Can you return a vehicle you purchased recently? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling users to conduct research and compare data for no cost – so that you can make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are displayed on this website come from companies that compensate us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as such things as the sequence in which they appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity, and other home lending products. This compensation, however, does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not cover the entire universe of businesses or financial deals that might be open to you. Westend61/Getty Images

6 min read Published January 31, 2023

Written by Allison Martin Allison Martin Written by Allison Martin’s work started over 10 years prior to that as a digital content strategist. She’s been published in numerous prestigious financial media outlets, such as 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 late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-written facts that break down complex subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promises

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have helped you understand your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide our readers with the professional guidance and the tools necessary to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our information is trustworthy and reliable. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors create honest and accurate information to assist you in making the right financial choices. Our content produced by our editorial team is objective, factual and uninfluenced from our advertising. We’re open regarding how we’re in a position to provide quality information, competitive rates and helpful tools to our customers by describing how we earn money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or when you click on certain links posted on our site. This compensation could affect the way, location and in what order products are listed and categories, unless it is prohibited by law. We also offer mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is available within the area you reside in or is within your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and when products are featured on this website. Although we try to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include specific information on every credit or financial product or service. If you’ve purchased a new or used car , and are having doubts about it, typically, you won’t be able to return the vehicle. The seller who sold you the car is usually not legally bound to return the car and offer you a reimbursement or exchange after you’ve signed the contract. There are a few exceptions to this policy. Some dealerships may allow you to return the car in specific conditions. If the car has major mechanical issues, the dealership could be required by law to accept a return. Still, it’s better to avoid having to return your vehicle in the first place. There are many reasons to return your car. Besides buyer’s remorse, possible motives to return your vehicle include financial or mechanical issues. Dealers may be willing to work with you in the event that you are unable to make payments. If you have mechanical issues, whether you can return the vehicle to the dealer depends on how you do it and the terms and terms of car return policy. You got ripped off If you think you were ripped off situation, you ought to consider a meeting with the dealer manager. If you do meet to discuss the matter, make sure you bring documentation to corroborate your claim that you were wronged. For example, if think the dealer overcharged you provide proof of the vehicle’s fair market value from a reliable authoritative source (like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book) to prove your argument. Make your argument clear to the manager with a calm and professional manner. Keep in mind that, having already signed the contract, your options are limited should the manager refuse to respect your request. It is also possible to contact the office of your state attorney general for a discussion of your choices. You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Hire an attorney to take action against the dealership. Review a negative experience on the website of the dealership. File a complaint with your state’s consumer protection agency and the Federal Trade Commission. Tips for banks

To find out if you’ve been charged an unfair amount You can check the value of cars with the same make, same model, and the same mileage or .

Your car payments are too high you’re planning to return your car because your monthly car payments are excessive, you’ll face more difficult time getting the argument to return the car. The general manager of the dealership might argue that you should have figured out whether you can manage the monthly payments prior to buying the car. It’s the dealership’s decision whether to allow you to return the car and trade it in to a more affordable model. Talk to the salesperson who sold you the car first. If this doesn’t work, contact the sales manager or the general manager of the dealership. If you’ve exhausted your options, look into alternative options to . Your auto loan with a lower interest rate or a longer term can lower the monthly cost. A tip from Bankrate

Use this tool to find out how much you can save and to compare different loan options.

Your car is a lemon. For a convincing case of returning a car that isn’t work properly, you should first gather evidence of the mechanical issues you’ve experienced. You may need multiple trips to the dealership’s service department. Make sure your complaints are recorded with full detail on all repair requests. If the issue hasn’t been fixed then you could conclude that your car is a lemon, a vehicle beyond repair. Because the laws are different from state to state, you’ll have to research to see whether you can make a legitimate lemon law claim. In most states, the lemon law apply to vehicles that have an immediate defect that affects your ability to drive it. Other lemon law requirements that differ from state to states include the amount of time that you have to wait after buying the vehicle, the mileage of the vehicle and the number of times the dealership tried to fix the vehicle. It is possible to find the laws of your state. It provides each state’s mandatory actions and timeline for returning a car under lemon laws. If you are successful in claiming you’ll be able 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. There are limitations, and these laws might not offer some relief for you in your circumstance. Bankrate tip

You could be eligible for reimbursement for attorney costs if you employ an attorney to help make your case. Be sure to keep track of your legal fees throughout the process.

It was a change of heart Dealers rarely consider buyer’s regret to be to be persuasive. Few dealerships have a return policy. When you sign the sale contract it is your responsibility to pay the note as promised. Although the FTC includes the “cooling-off rule” that states that gives you 3 days in which to cancel a purchase that you make at office, home, or temporary address — a vehicle purchase is one of the exceptions. If a dealership offers you a car in an uncontained place, the rule applies if they have a permanent location. Some states also have a “right to cancel” period which allows you to return the vehicle within a certain time frame without incurring any penalties or damage to your credit profile. But, the car must be in the same condition that it was in when you bought it. Other limitations often are also in place. Bankrate tip

Try and avoid this scenario by doing your research ahead of time. Follow these for you before signing off on a new vehicle.

Your dealer has a return policy few dealers have return policies. For instance, it has a 30-day return period. If you don’t like the car, you can exchange it for one you like , or receive a refund. In addition, some dealerships have exchange programs where you can only have a specific amount of time to return the car. Keep in mind that or other stipulations could prevent you from turning the vehicle into. If you’re able to sell it and sell it, you’ll have make payments for any difference in the value currently and what the car is currently worth. Bankrate tip

Always request a dealership’s refund policy in written form. That way, you’ll understand the terms and conditions , and can withstand any attempt to refuse your claim.

How can you avoid returning a car If you want to avoid the difficult process of returning your car, you should properly prepare to purchase the vehicle. This is the process . Check out reviews of the make and model you’re thinking about on sites like . It’s recommended to perform price research by using Kelley Blue Book or Carfax, , create an estimate of your budget and then drive the vehicle. It’s equally crucial to research the dealership in advance by reading online reviews. Make use of sites such as to ensure that dealerships have a good reputation and exceptional customer service. Finally, you’ll also want to conduct some research on the background and condition of the particular car you’re considering purchasing. It is possible to begin by looking up the history report for the vehicle through websites like Carfax or AutoCheck and the information about the vehicle is accessible through its . If you’re buying a car from a dealer, ask the dealer to provide the history of the vehicle for you to review. It’s also a good idea to bring the vehicle to an expert person who will give an impartial evaluation of the vehicle and any problems it might have. If the mechanic notices mechanical problems, request the seller to foot the bill for repairs. Other options to return your car Can’t return your car? You have other alternatives. You can sell it. If you sell it to someone else it could be possible to avoid being stuck with a car you don’t want. It’s possible that you won’t be able to recover the full amount you paid to the dealer since a vehicle depreciates once it’s driven off the car lot. The buyer is responsible for any difference in the dealer cost and the amount that buyers pay to purchase the vehicle. You can request a voluntary repossession. If you can’t afford the monthly payments You can contact the lender and ask for the repossession to be voluntary. Although this would reduce your monthly payments, you should be cautious before taking this step. A lender is still able to notify the credit bureaus. Possessions can affect your score on credit for up to 7 years, which makes it more costly to obtain a future auto loan. You can refinance the auto loan. If your monthly payment is excessive, you can by extending your term or securing an interest rate that is lower. When you do this, however be beneficial, the results are temporary. In reality, after only some months of payments, your credit score should be restored or improved. The bottom line Before you buy a car make sure you do some research on the cost of cars that you like, as well as reading the dealership’s return policy and car reviews. In the absence of research, you could find you with an unsatisfactory car. Most of the time you aren’t able to return a car you purchased — the majority dealerships don’t permit the return of a vehicle. If you’re not able return a vehicle, there are other ways to get rid of it. You can sell it or submit a lemon law claim under certain circumstances. In addition, if you suffer from buyer’s remorse because of high payments but want to keep the car you could refinance your auto loan to reduce the amount of payments.


Allison Martin’s writing began over 10 years ago as an online content strategist and she’s since been featured in a variety of top financial publications such as 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 from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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