ASK GARY: What are the Differences between Lemon Laws in New Hampshire and Massachusetts?
Despite all the research and careful consideration, sometimes it’s impossible to recognize a lemon vehicle until you bite. Thankfully, several laws exist to protect buyers from unexpected vehicular failures, but these laws are not created equal. Because we are near the MA/NH border, we frequently have buyers coming in who have options in either state. While there are innumerable factors that go into choosing a new vehicle, buyers should consider the fact the Massachusetts lemon laws offer far more protection than those of New Hampshire.
A full version of the Massachusetts law can be found here, but for those of you more interested in the practical significance, a car newly purchased from the dealership is subject to protection for one whole year, or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. If the same defect is unable to be fixed by the dealer after three attempts, and if the vehicle spends 10 business days (Monday – Friday) out of service, then the dealer must offer a refund.
Contrast this with New Hampshire’s laws regarding lemon vehicles, which offers the same three-attempt protection, but requires that the vehicle spend 30 business days out of service –three times as in Massachusetts!
Massachusetts buyers also have the added benefit of receiving used car protection. Vehicles sold by dealerships with fewer than 125,000 miles come with a warranty dependent on the car’s mileage, and a full chart of the stipulations can be found here.
Vehicles sold by a private party are subject to the Lemon Aid Law, which states that any vehicle that fails to pass inspections seven days after purchase AND requires repairs exceeding 10% of the purchase price may have its sale invalidated by the buyer.
Given the inconveniences (and downright annoyances) of a lemon vehicle, I would highly recommend anyone living near the MA/NH border to consider purchasing in the state of Massachusetts. Of course, buying a car is a complicated issue, and this should only be one of several deciding factors. There is something to be said, however, of the peace of mind that comes in knowing that you are protected.