Are you able to return a car you just bought? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering interactive tools and financial calculators as well as publishing original and objective content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare data for no cost to help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers, including but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this website come from companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. Our loans, mortgages,, and other products for home loans. However, this compensation will not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not include the vast array of companies or financial deals that might be open to you. Westend61/Getty Images

6 min read Read Published January 31, 2023

Written by Allison Martin Allison Martin Written by Allison Martin’s work began over 10 years prior to that as a digital content strategist, and she’s since been published in several leading financial outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate guarantee

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If you have questions about money. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools required to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct policy, which means you can be confident that our content is truthful and accurate. Our award-winning editors and journalists produce honest and reliable content to help you make the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial staff is objective, factual and uninfluenced by our advertisers. We’re open about the ways we’re in a position to provide quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools for you , by describing how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods andservices or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. This compensation could affect the way, location and in what order products are listed in the event that they are not permitted by law. We also offer mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home loan products. Other factors, like our own rules for our website and whether the product is available within your region or within your own personal credit score may also influence how and when products are featured on this site. While we strive to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about each financial or credit item or service. If you’ve bought a brand new or used car and have doubts about it, typically, you won’t be able to return the car. The dealer who sold you the vehicle is typically not legally bound to return it and give you a refund or exchange after you’ve signed the sale contract. There are some exceptions to this rule. Certain dealerships might allow you to return the vehicle in certain circumstances. If the car has major mechanical issues, the dealer might be obliged by law to allow the return. Still, it’s better not to have to return the car in the first place. The reasons to return your vehicle Apart from buyer’s remorse reasons to return your car include financial or mechanical issues. Dealers may offer to help you in the event that you are unable to make the payments. If you have mechanical issues the possibility of returning the vehicle to the dealer will depend on the conditions as well as conditions for the return policy. You were ripped off If you believe that this is the case is the case, it’s worth a visit with the dealer manager. When you meet with the supervisor, be sure to bring evidence to prove that you were not cheated. For instance, if you believe the dealer overcharged, present evidence of the vehicle’s fair market value from a reliable source (like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book) to support your case. Present your case to the manager in a calm manner. Keep in mind that, having already signed the contract the options aren’t unlimited in the event that the manager decides not to comply with your request. You can also contact the office of your state attorney general for a discussion of your choices. Make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Hire an attorney to sue the dealership. Write a negative review on the dealership’s site. File a complaint with your state’s consumer protection agency or the Federal Trade Commission. Tips for banks

To find out if you’ve been charged the wrong amount to determine if you’ve been charged unfairly, look up the worth of cars that have similar make, model and similar mileage on or .

Your car’s monthly payments are excessive If you’re planning to return your car because your monthly car payment is too high, you’ll have a greater difficulty in getting the argument to return the vehicle. The dealership’s general manager could argue that you should have determined whether you are able to manage the monthly payments prior to buying the vehicle. It’s up to the dealership whether they will allow you to return the car and trade it in for something more affordable. Talk to the salesperson who sold your car in the first place. If that doesn’t work, get in touch with the sales manager, or the dealership’s general manager. If you’ve exhausted your possibilities, you can look at alternative options to . your auto loan with lower interest rates or a more extended term could lower your monthly payment. Tips from Bankrate

Use an to see the amount you could save, and then compare various loan options.

Your car is a lemon. To build a case for returning a vehicle that does not perform as it should, you must first collect documentation showing the mechanical problems you’ve encountered. You may need multiple trips to the dealer’s service department. Make sure your complaints are recorded with full detail on all repair orders. If the issue isn’t resolved and you’re not sure if your car is a lemon, an unfixable vehicle. Because the laws are different from state to state, you’ll have to research to determine if you are able to make a legitimate claim under the lemon law. In many states, the lemon law are applicable to new cars that have a serious defect impairing your ability to drive. Other lemon law requirements that vary from state to state include the length of time after purchasing the vehicle, the mileage of the vehicle and the amount of times the dealership tried to repair the vehicle. It is possible to find the laws of your state, and it provides each state’s mandatory actions and timeframes for returning a car in accordance with lemon laws. If you are successful in claiming you’ll have the option to secure a refund or comparable vehicle exchange. Only seven states have lemon laws for used cars: Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York. The laws are subject to limitations and the laws may not provide much relief in your situation. Bankrate tip

You could be entitled to reimbursement for attorney expenses if you engage an attorney to represent you in your case. Be sure to keep the track of your legal costs as you go through the course of the case.

You’ve changed your mind Dealers rarely consider buyer’s remorse to be to be persuasive. Few dealers have a return policy. Once you sign the sale contract, you’re responsible for paying the amount promised in the contract. While the FTC includes an “cooling-off rule” which is a law which gives you three days to cancel an agreement which you made at your home, workplace or seller’s temporary location — a vehicle purchase is one of its exceptions. Even if a dealership sells you a car in a temporary place, the rule applies to them as long as they are in a permanent place. Certain states also offer the “right to cancel” period in which you can return the vehicle within a certain time frame without incurring any penalties or any damage to your credit score. The vehicle must be in the same condition that it was in when you bought it. Other limitations may also are also in place. Tips for banks

Try and avoid this scenario by conducting research prior to the time. Use these tips before signing off on a new vehicle.

Your dealer has a return policy A few dealerships have return policies. For example, they have a 30-day return policy. If you don’t like the vehicle, you can swap it out for one you like , or receive a full refund. Additionally, certain dealerships offer exchange plans where you can only have a specific period of time to exchange your vehicle. Keep in mind that or other stipulations could prevent you from being able to turn the car into. If you’re able to return it and sell it, you’ll have to pay the difference between the current value and what the car is currently worth. Bankrate tip

Always get a dealership’s return policy in written form. That way, you’ll understand the conditions and terms of the policy and can navigate any attempt to deny your claim.

How to avoid having to return your car to avoid the troublesome process of returning your car, you should properly prepare for the purchase of a car. This is the process . Check out reviews of the car you’re thinking about on sites such as . It’s an excellent idea to conduct a price analysis with Kelley Blue Book or Carfax, , create an estimate of your budget and then drive the vehicle. It’s also important to research the dealership in advance by looking up online reviews. Use sites like to ensure dealerships have an excellent reputation and provide top-quality customer service. Additionally, you’ll want to conduct some research on the background and the state of repair of the specific vehicle you’re thinking of purchasing. You can begin by reviewing the history of the car through websites like Carfax or AutoCheck which provide information on the vehicle can be accessed through its . If you’re buying a vehicle from a dealer the dealer for the car’s history to review. It’s also a good idea to bring the vehicle to an expert who can provide an unbiased assessment of the car and any problems it might have. If the mechanic discovers mechanical issues, you can ask the seller to cover the cost of repairs. Other options to return your car You aren’t able return your vehicle? You have other options. You can sell it. Through a third party you could be able to escape being stuck with a car that you do not like. You might be unable to recover the entire amount you paid to the dealer because a car depreciates when it’s taken off the car lot. The buyer is responsible for an amount that is different between dealer price and the price buyers pay to purchase the vehicle. Request a an informal repossession. If you can’t afford the monthly payments, you could call the lender and request the repossession to be voluntary. Even though this could make your monthly payments non-existent but you need to be cautious before taking this step. A lender may still be able to report the repossession to credit bureaus. Repossession negatively impacts your credit score for up to seven years, which makes it more costly to get a new auto loan. You can refinance the auto loan. If your monthly payments are too high, you can extend your loan period or by negotiating the lowest interest rate. Although this is a step that will have an effect, it is only temporary. In fact, after just several months of payments your credit score is likely to improve or even increase. The most important thing to remember is that prior to you purchase a car take some time to research the price of cars you like , and then reading the dealership’s return policy and car reviews. In the absence of research, you could find you with the car you bought. Most of the time, you can’t return the car you purchased — the majority dealerships will not allow the return of a vehicle. If you’re not able return a car you’ve purchased, there are other methods to get rid of the vehicle. You can sell it or file a lemon law claim under certain conditions. Alternatively, if you have buyer’s remorse because of excessive payments, but you want to keep the car you may refinance your auto loan to reduce the amount of costs.


Allison Martin’s work started over 10 years ago as a digital content strategist, and she’s since been published in various top financial media, including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances through providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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