Can I Return a Just-Purchased Vehicle?

Warning

If purchasing from a dealership, the finance manager or other person who completes your title paperwork may have you sign a form that acknowledges there is no cooling-off period following the purchase.

Considerations

If you have the dealership place special instructions on the buyer's order, you may be able to return the vehicle. For example, if the buyer's order states "seller confirms vehicle has a clean title," and the vehicle is later found to be a salvage, you will be able to return the vehicle.

Reasons

Returning a just-purchased vehicle for mechanical issues, such as an alignment that is off slightly, is not worth the time or hassle. A new vehicle is warrantied, so have a local dealership complete necessary repairs to the vehicle. If problems continue throughout your ownership, research lemon law restrictions in your state.

Misconceptions

If you have financed a vehicle and stop making payments while you attempt to have the dealer take it back, your credit will be negatively impacted. You still are responsible for the debt.

Prevention/Solution

In order to avoid buyer's remorse and the hassles of trying to return your vehicle, test drive multiple models and ensure that the vehicle fits your needs and budget before committing to the purchase. Unless you have an agreement with the seller, it is difficult to return a just-purchased vehicle. Unlike transactions completed in your place of residence, there is no three-day limited right to rescind on a new or used vehicle transaction.