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Is it possible to back out from a car contract once you signed it but did not take the car off the dealer parking lot?


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Wiki User
2006-06-06 03:36:47
2006-06-06 03:36:47

no 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! Yes. If you have not taken delivery of the vehicle and do not want it, stop payment on any checks and go back to the dealer's MANAGER. They will do their damndest to keep you in the deal, including threatening your credit (which may be illegal) but unless you have a trade involved, which makes this a little more dicey, you are back on the street with no obiligation. In Virginia and Texas, 2 states in which I have managed car lots, the law favors the dealer once 'the tailpipes leave the curb.' Until then the dealer owns the vehicle. If you have a trade involved, and you know where it is on the dealer's lot, you should go over to it, or have a friend, guard it until the deal is 'blown out.' If they have a chance to take your trade and title certificate and hide them from you, you are in the jackpot. Although most honest dealers will just give you the keys to your trade and wish you good luck, the nature of the used car business is a little nastier. Good luck!


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You purchased the car when you signed the contract. It has nothing to do with driving it off the lot. The only thing you can hope for is the dealer is willing to terminate the deal.

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Once you and the dealer have signed the contract, it is a binding contract agreement and it responsible by law. You can take him to court if he doesn't keep his part of the agreement.

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If the car that the dealer delivers is not the car that is identified in the contract, then the DEALER is in default, not you.

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The dealer should be legally bound by the contract which the two of you entered into , a mutual agreement , unless there is an "escape clause" that the dealer can exercise as an option in the contract ; you would best consult an attorney regarding this matter .

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