4 Lemon Law Facts on Used Car Purchases

Car Advice    Motorist.sg

Dreamstime M 29017020

The Lemon law was implemented on 1 September 2012 to protect the consumers against defective goods. Here are four lemon law facts you should know about used car purchases.

1: 6-month timeframe

The buyer can make a claim under the lemon law:

  • Within 6 months period - A defect proven to exist within 6 months of delivery is presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, unless the dealer can prove otherwise.
  • Beyond the 6 months period; if the buyer can show that the defect existed at the time of delivery.

2: Lemon law does not apply in the event of:

  • When defects were caused by the buyer through misuse and unauthorized repair.
  • The fault was caused by wear and tear, and not an inherent defect.
  • Buyer knew about the fault before he or she bought the car.
  • The car is not defective, but the buyer simply changed his or her mind.
  • When the transaction is done between direct buyer and seller.

3: Pros and cons of an evaluation report

Buyer can add a clause to the Sales Agreement to have the car evaluated by a third party such as STA or VICOM before committing to the sale. Such an expense is usually borne by the buyer, unless the dealer promises that the car is accident/problem free(less wear and tear), but turns out to be otherwise. With the evaluation report, the buyer can request the dealer to fix all existing problems(less wear and tear). On the other hand, if the car has any new problems within 6 months of delivery, the buyer will not be able to make a claim under lemon law.

4: Seeking remedies

Stage 1
The dealer may first offer to repair or replace the defective car within a reasonable period of time and without causing significant inconvenience to the buyer.

Stage 2
The buyer may keep the defective car and request a reduction in price, or return the defective car for a refund if:

  • Repair or replacement is not possible or reasonable to the dealer.
  • The dealer did not provide repair or replacement within a reasonable period and without significant inconvenience to the buyer.


Risa Ng

Hi, I bought a car a month ago. When I test drive it, I did mentioned to the sales person that there's smell coming into the car and he told me it's normal and I should press the air circulation button. But yesterday the smell got worse and I send it to the workshop and I was told that the airc on compressor is weak and need to change. Can I ask the dealer to compensate for the repair? The sales person helped me changed the mounting 2 weeks ago too but I had to pay for the repair. Can I ask the dealer to compensate too?

Like Reply 3 months ago
Darren Loh

Hi, Does lemon law cover purchase of used van? And I brought from direct seller.

Like Reply about 1 month ago

Hi Darren, there's no lemon law applicable if you bought it from direct seller. It is only applicable if you bought it from a dealer. :-)

Like about 1 month ago

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