The Used Vehicle Warranty Law: The seller is required to inform the buyer of any defects that might impair the use or safety of the used vehicle.
  • The Lemon Aid Law: This law protects buyers from defective vehicles. If you have a vehicle that fails inspection within seven days of purchase, you can request a refund or vehicle replacement.
  • Odometer Rollbacks: It is illegal to roll back odometer reading.

Title or Registration

If you purchase a 1980 vehicle or newer, you must register it and transfer the title into your name. Do not purchase a vehicle that does not have a title. If the title is missing, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy with the Massachusetts Consumer Commission and assign it to you. If you purchase a vehicle model of 1980 or older, bought before 26th November 1990, you can register it without a title. You will need to submit a notarized bill of sale. Don’t purchase a vehicle model of 1980 and older, bought before 26th November 1990, without a registration.