Is It Possible To Return A Used Vehicle?

Posted on: 25 January 2018

Buyer's remorse can strike at any time. Although you may have spent weeks researching cars and test drove dozens of them, you may regret buying the vehicle you ultimately settled on. People in this situation frequently wonder if it's possible to return a car they just bought. Unfortunately, it's not. Here's what you need to know.

There Generally are No Supportive Laws

The Federal Trade Commission implemented a cooling off period that allows people to cancel a contract, consequence-free, within three days of the sale. However, only sales that take place in a person's home—or equivalent—can be subjected to this rule. Since most auto sales take place in a dealership or another person's residence, these contracts are not covered.

Because there is no federal law that addresses vehicle returns, buyers have to depend on their individual states for relief. Unfortunately, in states where there are laws on the books that address this issue, they typically only extend to new cars. This is because there is an expectation that there shouldn't be any problems with a new car. Thus, if an issue does arise, buyers have a way to rectify it without too much trouble.

For those buying used cars, though, there aren't any laws that allow them to legally return an auto purchase after the contract has been signed. The only way you can make a dealer take a vehicle back is if you prove there was some type of fraud in the transaction, and even that can be challenging.

Some Dealerships Offer the Ability to Return Vehicles

Just because the laws don't offer a way for you to return a used vehicle have you've bought it doesn't mean the option is not available. Some dealerships recognize that there may be times when buyers become unhappy with their purchases and want to give the vehicles back or exchange them for something else. Thus, they will allow the person to return the car within a certain period of time (e.g. 48 hours).

Be sure you are aware of the terms of this option. While you may have the freedom to return the vehicle or exchange, the dealership may charge a fee for the service to cover any costs the company may incur making the vehicle ready for resale.

To avoid having to deal with this issue at all, it's best to take your time when shopping for a used car for sale. Use all the tools available to help you determine which vehicle is right for you and negotiate the best deal. For more information about this issue, contact a local dealership.