Synopsis: I'm selling a car that might not pass smog, and want to sell as is without being held responsible for repairs. Looking for a contract that will protect me.
I have a car that needs engine work, and possibly won't pass smog without repairs. I have no intention of deceving anyone, and am disclosing this in my ad, I just want to remove my liability. I know that in CA the seller is responsible for smog checking before selling, but an employee at a smog tester said that if you have a written agreement, you're protected. I spoke with a rep from the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair, and he said that after the sale, getting me to pay for smog cert./repair is a civil matter, handled by small claims court. He didn't know how it would be ruled if I had an agreement, but the code states I'm responsible. I guess I'm asking if you can have a contract that counters the state code. I've looked at legal forms online, but none have a clause relinquishing me of smog cert. responsibility.
Thanks for your advice. Only low income households qualify for state assitance. Another route he gave was to retire the car. Apparently, if your registration renewal notice directs you to a test-only smog station, you may opt to retire the car, for which they will pay $500. I figure that's about what I could get for scrap, or at a junkyard, apparently my only other options. Also, I'm not up for renewal until June, and might not be sent to a test-only place. Frustrating, you'd think an agreement between two parties would be ok, but I guess not.
You mentioned an 'agreement' in both of your posts so let me clarify that issue.
You may find someone to 'agree' with the sale you are proposing. And everything may turn out fine. But a court's decision, should the 'agreement' go bad and end up in court, will be in the buyer's favor.
Good luck and I appreciate your effort to learn before you burn.
Of course if drago was aware of California laws he would know that there is a way around the smog rules. Sell the car as inoperative, in fact, make sure the car is not drivable before selling it. Your receipt to the buyer will state that the vehicle in not operable and that it is being sold in a non running condition. You will also state on the receipt that it will be up to the buyer to obtain the necessary testing and licensing after the sale of the vehicle. You must point this out to all prospective buyers. If a potential buyer even questions you about the terms of sale, do not sell the car to that person.
I am in California. If you put non op status on a car, how can you legally move it as it cannot be driven or put on street? Towing I suppose...
I too was told by DMV if you have a signed statement from buyer agreeing that car needs work, they are aware no smog has been done and it probably won't pass, that is a legally binding document...but ANOTHER DMV clerk said all sellers are required to have car smogged. Go figure.
I read about that vehicle retirement option, but you have to drive car to approved dismantler. And all junkyards I contacted offer only about $50!
A bit late in coming, but my brother went down to the DMV today, and the clerk told him that if we filed Planned Non-Operation (PNO) for $15, we could sell it without a smog cert. The new owner would have to get it smogged if he wanted to take it out of PNO. Looks like that's the way I'm going. Thanks to all for their advice.
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