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Can you return a new car within 24 hours of purchase?

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2015-07-15 18:20:54
2015-07-15 18:20:54

No. Once the tailpipe leaves the curb, it is a used car and you are the owner.

If the dealer has given you a special deal that you may return it, and you have that deal in writing, sure...you can return it then. But most state's 'real property' law prevent consumers from canceling legal contracts after they take possession of the property.

If you live in California and you sign any contract, you will be unable to return the vehicle. In a rare case, I practically begged the manager of a used car lot to unwind the deal. I told him that my wife purchased a car for me prior to my purchase of their car, but I was completely unaware of it. They finally let me out, but withheld a $40.00 documentation fee and a 2.9% credit card surcharge. $178.00 is better than a $6000 used car that I decided that I didn't want. Also, when I purchased the car, I left it at the car lot and told them that I'll pick it up in a matter of days. I guess the unwinding of the deal helped for the simple fact that the car never left the lot and I came back the next morning. It only took me one night to think about the deal and realize that I wanted out. The most important thing is to not let the sales person pressure you into signing anything. Don't listen to 'this car may be gone tomorrow,' 'this is as low as I can go,' 'you will not find a deal better,' etc. It's all bull. It will get you in trouble if you sign the contracts, but you later want out. THERE IS NO WAY OUT AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Everything is monitored and recorded from the minute you step on the car lot until you go to the back office to sign the 'nail in the coffin' contracts. Before you sign anything, go home and think about it. It will save you a lot of headaches. DON'T SIGN ANY CONTRACTS UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY HAPPY WITH THE CAR! If you already have and you want out, the best advice that I can give is make up any good believable heartbreaking lie such as: Someone passed in my family and I need the money to help fund the burial expenses, etc. Go in the office crying if you have to. It may work, but it may not. YOU WILL BE CRYING FOR REAL IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO UNWIND THE DEAL. The best time to put on an act is when a sales person is with a potential car buyer. The car lot or dealership people most likely won't show their true colors in front of potential car buyers. They'll put on an act and most likely, unwind the deal. But again, this is rare, like in my case. DON'T SIGN ANY CONTRACTS UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY HAPPY WITH THE CAR!

I don't understand why this question comes up so much. And what is supposed to be so magical about 24 hours, (or 3 days, commonly heard) for people to believe that is what makes a deal irrevocable? Why not 3 months, 300 days or 3 or 30 years?

First, remember all that paperwork you have, especially the one saying something like "Purchase Contract and Agreement", that has your signature (and probably initials also) in several places? Why not try looking at it to see what you agreed to about returns, condition, repairs?

And a few corrections to the previous - the answer saying most or all dealers will take a return is categorically incorrect....first off, the cost of the paperwork alone is $100,s, maybe more. The car MUST then be sold as a used car (it is previously owned) and that reduces it's value by many $1,000s and means it can't qualify for new car financing, etc. There are a zillion other reasons. The mention of the "real property" law is irrelevant...cars are chattel, that is personal property, in all states and not real property.

Presuming no special dealer/seller return guarantee, lemon law claim, etc. You just don't want it, like it, think you can afford it, found a better deal, neighbor got a better one, lost your job, kid threw up in it, whatever ---:

There is no time or limit for the return. There simply is no returning or reneging on the sale. It's bought, it's yours. Done deal. You made a contract and deal, presumably because that's what you wanted to do then. Of course, the seller can't take it back or decide to charge you more or for any other reason either. That's how contracts work. They are agreed to, the parties do what they say, they conclude. It's over.

Of course, you may now sell it back to the dealer or someone else...and you will likely get much less than you paid for it. That's the cost of having others act on your wishes and then changing your mind.Now, if your thinking, like others before you, "...how about if I just drop it off at the dealer...." you should read the answers to that path of frequently asked question. But a hint. It doesn't work except to make your situation worse. Your abandoning YOUR car and interferring with a business (who has no right to touch it and has to get the authorities to tow it and impound it).

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