Do I have 3 days after I buy my car to give it back?

NOT in Ohio.  This law known as the “cooling off period” law varies depending on the state you live in. This is the law that most consumers think gives them 3 days to “undo” a deal on a vehicle purchase. Wrong!! When you sign on the dotted line, you own it. Maybe if the dealer is a friend or family and did not submit the paperwork to the bank yet to be funded, you may be able to cancel. But that is the dealers discretion.
     Recently I had a woman that I had  met networking call me. She mentioned that her daughter bought a car and she thinks it may not have been a good deal.  This happens everyday! Buyers remorse. What comes from people making decisions without doing some homework.  What I had found out was that this young woman who scored over 700, accepted a rate of  over 6%. She probably could have qualified for the 0% on a new car. She was sold/ she purchased a bunch of aftermarket products that she probably did not need and bought a current year rental car with 33,000 (estimate) on it.. ARE YOU KIDDING? For a similar price the same car could have been purchased  new.. When I had a conversation with her to try and help her out, I realized that the Attorney General in Ohio does not have a “cooling off period” law. According to the Attorney Generals website http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov  certain consumer laws require sellers to provide cancellation rights. That does not apply to vehicle sales. YOU NEED TO EDUCATE YOURSELF  and make sure you are positive. Follow your gut!
     I think  this law never came to my attention because I try to  make sure that my customers are comfortable and feel like they are making the right choices. I will not do a deal if there is uncertainty!
               This young women was able to cancel some of the aftermarket products that she bought but did not need, but was stuck with the loan and the purchase of the vehicle. The guy in the F & I (finance and insurance) office was not happy… He loses money. I asked the dealer why they did not offer her the new car option. He said in not so many words that there was more money in the used car with 33000 miles. She is going to refinance through her credit union.  This is information! It does not say that every single dealer and salesperson is like that….but you cannot expect the dealer to educate the consumer. The consumer needs to ask questions and compare. Once you sign… YOU ARE AN OWNER! YOU JUST BOUGHT OR LEASED A CAR. I do need to say that with all the resources we have available, consumers can avoid becoming victims. Once you have the information and you still make that decision you are a volunteer.

Here are some things that may help.

1) If your buying late model used, compare the “new car deals” going on. Ask to see a new car invoice on a comparable vehicle. Also ask for special financing rates through the manufacturer. This will help you evaluate how to get the most for your money. Always get a pre inspection on ANY used car!

2) When going in to the finance office, do not let your fear make your decisions. If you have had the used car inspected and your mechanic says its a good car, follow your gut. Weigh out the cost of aftermarket products vs what the repair reviews are online. Example:  if a warranty costs 1300.00, please think about how much car 1300.00 can fix? You also pay interest and tax on that money. Gap insurance is always less expensive through your insurance company. You can ask the person how long you have to make the decision. It is usually 14 days to purchase the products. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Let the emotion cool down.

3) If your not sure if it is the right deals for you, WALK! You do not have to make the decision right that minute. Take 24 hours and make sure it feels right. Remember, there is no “cooling off period”. You sign it, you bought it!

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Rhonda Burgess
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Thanks for this post! Looking for a car that suits your needs might be a hard process, but it’s all worth it. Take the time to look for the best deal with the car that you love. Trust your instincts. Do some research. Be meticulous while you test drive. Prepare your questions and don’t hesitate to ask. These simple tips will be very helpful for you. 🙂

Rhonda Burgess @ BobDunnHyundai.com

Rigoberto Axelson
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Thanks for the tip! I agree that it’s easy to become a victim when buying a car, especially used ones, but mishaps are easily avoidable if you use common sense. First is you have to set a budget and stick to it. Then do as much research as you can. This is so much easier these days since information is available online, though of course you have to know which ones are legitimate and which ones are bogus. I also agree with you when you said a lot of customers make their decisions when they are worried or very much… Read more »

Sarah Erwin
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This is really helpful! Most of us tend to be victimized by bogus sellers because of the rush to have our own car. However, we should always keep an open mind. Never be emotional when it comes to selecting because it ruins the logic. Instead, take note of the mileage and the overall condition of the car. Most of the time, those two don’t complement each other, so you better be cautious on assessing them.

Sarah Erwin