I had a caller from South Texas on last Saturday’s Car Pro Show who was stressed out because she and her husband had bought a new truck a week earlier, and they didn’t like it. It was hard for them to get in and out of, and there were a few other things that just did not fit them. Her question to me was about how to get out of the deal?
I hear from people all the time who are under the impression they can buy a new vehicle and they have three days to return it, and they think it is a law. I am not aware of a single state that has a 3 day right of rescission law. Once you sign the papers and drive out the gate, you are the owner.
In the case of the recent caller, it is impossible to fault the dealer for anything, there was no deception of any kind. So what could the buyer have done differently to avoid what may end up being a costly mistake?
As a former dealership owner, I wonder how thorough a test drive the couple took. Did they really get the vehicle out on the road and experience it? Did they get the new car fever and fall in love with that “new car smell” while not paying attention to the things that didn’t work for them? I suspect this is the case.
Most people keep their cars for over five years. Knowing that, you should take every precaution to make sure the vehicle you are considering is the right choice for the long term. If there is any doubt, you should stop what you are doing and regroup.
No reputable dealer wants anyone to purchase a car that is not right for them. It is not uncommon for dealers to let you take a vehicle on an extended test drive, even keeping it overnight, or over a weekend to be sure. They’ll want to know you have a genuine interest in their product, they’ll want to verify full coverage insurance, and they may want to know your credit worthiness, but most will let you take a long test drive.
If that makes you uncomfortable, consider renting the vehicle you are interested in. I often recommend this to people who are making a radical change in their vehicle. People who are downsizing, or moving from a truck to car, or a SUV to a car may want to consider this option. Many of the popular rental companies offer special rates on weekends. If a $200 rental will keep you from making a $30,000 mistake, it is money well spent.
Many consumers don’t understand why a dealership won’t just take a car back when they find out the car is not for them. Often, the paperwork has been filed and if the dealership takes a car back, it has to be sold as pre-owned, significantly depreciating the value. If a vehicle is even a few days old, and the paperwork has been filed, the car is no longer eligible for any factory rebates or incentives.
Bottom line, be sure the car of your dreams, truly is the car of your dreams. Buying the wrong vehicle can be miserable and costly.