Is There a Grace Period to Return a New Car?
- December 10, 2018
- Categories: Lemon Law
One of the most common questions by consumers is whether they have the ability to return a new car. This is referred to as a ‘cooling off period.’ Many consumers do not know that most car sales contracts in the state have fine print that allows the dealer to demand YOU return the car within 10 days. This rule exists because dealers often sell vehicles without financing being fully in place at the time of sale. If more than 10 days pass, the dealer does NOT have the right to order you to return the vehicle.
But most consumers do not have this right to return a vehicle soon after the sale. There are some situations where you may be able to return the vehicle, but much depends upon the specific situation.
California Consumer Right to Return a Vehicle
In this state, you can purchase a cooling-off period, but it is only two days long, and you have to purchase it before you leave the dealership lot. Most people do not think their brand-new vehicle will have problems within days. Otherwise, why would they have spent tens of thousands of dollars on it? There are thousands of new vehicle purchases in California every week, and it is extremely rare for a consumer to buy the two-day cooling-off period coverage.
Many car dealerships will tell you that you cannot return the car because you signed a document that you did not purchase the cooling-off period. This is untrue. Even if you did not buy the two-day, cooling-off coverage, you STILL could be able to return the auto if the dealership did something improper.
Most car dealers in California do not have written policies that allow you to back out of a purchase agreement you signed. The only way out for most people is to plead your case. You may say you discovered you do not really like the car. Or the purchase is going to stretch your budget too far for your comfort.
If you are feeling buyer’s remorse, you can call the salesperson and see if anything can be worked out to return the car. You may have to work with the sales manager or general manager.
If you think that the salesperson overcharged you or somehow made a misrepresentation, you could have a legal case to return the car. If you think you were overcharged, you will need to have evidence to back your claim. Edmunds True Market Value pricing is a good tool to show what a typical price is for your vehicle. If you think this has happened to you, you may want to consult with an attorney to see whether there is a way you can get out of the deal.
But keep in mind that the best way to avoid being ripped off is to not let it happen at all. Do your due diligence on the price of the vehicle before you come close to signing on the dotted line.
If your new car is having many problems under warranty, you may be able to make a lemon law claim with the help of a lemon law attorney.
Having A Problem With a New Car? Talk to a Southern California Attorney Today
Neale & Fhima may be able to help you if you bought a new car and are having problems with it. Whether you think it is a lemon or you were misled at the dealership, we may be able to help you take the car back and/or receive compensation. Contact us now.