How to Return a New Car If Necessary

March 18, 2013

It is common for new car buyers to be confused when it comes to the return policy in regards to their newly purchased car. Many people think they have the option to return the car in a certain amount of time, often referred to as a "cooling off period".

This is simply not true. Once a buyer signs the sales contract, they are legally bound to that car. The older state and federal laws have changed and now grant dealers the right to refuse the return of a new car after the contract has been signed. In the past there were laws that protected new car buyers by granting them a "cooling off period" (often 72 hours) but that has now been removed.

There is one exception when it comes to returning new cars. A buyer has the right to legally return a car if he or she finds that the car is severely defective in any way. The catch is that the dealer is the party who determines the severity level of the defective car. Highly defective cars are known as "lemons" in the auto industry. Keep in mind that a lemon is considered to be a car thats defects are beyond repair.

If you are hesitant when it comes to buying a car, it may be a good idea to discuss a potential return policy with the dealer. Dealers have the ability to add a return policy to the contract that will allow you to return the car under their terms and conditions. Remember, this needs to be decided and added to the contract before the contract is ever signed.

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