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Can I return a car within 72 hrs


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#1 spinktec

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 10:37 PM

I bought a used car late Friday evening in South Carolina at a new car dealership; can I return it on Monday?


Details: By the time I return it I will have put no more than 25 miles on it. The car has been garaged since I picked it up, and has not been damaged in any way. The payment instrument was an "up to this amount" draft against a preapproved loan from my credit union that was not enough to cover the price. The dealership would not take a personal check for the difference. The understanding was that I would return with the difference in cerrtifiied check on Monday. Other than that the deal was complete; I left with temp tags and all affects of the car (owners manual, keys, etc).


I'm looking to exercise the 72 hour contract cancelation option I've heard of all my life (I'm not sure if such a thing really exists); but in lieu of that I'm askng if the sale is actually finalized since the deal is not completely funded. My thought is that if I get the car there early Monday (or even late Sunday since they are closed) then none of the DMV paperwork will be done or submtted and I can reduce the dealer's pain and there inclination to rebut.



#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:16 PM

Federal law allows you a 3 day right of rescission for two types of contracts: those that resulted from in-home sales (e.g. door-to-door sales calls) and certain loan contracts, primarily home mortgage loans and private education loans that exceed $25,000. Some states provide for a similar right of rescission for a few other types of contracts. SC, for example, provides a 3 day right to cancel a fitness club contract. But there is not right to cancel an auto purchase contract. The moment you enter into the contract, you are stuck with the terms of that deal. This is emphasized in a SC Department of Consumer affairs publication that lists the top 10 ten myths believed by consumers. Unless the contract itself lets you cancel within a certain period of time (very rare for auto contracts) the dealer can insist you pay as agreed or sue for breach of contract.

Returning it first thing Monday isn't likely to change the dealer's mind. The dealer doesn't want the car backā€”it's now a used car and it won't fetch as much if it tries to resell it. Although it has only been driven by you for apparently less than 25 miles, the moment the car is delivered to the consumer, under federal regulations it becomes a used car and the dealer cannot sell it as new. Thus, what the dealer wants is your cold, hard cash.


#3 spinktec

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:01 AM

Thanks to Tax_Counsel for the answer to my question.  I'd just like a little clarification.  At the bottom of the paragraph you eluded to a reduction if value as I "drove off the lot." Keep in mind  some of the details: this is a used car (2006 Infinity) with 33K miles on it, the title work has not been done yet so it won't show up in Autocheck or CarFax as having another owner, and I've not actually paid for the car yet.  I admit, I have signed all the paperwork, but the paperwork lists a selling price which I have not paid (or offered a substantial enough payment instrument ot satisfy the transaction). To me this could be interpreted as a long test drive with a deposit. Yes I am trying to get out of this, but my thought was to offer $100 for the cleaning of the car and that good faith and timeliness would alow them to have it back on the lot quick enough that they wouldn't bother pursuing it.



#4 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:27 AM

Sorry, you signed the contract and drove off the lot--the car is yours.


#5 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:00 AM

You can make the offer, but I doubt the dealer will be willing to rescind for $100. It has made a sale, and wants the money that it is promised in the contract. Legally it's entitled to the benefit of its bargain. What that means is that if the dealer took the car back (whether by repossession or otherwise) and sold it to someone else for less than you owe under the contract + whatever additional costs it incurred, it can seek that from you in court. The idea is that it ends up with the same profit on it when the dust settles as it would have gotten had you not breached the contract. That can get expensive for you: paying out a lot of money to the dealer, you still presumably need to buy a car and thus will pay for that, and your credit rating could end up severely dinged, costing you more for future credit.





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