What is a “Lemon” Used Car and How to Avoid Them

What is a 'Lemon' used car and how to avoid them Post

You’ve just bought the perfect car at a great price and now you’re cruising in the Florida sunshine only to hear a loud knock under the hood. Something is wrong with your new car! Did you just purchase a lemon? What is a “lemon” anyways?

Avoid a sour experience and learn what a lemon is and how you can avoid them from the used vehicle report pros at SureSale!

What is a Lemon?

Under Florida law, a lemon is a car that has a substantial defect that has not been repaired after a “reasonable number of attempts” by the dealer or manufacturer. The defect must be substantial in that it impedes use, safety, or the value of the vehicle.

Florida Lemon Laws

In Florida, there are protections afforded to buyers against purchasing faulty vehicles.

The Lemon Law in Florida does not apply to all vehicles just because they might have an issue or chronic problems. However, it will apply to purchased and leased vehicles that are:

  • Purchased or leased from a dealer in Florida or the first owner within 2 years of the original date of purchase.
  • Used for personal, family, or household use.
  • Nonconformant to the written warranty of the manufacturer.
  • Unrepairable after several attempts by the dealer or manufacturer.

To use the protections of the lemon law in Florida, you must have provided notice to the manufacturer about the problem, and provide them with a final attempt to fix or address the issue. Further, an authorized service center must be allowed three attempts to repair the problem. If the vehicle is undrivable due to the efforts to resolve the defect for 30 days or more, then it is presumed to be a defective vehicle under the lemon law.

If you’re making a lemon law claim you are essentially saying that your car isn’t living up to its warranty. That means that it is crucial to buy a car with a good warranty!

If your vehicle is deemed a lemon, the manufacturer will be required to refund the purchase price of the vehicle or give you a replacement vehicle. They are also required to pay any related expenses for arbitration or dispute resolution.


In Florida, Lemon Law only covers new vehicles that are purchased for personal use. It does not include trucks that weigh more than 10,000 lbs., motorcycles, off-road vehicles, or RVs.

Avoid Purchasing a Lemon

To avoid purchasing a lemon, do your research and don’t make any hasty decisions even if the vehicle in question is your “dream car.”

Further, you should always test drive the vehicle and have a certified independent mechanic take a look at the vehicle before making any purchase decisions.

Obtain a vehicle history report so you can be sure that your vehicle hasn’t been in an accident, a flood, or has had its odometer rolled back. At SureSale, we perform multiple assessments of a used vehicle including a 170-point inspection, road test, and history check, so you can have enhanced confidence and peace of mind to make an informed purchase.

Don’t purchase a vehicle that is sold “as-is.” That is just asking for trouble. Buy a Certified-Used vehicle as these are newer vehicles and often have a warranty included.

Be Sure with SureSale

Avoid a sour vehicle buying experience and avoid purchasing a lemon with SureSale. With our vehicle history reports, road tests, and 170-point inspection, all SureSale pre-owned vehicles are verified. Make a smart buying decision and get a vehicle history report from SureSale. You can be sure of the quality of the vehicle because we provide all the facts!

We’re your used vehicle buying advocate — on your side — giving you the information you need to know about a vehicle’s past and present condition so you can make an informed purchase decision.