Purchasing a new car can be an exciting yet confusing process. Did you find the vehicle of your dreams, only to realize it isn't as great as you imagined? Is it too late to bring it back to the dealership? Is waiting 30 days too long? Well, we've done some digging and have the answers here for you. Let's discuss.
In general, 30 days is too long to wait if you need to return a vehicle to the dealership. However, if you can find a loophole in the contract for your purchase, you may be able to negotiate with them.
Additionally, if you don't pay your car's lease or finance payment, that is another way the dealership may ask for it back after a month.
As we begin, we will cover all things purchasing a new car and discuss whether they can ask for it back after one month. Whether you're in hot water or need a quick way out of your new vehicle, we're here to find a solution. With that said, let's dive right into this post!
Can A Car Dealer Go Back On A Deal?
Although this doesn't happen too often, a car dealer can go back on a deal. This usually occurs if the dealership approves you for a vehicle loan or lease without double-checking your financials.
For example, if you don't have proof of employment at the time of sale and the dealership realizes you can't pay back the car, they can ask for it back.
Again, this isn't common, as most dealerships run a credit check before bringing out any paperwork. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to have your finances in order before signing a contract.
Even then, if you miss a payment or the vehicle has problems from the start, it could be taken/returned within those initial 30 days.
Even though a car dealer may try to intimidate you, you have legal rights. There is a process for asking for a vehicle back, so they can't just take it from your possession.
Furthermore, if there is a contractual issue, you will know this within a few days of having your new car, not after a month.
Can I Return A New Car To The Dealership?
If you run into major issues with a new vehicle, it is possible to have the dealership take it back. Usually, they will offer free repairs, a replacement car, or even a buy-back.
However, that's not to say they won't try to give you the run-around. Historically, the automotive industry is filled with false advertisements and shady business practices, so getting scammed is not uncommon.
As we mentioned, you have rights as the customer and car owner. If a dealer sells you a faulty vehicle, they legally have to fix it. If not, you can easily take them to court and even win some extra money.
According to the Arizona Attorney General, there is a limit on how many times a dealership can repair a faulty car before legally needing to replace/refund it.
They also stress the importance of keeping track of each time your car is out of service. This information will be helpful if/when you need to file a court case, so make sure to remember timelines.
What Is The Return Policy On A New Car?
Unlike buying a pair of shoes or even a hotel room, dealerships have no legal obligation to take back a new vehicle. In general, once you sign a contract, the car is 100% yours.
That means if you get cold feet or can't make the payment, you could deal with collections. On top of that, if there isn't anything wrong with the car physically or mechanically, there's a slim chance a dealer will let you return it.
Consider that a car's value decreases the second you pull off the lot with it. Taking the vehicle back after you've had it a few days or even a month would be bad business for the original owner.
With that said, if your new car shows signs of trouble, this is when a return is more likely. Remember, you have rights as a consumer, and if a product misleads you, it's on the seller to fix it.
Some companies and carmakers allow prospective shoppers a 24-48 hour test period. You essentially get to test out the car before signing any paperwork, so that's a cool concept.
Again, this falls into the hands of the particular dealership, so some may offer it and others might not.
Can Financed Cars Be Returned?
For anyone who finances a vehicle and wants to return it: read your contract. Although you will have a grace period most times, that doesn't ensure the dealership will take back the car.
Since you had to sign multiple contracts with the dealership and a loan company, returning a financed vehicle can be complicated.
As we mentioned above, it's a good idea to find brands that allow a 'test drive' before signing anything. Driving a car for a day or two can make a world of difference and even steer you in the other direction.
Investopedia warns against returning a financed car, as this can negatively impact your credit score. Although this may not sound serious, going back on your loan can sometimes fall into a failure to pay category, which creditors do not like to see.
Having a damaged report can impede other banks from loaning you money, giving you a credit card, or even apartments from leasing to you.
What Happens If I Can't Afford My New Car Payment?
If you purchase a car far beyond your price range, a few things can happen. First, missing a payment on a vehicle will impact your credit score and dealership history.
From there, you can expect the seller/loan provider of your car to contact you about the missed or delayed payment, possibly adding a fee on top of it.
The best thing to do here is to request a deferral. That is when your loan provider creates an extended period for you to pay back what you owe them.
Additionally, you may be able to negotiate lower monthly payments for additional interest over time. So if your current loan runs for 36 months, you could try asking for lower payments over the course of 48-60.
Another idea would be to consider bringing your vehicle back to the dealer. Although they don't always accept returns, they will most likely accept the buy-back if you tell them you cannot pay your monthly bills.
However, expect less money than what you paid. As we covered, the second a vehicle leaves the lot; it decreases in value.
So you essentially get a bad mark on your credit report and possibly less money back into your pocket.
Can I Sell My Car Back To The Dealership?
Yes! It is possible to sell your car back to the dealer. In general, you can do this even if you finance, but expect a lower evaluation than the initial purchase price.
Let's say you have your car for a month or so and can't afford it anymore. You can either contact your loan provider/seller about deferment or try to sell it back.
This is a great option if there isn't a return policy. With that said, the dealership could try to cut their losses by offering you a few thousand dollars less for the buy-back.
This is common for car sellers and resellers, so be careful who you work with.
Adding to that, you can also try refinancing through a different company. Sometimes, working with a new loan provider can lower your monthly costs, so that's our recommendation.
Does Toyota Let You Return A New Car?
There's good news for Toyota customers wanting to return or exchange their new vehicle. According to Toyota, all customers can return their car within seven days of purchase.
If you are out of that week, you can exchange your Toyota for a different model. However, your vehicle will need to be in perfect condition.
That means no scratches, damage to the inside/exterior, or strong odors. Toyota is strict about this, so if you don't like your car, make sure not to back into a mailbox or dump a drink inside.
Does Honda Let You Return New Vehicles?
Yes, you can return a new Honda vehicle in some cases. According to the company, customers can bring back their car within 30 days of purchase if something is wrong with it.
Furthermore, your car will need to be in the same condition mechanically and physically as it was on the lot. Honda won't accept a new car return with more than 1,500 miles, so keep that in mind.
Will Ford Let You Return A New Car?
If you drive a Ford, they have a slightly different return/buy-back policy. From what we found, the brand will allow 'customers who buy or lease through Ford Credit to return the vehicle within the first year if they lose their jobs,' so that is good to know.
With that said, Ford will also offer a replacement vehicle within the first ten days if something happens during delivery. They promise to remedy any problems with the customer, as long as something is defective.
Unlike Toyota, Ford doesn't allow returns for cars someone doesn't "like," so make sure you want the exact model you sign for.
Whether you bought a car and want to return it or can't afford your monthly payments, it's always good to read a contract. Most dealerships won't ask for a car back within the first 30 days unless something is wrong with your finances.
If you want to return a new vehicle, this varies by brand/location, so check with them before driving off the lot. Regardless, don't sign up for anything until you know you can afford it.
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