Earlier this week, I heard from a friend in Texas who was planning on selling his Honda Civic. His joy was immense when he received an attractive offer from an interested party.
However, as soon as I found out the Civic was missing its catalytic converter, I immediately intervened and stopped him from selling it.
In most states in the US, you should not sell a car without a catalytic converter installed on it since it is considered illegal. Nevertheless, a few states, including Kentucky, may allow the sale of such vehicles due to their lack of emission control laws.
I will share detailed information regarding car sales without cats in my article. You will also learn about possible punishments for someone who commits the violation.
Let’s get right to the point!
What Is the Fine for Selling a Car Without a Catalytic Converter?
As I just indicated, cars cannot be sold without catalytic converters under legal obligation. Fines will be awaiting you if you opt to go that route.
Depending on which state you live in, the fees will vary. Texas perhaps imposes the harshest fine that goes as high as $25,000.
California is another area where you should avoid engaging in this illegal activity. You can be penalized up to $10,000 in this state.
Moreover, certain jurisdictions mandate you attend court in order to resolve the dispute.
Can I Sue a Dealer for Selling Me a Car Without Catalytic Converter?
A person can sue a dealer if he or she gets a car without a catalytic converter. The suit, however, may not always be successful due to several factors.
The first and foremost consideration is your state of residence. In some places, such as Kentucky, emissions inspections are not necessary.
As a result, a dealer is free to sell as many cars without cats as he wants. Suing him would be pointless.
On the other hand, states like Texas impose strict rules against selling cars without a converter. Dealers in those areas must provide documents proving the catalytic converter is functioning properly.
In the event the dealer presents fraudulent paperwork, you may have a stronger case when you sue him.
Can You Sell a Car with a Bad Catalytic Converter?
You can absolutely sell a car that has a bad catalytic converter without any problems. However, chances are you won’t receive too many good offers for these vehicles. The reason is that a defective converter severely lowers the product’s value.
You see, whoever buys the car must repair the cat if he intends to use it. Repairs can cost between $945 and $2475.
No one would be willing to shell out such a large sum for a used vehicle. In light of all that, yes, you can sell cars with faulty converters, but they won’t be worth much.
Is It Against the Law to Sell a Car Without a Catalytic Converter?
Yes, it is against the law to sell a vehicle when it does not have a catalytic converter in it. Nonetheless, some dealers are still making living selling cars without cats. It usually occurs in areas with no emission laws to prevent these activities.
So which areas directly prohibit the sale of cars without converters and which do not? Below I have described a few notable state laws that address the subject.
Is It Legal to Sell a Car Without a Catalytic Converter in Florida?
If you live in Florida, you are not permitted to sell a car without a catalytic converter. The state has quite strict regulations on the matter.
Under Florida Statute 316.2935, you must document that the vehicle’s catalytic converter was never tampered with and was thoroughly inspected.
Can You Sell a Car Without a Catalytic Converter in Texas?
As far as emission laws are concerned, Texas is one of the most intolerant states in the nation. It goes without saying that no vehicle can be sold without cats. What is even more surprising is that you cannot lease such a car as well.
It’s not even over yet!
The law also prohibits sellers or lessees from offering cars without converters. It means although you just offered the car (haven’t sold it), you are still liable for Texas Clean Air Act violations.
The penalty for the offense is absurdly high, amounting to more than $25,000.
Can You Sell a Car Without Catalytic Converter in Nc?
An article published by the NC DEQ warns against replacing cats with straight pipes. It also discusses how cars manufactured after 1995 are required to have catalytic converters.
However, there is no explicit mention of selling cars without converters, nor are there any penalties. Hence, you should be in no trouble selling non-catalytic converter cars.
Also Know: High Flow Cats Vs. No Cats
Is It Illegal to Sell a Car Without a Catalytic Converter in Indiana?
Based on the Indiana Code, it is not legal to sell a car that is not fitted with a catalytic converter. Having said that, there is one slight twist to this rule.
If your business deals in cars that are at least 25 years old, you may continue to do so. The law cited above only applies to newer models.
Is It Illegal to Sell a Car Without a Catalytic Converter in Illinois?
You probably won’t have any trouble selling cars without cats in Illinois. This is because the comprehensive Illinois Vehicle Code does not specifically prohibit such practices other than stating converters are essential parts.
Rather than focusing on car sales, the code puts a greater emphasis on catalytic converter theft.
Can You Sell a Car Without a Catalytic Converter in California?
To comply with California’s Health and Safety Code, your car must always have an OEM converter installed. It implies that you will be in violation of the law if you sell cars without cats.
Even when the OEM one malfunctions, you still cannot drive the vehicle in California. In that case, you must use an aftermarket converter approved by CARB.
Those driving without cats are subject to fines ranging from $250 to $10,000. The more pressing concern is that they may also face court proceedings.
To Sum Up
In most cases, you cannot sell cars without catalytic converters. It is not legal throughout the majority of the United States.
In addition, there are hefty fines attached to it. In general, it does not seem to be a good idea unless you happen to live somewhere that legally permits it.
Liked the article? You can also read my other writing on whether high-flow cats increase the sound level.