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6 minutes read. Published January 31, 2023

Written by Allison Martin Allison Martin Written by Allison Martin’s work started over 10 years ago as a digital content strategist. She’s been featured in a variety of top financial publications, including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and 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 confidence to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched and well-written facts that break down complex subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promises

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You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you manage your finances for more than four years. We strive to continuously provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our content is honest and precise. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content that will help you make the right financial choices. Our content produced by our editorial team is accurate, truthful, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re open about the ways we’re capable of bringing high-quality content, competitive rates and useful tools for you by explaining how we earn our money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated for placement of sponsored products or services, or by you clicking on certain hyperlinks on our website. This compensation could influence the manner, place and in what order products are listed, except where prohibited by law. We also offer mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether or not a product is available in your area or at your self-selected credit score range could also affect how and when products are featured on this site. We strive to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include specific information on each financial or credit item or service. If you’ve purchased a brand-new or used car and have second thoughts about it you usually won’t be able to return the vehicle. The seller who sold you the vehicle is typically not legally required to return it and issue you a refund or exchange once you’ve signed the contract. There are some exceptions to this rule. Some dealerships may permit you to return the car in specific conditions. If the car is experiencing major mechanical problems, the dealership could be obliged by law to allow the return. It’s still better to avoid having to return a car in the first instance. The reasons to return your vehicle Apart from buyer’s remorse reasons to sell your car are mechanical or financial problems. The dealership may offer to help customers who are not able to pay the bill. If you have mechanical issues and/or mechanical issues, the ability to return the vehicle to the dealer is contingent on how and the terms as well as conditions for the vehicle return policy. You got ripped off If you think you were ripped off is the case, it’s worth a visit with the dealer manager. When you meet to discuss the matter, be sure to bring documentation to corroborate your claim that you were wronged. For example, if believe the dealer overcharged show evidence of the car’s fair market value to a credible source (like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book) to prove your argument. Present your case to the manager with a calm and professional manner. Keep in mind that, having already signed the contract the options aren’t unlimited if the manager chooses not to honor your request. It is also possible to contact your state attorney general’s office for a discussion of your choices. You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Hire an attorney to sue the dealership. Review a negative experience on the website of the dealership. File a complaint with the consumer protection agency in your state or the Federal Trade Commission. Tips for banks

To find out if you’ve been charged an unfair amount to determine if you’ve been charged unfairly, look up the price of vehicles with similar make, model, and similar mileage on or .

Your car’s monthly payments are too high If you’re looking to sell the car due to monthly car payments are high, you’ll have greater difficulty in getting the argument to return the vehicle. The dealership’s general manager might claim that you should have determined whether you could afford the monthly payments before buying the car. It’s up to the dealership whether they will allow you to return the vehicle and exchange it for a cheaper model. Speak with the salesperson who sold that car initially. If that doesn’t work, get in touch with the sales manager, or the general manager of the dealership. If you’ve exhausted your possibilities, you can look at alternative options to . your auto loan with a lower interest rate or a longer term can lower your monthly payment. Bankrate tip

Use this tool to find out the amount you could save and to compare different loan options.

The car you own is a lemon. For a convincing case of returning a vehicle that does not run properly, first gather evidence of the mechanical issues that you’ve faced. It may be necessary to make multiple trips to the dealer’s service department. Be sure to note your concerns in full on all repair requests. If the problem still remains unsolved then you could conclude that the car is a lemon – the vehicle is beyond repair. Because laws differ from state to state so you’ll need to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if you are able to claim a valid claim under the lemon law. In many states, laws pertaining to lemons are applicable to new cars that have a serious defect impairing the ability of you to drive it. Other requirements for lemon laws that vary from state states include the amount of time from the time you purchased the vehicle, its mileage and the number of times the dealership tried to fix the car. It is possible to find the laws of your state, and it details each state’s requirements and timeframes for returning a car under lemon laws. If you are successful in claiming, you’ll be able to obtain a reimbursement or similar exchange. Only seven states have lemon laws applicable to used vehicles: Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York. The laws are subject to limitations and the laws may not provide some relief for you in your circumstance. Tips for banks

You may be entitled to reimbursement for your attorney’s costs if you employ an attorney to represent you in your case. Keep track of your legal fees throughout the process.

It was a change of heart Dealers do not generally consider buyer’s regret to be persuasive. Few dealers have a return policy. After you’ve signed the sales contract, you’re responsible for paying the amount promised in the contract. Even though the FTC has an “cooling-off rule” — a rule where you have the right to cancel within three days a purchase made at your home, workplace or seller’s temporary place of business — a vehicle purchase is among its exceptions. If a dealer sells you a car in a temporary location, the rule applies to them as long as they have a permanent location. Certain states also offer the “right to cancel” period that lets you return the vehicle within a certain time frame without incurring any penalty or the damage to your credit report. But, the car is required to be returned in the exact condition as when you purchased it. Other restrictions may are also in place. Tip for Bankrate

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

The dealer you are dealing with has a return-policy few dealers have return policies. For example, they have 30 days of return time. If you aren’t happy with the car, you may exchange it for one you like , or receive a refund. Some dealerships have exchange programs where you can only have a specific period of time to exchange the vehicle. Be aware that other restrictions could keep you from being able to turn the car in. If you are able to turn it in and sell it, you’ll have make payments for any difference in the value currently and the value of the car currently worth. Bankrate tip

Always get a dealership’s return policy in written form. That way, you’ll understand the terms and conditions and will be able to navigate any attempt to refuse your claim.

How to avoid having to return a car If you want to avoid the difficult process of returning a vehicle You must prepare properly to purchase a car. This process . Read car reviews about the make and model you’re thinking about on sites like . It’s also a good idea to perform price research by using Kelley Blue Book or Carfax and then create an estimated budget, and try the car. It’s equally important to research the dealership in advance by looking up online reviews. Make use of sites such as to make sure that the dealership has an excellent reputation and offer top customer service. Additionally, you’ll want to research the background and condition of the specific car you’re looking to purchase. It is possible to begin by looking up the history report for the vehicle through websites like Carfax or AutoCheck which provide information on the vehicle can be accessed using the . If you’re purchasing a car from a dealer, you should ask the dealership to provide the car’s history to review. It’s also a good idea to take the car to be inspected by an who can provide an unbiased review of the vehicle and any issues it may have. If the mechanic notices mechanical issues, you can ask the seller to foot the cost of repairs. Options for returning the car If you aren’t able to return your vehicle? You have other options. You can sell it. Through a third party it could be possible to get out of being stuck with a vehicle that you do not like. It’s possible that you won’t be able to recoup the full amount you paid the dealer, since a car’s value decreases when it’s taken off the car lot. You’ll be responsible to pay any difference in the dealership price and the price the buyer pays for the vehicle. Ask for an informal repossession. If you are unable to afford the monthly payments You can contact the lender and request a voluntary repossession. While this will eliminate your monthly payments, you should consider this decision. A lender can still report the repossession to the credit bureaus. The repossession can negatively impact the credit rating for as long as seven years, making it more expensive to take out a future auto loan. Refinance your auto loan. If your monthly payments are too high, you could do so by extending your time frame or getting a lower interest rate. Although this is a step that will have an effect, it is only temporary. In reality, after only several months of payments your credit score will rebound or even improv e. The bottom line Before you purchase a vehicle take some time to research the price of cars you like , and then reading the dealership’s return policy and car reviews. In the absence of research, you could find you with an unsatisfactory car. In most cases it’s impossible to return the car you purchased recently — the majority of dealerships will not allow it. If you’re unable to return a vehicle you’ve purchased, there are other methods to get rid of the vehicle. You can sell it or make a lemon law claim under certain circumstances. In addition, if you suffer from buyer’s remorse because of large payments, but wish to keep the car, you could refinance your auto loan to reduce the amount of cost of the loan.


Written by Allison Martin’s work started over 10 years ago, as an online content strategist and since then she’s been published in various top financial media 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 writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-researched content that breaks down otherwise complex topics into digestible chunks.

Auto loans editor

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