Insuring my teen driver

Insuring my teen driver

Ah yes, your teen is finally behind the wheel, which allows you to hang up your hat as the resident chauffeur. But in addition to that new found sense of freedom for both parent and teen, comes a new pinch in the pocketbook. Ouch. Insuring my teen driver.

It’s true, parents of teen drivers typically incur an increase in their car insurance premiums, but we have some tips to help offset the cost of having a young driver on your auto insurance policy.

Insuring my teen driver-

One factor that can affect your rate significantly is whether your child will have their own car. There is a substantial savings in having a new teen driver share the family vehicle rather than giving them a car of their own. In addition to having one less vehicle to carry on your policy, sharing a car means they will spend less time driving because of limited access to a vehicle.

Should you choose to get your teen their own vehicle, the type of car you select can affect your premiums considerably. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine which models cost less to insure, but considering these factors may help you narrow down your choices:

  • Drive a used car. While a brand new car may seem the safest choice (if cost isn’t an issue), it is often the more expensive route when it comes to car insurance. If you do not need to insure the value of the vehicle (ie- no collision and no comprehensive coverage), you and your teen driver will save – most likely- over $1,000 annually.
  • Safety rankings count. Whether you are considering new or used, it is a good idea to check the safety ratings. Having your teen at the wheel of a safe car might affect your premium as well as your peace of mind.

The Lemon Law

The Lemon Law

Have you been sold a lemon of a vehicle? The Lemon Law is here to help!

Many people ask us about the Massachusetts Lemon Law.

To qualify for the MA Lemon Aid Law, your vehicle must fail an official Massachusetts safety and emissions inspection within 7 days of purchase.

Next, you must get a written estimate for the cost for the inspection-related repairs. If the repair estimate is for more than 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle, you can get a full refund from the seller (private party or dealer).

To qualify for The Lemon Law and get a refund you must return the vehicle to the seller within 14 days of purchase with a signed statement by the inspector of why the vehicle failed, a copy of the estimate and a letter telling the seller that you want to cancel the sale.

For more information, visit the Massachusetts Consumer Affairs website at  or call (617) 727-7780.

At fault accident: standards of fault

at fault accident: standards of fault

When determining fault in a Massachusetts auto accident, MA insurance companies use the following Standards of Fault:

  • Collision with a lawfully or an unlawfully parked vehicle
  • Rear-end collision
  • Out-of-lane collision
  • Failure to signal
  • Failure to proceed with due caution from a traffic control signal or sign
  • Collision on wrong side of road
  • Operating in the wrong direction
  • Collision at an uncontrolled intersection
  • Collision while in the process of backing up
  • Collision while in the process of backing up
  • Collision while making a left turn or a U-turn across the travel path of a vehicle travelling in the same or opposite direction
  • leaving or exiting from a parked position, a parking lot, an alley, or a driveway
  • Opened or opening vehicle door(s)
  • Single-vehicle collision
  • Failure to obey the rules and regulations for driving
  • Unattended vehicle collision
  • Collision while merging onto a highway or into a rotary
  • Noncontact operator causing collision
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles when required by law
  • Collision at a “T” intersection(you entered from side road)

For For more information regarding MA automobile insurance, call the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Consumer Hotline at: 617-521-7777 or visit their website: http://www.mass.gov/doi. For more information regarding your driving record, call the Massachusetts Merit Rating Board’s Customer Service Section at: 617-351-4400 or visit their website at: http://www.mass.gov/mrb.

For a competitive, Massachusetts Auto Insurance quote, please call or click us today.

Advanced Driver Training Discounts

Advanced Driver Training Discounts

The number one killer of teens is automobile accidents.

MassAutoQuote recommends In Control Advanced Driver Training.

Many companies offer an Advanced Driver Training discount, one company in particular (Safety Insurance) supplements the cost of the class. Instead of paying the standard rate of $299, Safety Insurance clients pay only $75.

In addition, clients receive a 5% policy discount on their auto insurance (Safe Roads Alliance). A “policy” discount can be huge because it applies to the entire policy and not just the vehicle the driver is rated on. So, in other words, if you have 3 vehicles on the policy all the vehicles receive the discount.

In Control is a non-profit organization filed as a 501(c)(3) and offers the nation’s first state certified crash prevention training to drivers of all ages. This closed course, hands-on education was adapted from existing law enforcement training in the United States as well as European instruction that led to a societal shift in attitudes toward driving in many countries.  

In Control has trained nearly 25,000 students and receives endless praise from graduates, parents, schools, police departments, insurance companies, legislators and community groups all over New England.   Most graduates enjoy insurance discounts and the peace of mind knowing that they have been trained for emergency situations.  Third party research has found a 70% reduction in crashes for new driver graduates of our training and similar results for experienced drivers trained through our commercial programs.

While focused on training New England drivers of all ages, In Control has traveled the United States providing training, consulting and products to keep people safe from the most dangerous thing we do.

Call, click, or stop by to find out more about Advanced Driver Training and other Massachusetts auto insurance discount programs.

What is a Disappearing Deductible?

What is a disappearing deductible?

What is a disappearing deductible?

A disappearing collision deductible discount is not a magic trick. It can be a way for you to save money on your car insurance premium, if you qualify. Essentially, the vanishing deductible is an incentive that rewards “safe” drivers by reducing the amount of their deductible, or out-of-pocket expenses if they do file a claim.

Insurance companies know that safe drivers have fewer car accidents and get fewer speeding tickets. Safety conscious car drivers tend to follow the rules of the road. They make fewer insurance claims. This can save insurance companies a significant amount of money every year. Insurance companies like to have safe drivers as policyholders for just this reason.

Vanishing Deductible Saves Safe Drivers Money on Deductible

Some big insurers offer “safe” drivers a special incentive, called the vanishing deductible discount. While each insurance company’s specific safe driver program varies, the programs generally subtract some of the cost of the deductible for each year a driver qualifies as a safe driver. Auto insurance companies also tend to reward driver loyalty.

It is important to realize that your insurance company does not take this safe driver deductible discount off the cost of your car insurance premium. Rather, this money is money saved out-of-pocket on the amount of your deductible if you have a car accident and file a claim.

How Does The Vanishing Deductible Work?

Let’s say that you have an insurance premium that includes a $1000 deductible. This means that in the event of a car accident in which there is $10,000 worth of damage to your auto, you will have to pay the first $1000 out-of-pocket. Your insurance provider will then cover the remaining cost of repair.

Typically, if you are in a vanishing deductible discount program, each year that you do not file a car accident claim, your insurer will drop your deductible by $100. If you went for ten years without an accident, depending on the maximum vanishing deductible credit your insurance company provides, you could, theoretically wind up with a zero deductible.

What Makes a Safe Driver?

Each insurance provider has different criteria for qualifying as a safe driver. The most important factors that insurers may consider include your driving history, history of traffic violations, car accidents, and other factors. Even if you have a less than stellar driver’s record, it may still pay to ask your insurance agent if you qualify or how you can qualify in the future.

Do You Qualify for the Vanishing Deductible Discount?

To learn whether your insurance coverage includes the disappearing deductible discount, give us a call or fax or e-mail us a copy of your Massachusetts Auto Insurance Coverage Page.

Get in touch with an agent who will take the time you need to understand your options, such as explaining: what is a disappearing deductible? Call or click Massautoquote.com.

Moving to Massachusetts

Moving to Massachusetts

Well, it’s settled. You’re moving to Massachusetts!

Let us be one of the first to welcome you.

Massachusetts is a great State. From our beaches, to our mountains, to our cities, to our institutions, to our storied history: we’ve got it all.

How can I get my vehicle registered and insured?

We can help.

Step 1 – Find your auto insurance policy.

Find coverage and premium you’re comfortable with. We will shop numerous companies for you.

MassAutoQuote has been giving out free, no-obligation, online MA auto insurance quotes since 1999 (that’s longer than Geico has been giving out quotes here).

By getting a MA auto insurance quote from us, you utilize the shopping power of the Massachusetts independent insurance agent.

Step 2 – Get your vehicle registered.

In Massachusetts insurance and registration go “hand-in-hand.”

You can’t have one without the other.

Once you have found the auto insurance coverage and premium you are comfortable with, will put together a Registry of Motor Vehicles Form 1 with an insurance stamp.

Note: Massachusetts is a “Title state,” in order to get new MA plates you have to turn in your prior, out-of-state title, and get a new MA title.

Your MA driving record is determined by things such as:  years licensed, at-fault accidents, violations, citations, and suspensions.

(Remember:  You must obtain annual vehicle inspection sticker within seven (7) days of your vehicle’s registration date.)

So, although moving to Massachusetts is a big move, we’ll find you the best best auto insurance and help you get your vehicle registered.

Moving to Massachusetts? Call or click us to get your free, no-obligation Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quote.

 

 

Do I Need Commercial Plates?

Do I Need Commercial Plates?

If I put lettering on my Massachusetts private passenger auto, do I need commercial plates?

Great question.

Here’s the long answer:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation defines commercial vehicles (requiring commercial plates) as:

“ANY MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH IS NOT A PRIVATE PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE, ANTIQUE MOTOR CAR, MOTORCYCLE, TRAILER, SEMI-TRAILER, AUTO HOME, HOUSE TRAILER, TAXICAB, AMBULANCE, HEARSE, LIVERY VEHICLE. BUS, SCHOOL BUS OR PUPIL TRANSPORT VEHICLE”.

This includes:  Any vehicle which has a vehicle weight of more than 6,000 pounds unless it is a sport utility vehicle, passenger van, pickup truck or cargo van meeting the definition of a private passenger vehicle.

  • Any vehicle which as five or more wheels i.e.; a dually
  • Any pickup truck or cargo van, owned by a partnership, trust or corporation unless the vehicle meets the definition of a private passenger vehicle.
  • Any pickup truck or cargo van if on the bed , roof or sides of the vehicle tools, equipment, supplies and materials are transported to or from a job site (personal projects without compensation are not considered a job site).
  • A vehicle which has business lettering, markings and/or advertisements on it.
  • A vehicle used for hire to plow.
  • A vehicle used for hire to transport or store goods or merchandise (unless the vehicle is owned by an individual, the maximum carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds or less and is only used on a part-time basis).
  • A vehicle used to transport or store goods or merchandise intended for sale in the operator’s business (unless the vehicle is owned by an individual, the maximum carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds or less and is only used on a part-time basis).

So,  according to the MA Department of Transportation, if the vehicle has business lettering, markings +/or advertisements, then the vehicle should have commercial plates.

Mass Auto Insurance Quotes

mass auto insurance quotes

MassAutoQuote offers Mass auto insurance quotes. We rate with top companies to find you the best coverage at the right price. Give us a click, call, or visit.

You’ll be happy you did.

We offer 4 ways to get mass auto insurance quotes:

Real Time Quote – Spend a few minutes and get sample, real-time quotes from A rated carriers.

Easy Quote – Click and attach a copy of your auto insurance Coverage Page and let our insurance professionals find you the best rate.

Quick Quote – Enter only basic information and let us show you different coverage and premium options.

Contact us – Give us a call, phone, fax or stop by.

Massautoquote was launched in 1999 to provide MA consumers free auto insurance quotes. Since then we’ve seen many changes both online & in the MA auto insurance business. By utilizing Massautoquote you are using the power of your local, MA independent insurance agent.

We shop your auto insurance coverage & discounts with top-rated companies that write auto insurance in Massachusetts.

We will help find you all applicable discounts and offer you different coverage & premium options.

Get your free Massachusetts auto insurance quote.

Submit a quote request online or call us at: 781-246-8699.

Insurance Surcharge Appeal

Insusrance Surcharge Appeal

Insurance Surcharge Appeal.

Have you been found “at-fault” in a Massachusetts auto accident?

Was the accident a weather related, slip and slide?

Have you received the surcharge notice?

If so, this means your insurance company determined you are more than 50% at-fault in the accident and more than $500 was paid out in damages.

If you believe you are not more than 50% at-fault in the accident, then you should appeal the surcharge.

You should submit the written appeal (& non-refundabe $50) to the MA Board of Appeal within 30 days of receiving the surcharge notice.

When determining fault in an accident, unlike the insurance companies, the Massachusetts Board of Appeals takes into consideration contributing factors. Such as: road condition (icy, wet, snow-covered), visibility, other vehicle erratic driving, etc.

The MA Board of Appeal tells us it is presently taking about 9 months before you will receive your hearing date.

Once you have received your hearing date you can: appear in person, submit a written statement, or select someone to appear on your behalf.

Appeal hearings are scheduled in: Boston, Brockton, Peabody, Plymouth, Somerville, Springfield, Waltham, or Worcester.

Call or click MassAutoQuote with any questions or to discuss.

We know Massachusetts Insurance.

Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law

Massachusetts Lemon Law

Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law

The Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law allows you to void or cancel a motor vehicle contract or sale if your vehicle fails to pass inspection within seven days from the date of sale AND if the estimated costs of repairs of emissions or safety related defects exceed 10% of the purchase price. ( M.G.L. c. 90 §7N) This law applies to both dealer and private party sales of cars and motorcycles purchased for personal or family use. Dealers must display your Lemon Aid rights by putting a sticker on the left front window of each used car at the time of delivery.

Vehicle Inspection And Registration Requirements

By law, sellers of used vehicles must remove inspection stickers prior to transferring the vehicle to the new owner. Motor vehicle inspection stickers are not transferable to a new owner. When you buy a used car, you must bring the car to a licensed Massachusetts Inspection Station within seven days of registering it. In order to be protected by the Lemon Aid Law, however, you will need to have it inspected within seven days of purchase. For your own protection, do not allow the dealer to do the inspection for you.

If Your Car Will Not Run

Cars that do not run automatically fail inspection. To be eligible for a refund under the Lemon Aid Law, you must demonstrate that the estimated cost of repairs for safety or emissions related defects (and not the problem that is keeping the car from being inspected) is more than 10% of purchase price. Proving this may be difficult because it requires that a mechanic locate the problems and estimate the cost of repairs for these defects.

How To Receive Your Refund

In order to obtain a refund, the vehicle must be inspected and rejected by a licensed Massachusetts Inspection Station within 7 days of purchasing it. The rejection cannot be caused by your negligence, abuse or an accident occurring after the date of sale. In addition, you must complete all of the following steps within 14 days from the date of sale:

  1. Get a written statement, signed by an authorized agent of the inspection station, stating the reasons why the vehicle failed to pass the safety or combined safety and emissions inspection test.
  2. Obtain a written estimate of the costs of the necessary emissions or safety repairs showing that those costs exceed 10% of the purchase price.
  3. Notify the seller of your intention to void the contract under this statute ( M.G.L. c. 90, §7N). Do this by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail. Enclose a copy of the documents listed in Steps 1 and 2. Be sure to save copies for your files.
  4. Deliver the car to the seller, even if delivery requires towing services. It is advisable to take a witness with you and copies of the documents listed in Steps 1, 2, and 3. If the seller refuses to accept the car, prepare a statement indicating that you and a witness delivered the car to the seller on that date, but that the seller refused to accept the car. Be sure the statement is signed by both you and your witness in the presence of a notary public.

If you comply with these provisions, you are entitled to a full refund of the purchase price. You and the seller may agree in writing to have the seller do the necessary emissions or safety-related repairs at the seller’s expense. You may, however, refuse the seller’s offer and accept a full refund.

If You Paid For a Title

Contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles Title Division at (617) 351-9550. Explain that you are returning the vehicle to the seller under the Lemon Aid Law, and that you are requesting that a certificate of title be issued to you as soon as possible. When you receive the title, you should assign and transfer it back to the seller. If the seller refuses to accept the title, then send it by certified mail and retain a copy for your records.

If You Paid Sales Tax and Registration Fees

Take the following steps immediately to ensure you receive a rebate:

Sales Tax: Fill out an abatement form available from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Taxpayer Service Division, P.O. Box 7010, Boston, MA 02204, (617) 887-6367.

Registration Fee: If you return your license plates within 10 days from the date you registered your car, you will receive a refund less a charge of $5. If you return your plates after this 10-day period, but within a “reasonable time,” you will receive a partial rebate.

Asserting Your Rights

If you followed all of the above steps and the seller does not refund your money, you should explore the following options:

Mediation:
Mediation is an inexpensive and informal way to resolve your dispute without hiring an attorney and going to court. Contact the Attorney General’s Office for mediation services.

Court Action:
You may also pursue your claim through the court system. For claims under $7,000, small claims court may be the least costly alternative. Consumer Affairs publishes a Consumer’s Guide to Small Claims Court available upon request. Larger claims may be more suitable to District or Superior Court. You should seek legal advice for all claims.

Other Rights and Remedies

If you do not qualify for a refund under the Lemon Aid Law, other laws and regulations may protect you. Unless otherwise noted, these laws do not apply to private party sales.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability:
In addition to any express written warranties given by the dealer, you are also protected by an Implied Warranty of Merchantability. This implied warranty is automatic with every car sold by a dealer. The dealer warranties that the car is safe and in running condition for at least a reasonable period of time. Consider such factors as the price paid, the car’s age, make, model and mileage to help you determine what problems the dealer should be required to fix.

You cannot waive the implied warranty of merchantability. This means that a dealer cannot sell cars “as is,” “with all faults,” or with a “50/50” warranty.

Odometer Law:
The law prohibits both dealers and private party sellers from turning back or readjusting the odometer or mileage indicator on any automobile offered for sale.

Title Requirements:
All vehicles must have a certificate of title issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles and must be properly endorsed at the time of sale. The dealer must inform you, on request, of the name and address of the prior owner of a car.

Used Vehicle Warranty Law:
Dealers must provide a written warranty to buyers who purchase a used vehicle with fewer than 125,000 miles at a purchase price of $700 or more. The law requires dealers to repair use or safety defects for either 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the mileage of the vehicle. It also allows consumers to obtain a refund if during the warranty period they attempted to have the vehicle repaired three times for the same defect, or if the car has been out of service for repairs for at least 11 business days, and the defects still exist.

Private Party Sales:
In addition to the Lemon Aid Law requirements, a private party who sells a consumer a used vehicle must tell the buyer about any known use or safety defects. If the buyer discovers a defect which impairs the safety or substantially impairs the use of the vehicle, and can prove the seller knew about it, then the buyer can return the vehicle within 30 days of purchase. Private parties are bound by this law, regardless of the age or selling price of the vehicle.

Sources of Help

For General Information:
Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
(617) 973-8787 or Toll Free: (888) 283-3757

Title Information:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Title Division
(617) 351-9550

To file a complaint against a dealer:
The Office of the Attorney General
(617) 727-8400

Automobile consumers are protected by laws covering those who purchase vehicles in Massachusetts that are found to have significant defects. These free programs offer an additional level of protection for consumers who purchase cars that fail to function as required by law. If you have recently purchased a defective vehicle, follow this simple tool to determine if your vehicle is eligible for Massachusetts’ Lemon Law, Lemon Aid Law, or Used Vehicle Warranty Law.

You must be able to demonstrate that the defects must substantially imparir the use, market-value or safey of the vehilce. For exmaple, to prove marke tvalue impairment, you must show you vehicle is worth at least 10% less than is would be without hte defect.

 

If the vehicle fails inspection and you’re within seven days

If the vehicle fails inspection, it may be eligible for Lemon Aid, however you must act quickly. Please contact our Office at 888-283-3757 for more information.

Over seven days: The vehicle is not eligible for Massachusetts Lemon Aid Law, but it may be eligible for the Used Vehicle Warranty Law.

Click “Continue” to check the vehicle’s eligibility

 

New, purchased within the last 12 months with less than 15,000 miles on the vehicle?

Has your vehicle been brought back to the dealership 3 times for the same significant safety, use, or market value defect during your warranty period? OR Has your vehicle been out of service for more than 15 business days?

 

Have you written a Notice of Final Repair Attempt to the manufacturer?

A Notice of Final Repair Attempt notifies the manufacturer that they have one final attempt to repair the vehicle’s defect(s)

  1. Download Notice of Final Repair Attempt Here.
  2. Send Notice to the vehicle’s manufacturer (click here for manufacturers’ address).
  3. If the vehicle has not been repaired within 7 business days of the manufacturer’s receipt of Notice, you are entitled to a replacement or refund under Lemon Law.

Notice of Final Repair Attempt:

Your Home Address
Your Evening Telephone Number
Your Daytime Telephone Number

Date

Name of Manufacturer
Manufacturer’s Address

Dear Sir or Madam:

I believe that my car is a “lemon” under the Massachusetts Lemon Law (Massachusetts General Laws; c. 90 Sec. 7N1/2). I am hereby making a written demand for relief under the Lemon Law and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Massachusetts General Laws, c. 93A, Sec.9).

I purchased a (make, model, year of vehicle) on (date) from (name of dealership) in (city, state). The vehicle identification number or VIN number is (vehicle identification number). Since I bought the vehicle, I have had to return it to the dealership a total of (number of times the vehicle was returned to an authorized dealer for repairs) times. My vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a total of (total number of business days the vehicle has been out of service being repaired) business days. My vehicle has been in (name of dealership) for repairs on the following dates for repair of the following defects:

(Date in/out) (List problems complained of)

(etc.) (etc.)

I am having the following problems with my vehicle at this time: (list all problems the vehicle currently has).

These remaining defects substantially impair the use, market value or safety of my vehicle. I am hereby allowing you one final repair opportunity. If these repairs are not completed within seven business days of receipt of this letter, I am entitled to a replacement vehicle acceptable to me or a refund calculated in accordance with the Lemon Law.

Failure to comply with the Lemon Law is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws, c. 93A, and you may be subject to double or triple damages as well as attorney’s fees and court costs if this matter is taken to court.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Your Name

 

A Massachusetts Consumer Guide:
The Used Vehicle Warranty Law

The Used Vehicle Warranty Law protects consumers who buy used vehicles from a dealer or private party in Massachusetts. ( M.G.L. c. 90 §7N 1/4) The law requires dealers to provide consumers with a written warranty against defects that impair the vehicle’s use or safety, and requires private parties to disclose any known use or safety defects.

The Used Vehicle Warranty Law provides you with protections and remedies, including mandatory repairs, refunds, or repurchases. It does not cover all vehicles or all defects, and not all problems will qualify your vehicle for repurchase.

If you purchased a vehicle fewer than 14 days ago, the fastest way to get relief may be through the “Lemon Aid Law.”

Vehicles Covered:

The law applies to used cars, vans, trucks and demonstration vehicles not covered by the New Car Lemon Law, and which:

  • are sold by a Massachusetts dealer or private party,
  • cost at least $700 (dealer sales only),
  • have fewer than 125,000 miles on the odometer when sold (dealer sales only).

Demonstration or executive vehicles are covered under the law under certain circumstances. You must first determine whether the vehicle meets the requirements of the New Car Lemon Law. You may use the Used Vehicle Warranty Law only if you do not qualify to be accepted for the New Car Lemon Law.

Vehicles Not Covered:

The following are not covered under the Used Vehicle Warranty Law:

  • motorcycles, mopeds, dirtbikes;
  • leased vehicles;
  • auto homes, and vehicles built primarily for off-road use;
  • any vehicle used primarily for business purposes, or purchased by, owned by or registered to a business

Private Party Sales:

The Used Vehicle Warranty Law applies differently to a vehicle purchased from a private party than it does if purchased from a dealer. Under the law, a dealer is anyone who sells four or more vehicles in a 12 month period.

The Used Vehicle Warranty Law requires private party sellers to inform buyers about any and all known defects which impair the safety or substantially impair the use of the vehicle. The law applies to all private party sales regardless of sales price or mileage. If you discover a defect that impairs the vehicle’s safety or substantially impairs the use, and can prove that the seller knew about the defect but failed to disclose it, you may cancel the sale within thirty days of purchase. The seller must refund the amount you paid for the vehicle, less 15 cents per mile of use.

Private parties are also bound by the Lemon Aid Law.

DEALER SALES

Defects Covered: Only defects that impair your vehicle’s use or safety are covered. Defects are not covered if they:

  • affect appearance only;
  • are covered by the manufacturer’s express warranty and the dealer assures that the repairs were made;
  • are caused by negligence, abuse, vandalism, or accidents unrelated to the defect;
  • are caused by repair attempts made by someone other than the dealer, its agent, or the manufacturer; or
  • are caused by substantial change made by you to the vehicle (such as installing a sunroof that was not part of the vehicle when you bought it).

Dealer Warranty: Anyone who sells four or more vehicles in a one-year period is a dealer under the Used Vehicle Warranty Law. Dealer warranties cannot be waived under any circumstances. The dealer must give you a signed, dated, correct copy of the limited used vehicle warranty at the time you purchase the vehicle. The warranty requires the dealer to repair any defect that impairs the vehicle’s use or safety.

Warranty Length: The coverage depends on the mileage of the vehicle at the time of purchase as outlined below:

Mileage Warranty Period
Less than 40,000 miles 90 days or 3,750 miles, whichever comes first
40,000 to 79,999 miles 60 days or 2,500 miles, whichever comes first
80,000 to 124,999 miles 30 days or 1,250 miles, whichever comes first
125,000 miles or over No express warranty

If the true mileage of the vehicle is unknown at the time of the sale, the warranty period is calculated according to the age of the vehicle as outlined below:

Age of Vehicle Warranty Period
3 years old or less 90 days or 3,750 miles, whichever comes first
More than 3 and less than 6 years old 60 days or 2,500 miles, whichever comes first
More than 6 years old 30 days or 1,250 miles. whichever comes first

Warranty Extension: Your warranty is extended by one day for each day the vehicle is out of service for repairs, and by one mile for each mile it is driven while repairs are being made. In addition, any repair performed on a covered defect during the warranty period carries its own 30-day warranty. This warranty begins the day the repair is completed and can continue after the original warranty on the car as a whole expires. See the Consumer Affairs Warranty Extension Reference Chart pdf format of uvref.pdf
if you need more information on these tolling and extension provisions (in Adobe Acrobat format).

Dealer Fails to Provide Correct Warranty: If the dealer does not give you a warranty or gives you one that is incomplete or inaccurate, you are still entitled to warranty repairs. Your warranty, however, will not begin to expire until the dealer gives you a complete, accurate copy of the warranty.

Warranty Repairs: The defects must arise during the warranty period. You must return the vehicle to the dealer for repair no more than five business days after the expiration date of the warranty period. The dealer may charge you a one-time $100 deductible, but only if this amount is written on your copy of the warranty.

Dealer Refunds: The limited used vehicle warranty provided by the dealer gives you the right to a refund if the vehicle was either:

  • repaired 3 times for the same use or safety defect
    that continued to exist or recurred during the warranty period,

OR

  • out of service by reason of repair or invalid refusal to repair for at least 11 business days during the warranty period, not necessarily all at one time.

NOTE: Business day is defined as Monday through Friday, except for state or federal holidays. When counting the number of business days your car has been out of service, any part of a business day counts as a whole day.

Waiting for Parts: If the dealer needs to order parts during a repair attempt, the days out of service while waiting for parts do not count toward the 11 business day requirement of the law. However, your warranty will extend by one day for each day you are waiting for the parts. A maximum of 21 calendar days during the warranty period will not be counted toward the 11 business day limit if parts are ordered. All business days after the 21st day will count. For more information on warranty extensions, see our Warranty Extension Reference Chart pdf format of uvref.pdf
(Adobe Acrobat format).

Dealer Refuses Repairs: The dealer may only refuse repairs if you have refused a dealer’s offer to buy back the car for the full purchase price. (See next section, Dealer Repurchase.) If the dealer has not offered to repurchase the vehicle, then the dealer must repair all use or safety defects. If the dealer refuses to accept the vehicle for repairs when you present it in person, then the vehicle will be considered “out of service” beginning that day. This and any following business days waiting for the vehicle to be repaired will count toward the 11 business days out of service requirement for a refund. The same rule applies if the dealer fails to take the vehicle within 3 business days of a telephone or written request for a repair.

Dealer Repurchase: The dealer has the right to offer to buy the car back for the full repurchase price instead of making repairs. You are responsible for helping to determine the refund amount by giving the dealer copies of your receipts and other documents for each cost to be reimbursed. The dealer must make the repurchase offer in writing. Under the law, you have at least five business days from when you receive the dealer’s offer to decide whether to accept the offer.

WARNING: If the dealer offers you a full refund under the law, and you refuse to accept it, YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO FURTHER WARRANTY REPAIRS UNDER THE WRITTEN WARRANTY PROVIDED BY THE DEALER. If you do not agree with the dealer’s calculation of the repurchase amount, you can ask the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) to help calculate it. If the OCABR determines that the full repurchase amount is higher than the amount offered by the dealer, the dealer may either offer you the amount determined by the OCABR or withdraw the offer to repurchase. If the dealer withdraws the offer, you will still be entitled to warranty repairs and can apply for arbitration, if you qualify.

Keeping Records: Maintain complete records from the day you buy your vehicle. Save the written warranty; request a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty, if applicable; and keep a diary of problems and repair attempts including the dates of service, the problem you reported and mileage at the time of repairs. Get a copy of the work order filled out by the dealer every time you bring the car in for service. Dealers are required by the Attorney General’s Motor Vehicle Regulations to give you a work order even if repairs are free. (940 CMR 5.00).

Returning the vehicle: If the dealer is going to buy back your vehicle, you will need to work together to meet and exchange the vehicle and its title for a refund. You must transfer the title back to the dealer.

If your title is at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, contact the Title Division at (617) 351-9550. Explain that you are returning your vehicle under the Used Vehicle Warranty Law, and request that a certificate of title be issued to you as soon as possible. If your vehicle is financed, you will need to get a lien release from the finance company. The lien release will enable the Registry to issue a title in your name. Also, you will need to work with the dealer and the finance company to arrange for the dealer to pay the finance company the portion of the loan that is still owed.

Refund Calculations: If you have met the requirements for a refund, ask the dealer to repurchase your vehicle. To calculate the amount you are entitled to receive under the law:

ADD

  • the purchase price including the amount for your trade-in;
  • finance charges;
  • registration fees;
  • the pro-rata cost of payments toward motor
    vehicle damage, collision and comprehensive
    insurance;
  • the non-refundable portion of payments made for credit life, and credit accident insurance on your vehicle loan;
  • the non-refundable portion of payments made for any extended warranties and service contracts;
  • unreimbursed costs of towing up to 30 miles;
  • up to $15 a day for alternate forms of transportation, starting on the third day the car has been out of service for repair;
  • payments made toward the $100 repair deductible; and
  • any other costs directly related to the defect.

SUBTRACT:

  • a use allowance of 15 cents per mile for every mile driven from the time of delivery to the date the refund is given; and
  • the amount of any overallowance on a trade-in vehicle.

An “overallowance” or “discount” is the difference between the trade-in amount and the actual cash value of the trade-in vehicle. For example, the dealer may list the trade-in amount as $2,000 for your trade-in but the trade-in is only worth $1,500. In this case, $500 of the trade-in amount is an overallowance. The overallowance will be deducted from your refund only if the amount of the overallowance is clearly and separately listed on your copy of the motor vehicle purchase contract, bill of sale, or other documents given to you at the time of the sale.

If the dealer still has your trade-in vehicle, s/he has the option of returning it to you rather than refunding the trade-in amount. If the dealer has the trade-in and wants to keep it, s/he may keep it and refund you the amount of the trade-in.

The use allowance on your vehicle may be large if you have driven many miles since your purchase. Keep in mind that the use allowance will be based on the miles driven through the time you actually return the vehicle and sign the vehicle’s title over to the dealer.

Your refund will not include lawyers’ fees, lost wages, excise tax, sales tax, or other costs that are not directly related to the defect. You can apply at your city or town hall for an abatement of excise tax. Contact the Department of Revenue to request information regarding an abatement for the sales tax at (617) 351-9550. If the dealer deducts from the purchase price for mileage, you may not be able to get your sales tax back. Sales tax is only returned by the state when the full payment is refunded. Since the Used Vehicle Warranty Law does not require the dealer to refund the sales tax, you may not be able to recover this cost.

ASSERTING YOUR RIGHTS

If the dealer will not refund your money, you have several options. You may seek mediation, arbitration, or file suit in court.

Mediation: This allows both parties to reach a mutually acceptable solution with the help of a facilitator. Mediation is voluntary, requiring both parties’ consent. Consumer Affairs offers a face-to-face mediation program for Lemon Law disputes; you may also apply for mediation through your Warranty Extension Reference Chart pdf format of uvref.pdf
.

Arbitration: Arbitration is an informal and inexpensive way to resolve your complaint. In arbitration, the consumer and the dealer present evidence about the condition of the vehicle to an impartial person. To qualify for arbitration, you must meet the criteria outlined in this pamphlet. The purpose of the arbitration hearing is to determine whether or not your vehicle qualifies for a refund under the Used Vehicle Warranty Law. This arbitration is “all or nothing.” If the arbitrator determines that your vehicle meets the standards of the law, you will be awarded a full refund. If the arbitrator decides that your vehicle is not a “lemon,” there will be no award, although you may have rights to different remedies under other laws.

Consumer Affairs must receive your request for arbitration within 6 months of the date your vehicle was delivered to you. The request must be made on an official application provided by Consumer Affairs.

Court: You have the right to proceed to court if you have met the Used Vehicle Warranty Law’s requirements and the dealer refuses to refund your money, or if you are not satisfied with your arbitration decision.

Failure to comply with the Used Vehicle Warranty Law is an unfair and deceptive act or practice under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, c. 93A, which may entitle you to double or triple damages, plus court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. If you are considering court action, you should consult an attorney if you purchased your vehicle for more than $7,000. You or your attorney must begin by sending the dealer a 30-Day Demand Letter.

OTHER RECOURSE
Implied Warranty Law: The implied warranty of merchantability is a guarantee provided by law in the sale of all consumer products, including automobiles, even if they cost less than $700 or have been driven 125,000 miles or more before sale to you. The implied warranty is in addition to any express, written warranty. Under the implied warranty, a product must do what it was designed to do with “reasonable” safety, efficiency and ease for a “reasonable” period of time. If it does not run properly, the seller is responsible for repair, replacement or a refund. The law does not define the word “reasonable.” This will depend in part upon the condition, age, and sale price of the vehicle.

NOTE: The implied warranty of merchantability does not apply to private party sales.

A dealer cannot deny you coverage under this warranty. Under the implied warranty of merchantability, merchants cannot sell products: “AS IS” or “WITH ALL FAULTS.” or with a “50/50 WARRANTY” which requires you to split the cost of any repairs with the seller.

The Lemon Aid Law: This law allows you to void or cancel a motor vehicle contract or sale if your vehicle fails to pass inspection within seven days from the date of sale AND if the estimated costs of repairs of emissions or safety related defects exceed 10% of the purchase price. This law applies to both dealer and private party sales of cars and motorcycles purchased for personal or family use. The vehicle must be returned to the seller within 14 days from the date of sale.

Odometer Law: This law prohibits both dealers and private party sellers from turning back or readjusting the odometer or mileage indicated on any automobile offered for sale. If you can prove that the seller reset the odometer, you can sue for $1500 or three times the amount of your damages, whichever is greater, along with court costs and attorney fees. Odometer tampering is also a criminal offense.

Title Requirements: All vehicles must have a certificate of title issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles and must be properly endorsed at the time of sale. Dealers must inform you, on request, of the name and address of the prior owner of a vehicle.

SOURCES OF HELP

For information on your rights under the Lemon Law, or case hearing information:
Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
(617) 727-7780 or Toll Free: (888) 283-3757

A copy of the Warranty Extension Reference Chart pdf format of uvref.pdf
, Consumer Arbitration Manual pdf format of ucarbkit.pdf
and the Arbitration Application pdf format of apliused.pdf
are available on-line in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Acrobat installed on your computer, you may download the program free of charge from Adobe.

To file a formal complaint (not for arbitration) against a dealer:
The Office of the Attorney General
(617) 727-8400

To check a dealer’s complaint history:
Consumer Affairs (arbitration history only)
(617) 973-8787 or Toll Free (888) 283-3757

Attorney General’s Office
(617) 727-8400

Better Business Bureau
(617) 426-9000
(508) 755-2548
(413) 734-3114

For information on auto safety problems and recalls:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(800) 424-9393

Consumer Arbitration Manual pdf format of ucarbkit.pdf
*

Application for Arbitration pdf format of apliused.pdf
*

Warranty Extension Reference Chart pdf format of uvref.pdf
*

Relevant Law:
MGL c. 90 §7N1/4: Express warranty by dealer of used motor vehicle; issuance; consumer’s rights and remedies

Relevant Regulation:
 201 CMR 11.00: New and Used Motor Vehicle Arbitration

* These documents are in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you may download it free of charge from Adobe

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