Can You Return a New Car? Limitations of Buyer Remorse Laws

There’s nothing worse than buying a new car, only to regret the purchase after the fact. But whether you can return your car will depend on the nature of why you regret it. 

For example, you might ask yourself—Do I simply not like the car? Did I feel pressured to buy it? Or does the car have a defect that prevents it from working as it should? 

The answers to these questions will help determine whether or not you’re able to return the car you just bought. Keep reading to learn about buyer’s remorse laws, the limitations of these laws, and how to protect yourself financially when buying a car.

Can I Take Back a New Car?

Some vehicle dealerships offer return policies as a means of preventing buyer’s remorse. However, these return policies typically last just 7 to 30 days after the purchase date. Thus, it’s extremely important to ask for a copy of your car’s return policy prior to any purchase.

Keep in mind that dealerships are not legally required to have a return policy in place. They’re a courtesy. And at almost all dealerships, sales are final. 

What Are Buyer’s Remorse Laws?

Buyer’s Remorse Laws are a series of protections that allow you to return certain types of products within a set period of time. These laws, which vary by state, are in place to protect consumers from unfair sales practices. 

On a federal level, there’s also something known as the Federal Trade Commission Cooling-Off Rule. This rule is designed to protect consumers from high-pressure sales tactics. In qualifying situations, buyers have up to 72 hours to return a purchase and receive a full refund. 

The caveat to this rule is that it only applies to sales made in temporary locations, such as door-to-door sales, conventions, and estate sales. Unfortunately, this means that virtually all automobile dealership sales won’t be covered under this law. It may apply to sales made at trade shows or auctions but only if the seller doesn’t have a permanent business location. 

What About a Defective Car? 

However, if you can prove your car has a defect that the manufacturer has been unable to repair after being afforded reasonable opportunities to do so, you’ll likely have grounds for compensation or a replacement vehicle under your state’s Lemon Law. The fine print of Lemon Laws varies by state, but they all serve the same purpose—to protect consumers financially after buying a faulty product. 

While Lemon Laws don’t facilitate vehicle returns, they do allow you to bring a claim against the auto manufacturer for compensation, a cash settlement, or a replacement vehicle.

Plus, filing a Lemon Law claim is often more effective than trying to return a vehicle. This is in large part because the time you have to file a claim– several years in most cases. Additionally, compensation from a claim often covers expenses that wouldn’t normally be included in a traditional return, like rental car fees. 

How the Lemon Law Can Help with Buyer’s Remorse

You may be able to file a Lemon Law claim if: 

  • Your car is currently covered by the original warranty, or it was at the time it was first brought in for repairs
  • You’ve brought your vehicle in to the manufacturer for repairs several times to no avail

The specifics of each Lemon Law will vary by state, so it’s important to consult an experienced attorney about your case. In the meantime, you can take our Free Lemon Test to see if you qualify. 

Speak to a Vehicle Consumer Advocate

If you believe you purchased a faulty vehicle, reach out to the Lemon Law Lawyers at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Our attorneys have helped over 50,000 individuals resolve Lemon Law claims on the West Coast and throughout the greater United States. Suffice to say, we’re equipped to help you secure the compensation you deserve. Plus, you’ll owe us nothing unless we win or settle your case. 

Call 800-875-3666 today to schedule your free consultation. 

Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® is pleased to comply with state regulations concerning client statements and testimonials:

In order for you to see our client video or read our client statements, please click the green button below. You will be taken directly to the video or client statements.

If you are interested in viewing information about the lawyer/firm’s past results and testimonials about the lawyer/firm, please read and acknowledge the information below.

The information in this section contains information about the lawyer/firm’s past results, testimonials about the lawyer/firm, and statements regarding the lawyer/firm’s quality. The information has not been reviewed or approved by Bar Associations of the states in which the law firm practices.

The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided.

All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided and not all clients have given testimonials.

The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Past results are no guarantee of future results. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

The testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.