What does it mean to sell a car as-is?

If you are browsing used car listings on the internet you will in evidently come across listings that contain the phrase “as-is”. On the flip side, if you are thinking of selling your own car, you will eventually have to decide if you also want to list it “as-is” or not. So what does “as-is” actually mean?

Well in simple terms, it means you are buying the car as it sits. There is no guarantee that it is road worthy from the seller, nor does it have a safety inspection or emissions test (pending your state or province even requires it). The seller is literally telling you, “I have no clue if there are any issues and I don’t care to find it but you can buy this car”. While that might sounds scary to you, it’s not necessarily a bad thing as cars sold as-is will demand lower prices than cars sold certified/safetied/etc.

There are also a few reasons why cars are sold as-is and it’s something to consider if you are looking to sell your own car. For starters, selling it “as-is” will reduce your liability to nothing if any problems are found. There are some state laws that might say things differently and you’ll definitely want to check and verify your local laws but generally even in ones with car sales protection built in, “as-is” will eliminate liability.

The seller could also be in a rush to get rid of the vehicle due to their financial situation. As such selling the vehicle “as-is” will allow them to skip all the leg work of having the car tested and inspected, which can sometimes be very time consuming. Finally, the seller may just not want to dump anymore money into the vehicle, they could even be aware of the issues and are just not looking to spend anymore money repairing the vehicle.

While an “as-is” car might deter some buyers there is a great advantage to them. For starters, it’ll always be a cheaper car than one certified and inspected. If you know what you are doing, this could save you even more money down the road. The other benefit, the seller is more likely to straight up tell you what the issue is so you know what problem you are buying rather than getting something unexpected down the line. Regardless, always do your research and know what you are buying!

About Meds

Ben is widely known as the car sales guy to his friends and family. He does not work at a dealership, although he has done so in the past. He currently works in fleet in the automotive industry and is a numbers guy. He currently drives a rather boring 2017 Ford F-150 as his daily, but his passion is his 2018 Ford Mustang GT. Disclaimer: he does not work for Ford, although he is a big fan.