Print PDF



Car dealerships are under constant pressure from the manufacturers to sell large volumes of cars. This means that they pass the pressure on to your when you are looking for a new or used vehicle.

Here are some tips to avoid succumbing to the pressure of a salesperson:

Dealers must disclose the true mileage of the car. An odometer statement should be given to you. If you suspect your car's odometer has been tampered with, contact the Department of Revenue, Dealer Licensing at 605-773-3541. You should receive a title for the vehicle within thirty (30) days from the date of purchase.

Used Vehicle Purchases



All used vehicles are sold "AS-IS" unless it still has factory warranty or the dealer places an "In-House" warranty on the vehicle. If the dealer has an "In-House" warranty, you will want to make sure that it is put in writing for you. When purchasing a used vehicle "AS-IS" the dealer is not responsible for any repairs on that vehicle after the sale, unless it is put in writing.

Extended Warranty for Vehicles



When buying a new or used vehicle, your car dealer may encourage you to buy a service contract or extended warranty. These products are designed to cover mechanical breakdowns occurring after the expiration of the manufacturer's warranty.

When considering the purchase of an extended warranty, remember the following:

The decision to buy an extended warranty comes down to your comfort level. A vehicle is a big investment and extended warranties do not come cheap. Buyers need to be aware of all their options. Just remember that companies offering extended warranties are businesses and wouldn't offer the plans if they didn't make money on them.

South Dakota New Vehicle Lemon Law



Under South Dakota law, a "lemon" vehicle is one that has a single problem (or a series of problems) that "significantly impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle". The problems must arise from routine use, not through acts of abuse or neglect. Also, the problems cannot be the result of an accident, or an alteration of the vehicle that is not authorized by the manufacturer.

The Lemon Law pertains to new vehicles only.
The Lemon Law enables consumers to obtain a replacement vehicle or a full refund for their new car, light pickup, or motorcycle if certain criteria has been met.

The first reported issue must be within the first 12 months and 12,000 miles after the purchase of the vehicle.

The following criteria would then need to be met for the Lemon Law to take effect:

PLEASE NOTE: You should request a repair order be generated every time you take your vehicle to the dealership for repairs of a nonconforming condition. If the service visit is not documented, it can't be used to establish the Lemon Law criteria.