Are There Buyer’s Remorse Laws for Automobiles?

Dealers are not legally required to take back a vehicle if the buyer’s reason for the return is simple remorse. However, the buyer may be granted a return if something is mechanically wrong with the vehicle or if the sale involved unfair sales tactics.

Typically, it is very difficult to get a dealer to take a vehicle back if the buyer has already signed a sales contract. A return requires hours of additional clerical labor. The dealer will have to recall commission checks from the sales staff and nullify department of motor vehicle filings. It causes great financial loss to the dealer, who can no longer sell the vehicle in new condition. There are no laws that require a dealer to accept a vehicle if the buyer has simply changed their mind.

Some dealers, however, offer a trial period, complete with no-hassle return policies. These offers usually expire fast, often within 24 hours of the sale.

There are some situations in which a buyer has a legal right to return a vehicle, even if the trial period has passed. If the buyer can prove that they were taken advantage of with high-pressure sales tactics or an unfair contract, a return might be feasible. The buyer should be prepared to offer documentation proving the case. If the car does not live up to the saleperson’s claims and, for example, falls short of the advertised miles per gallon, the buyer can return it. Mechanical malfunctions also warrant a return, but again, the buyer must be prepared with documentation stating repair work and dates.