Can a used car dealer make me leave my vehicle if my payments are up to date and I want to move out-of-state?

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Can a used car dealer make me leave my vehicle if my payments are up to date and I want to move out-of-state?

I bought at a buy here/pay here car lot. I want to move home to AL (from SC) and continue to pay the car note. The owner of the lot said that he would have to decide if he was going let me take the car with me or make me leave the car and not refund my money. Is he allowed to do that?

Asked on April 18, 2011 under General Practice, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, what does the agreement by which you bought the car say? (And if you don't have a formal agreement, look to any terms on a bill of sale, receipt, etc.; any correspondence or emails; anything in their advertising; etc.). IF the terms or agreement of sale--or of the promissory note--allow the dealer to require you to stay in state or risk losing the car, he can do this.

BUT: if the promissory note or the terms of sale of the car did not provide for this, the dealer cannot change the terms or add to the terms later. So even if the dealer is unhappy that you are doing this, he cannot do anything about it unless you signed something (agreement, note, etc.) stating that you might lose the car if you moved.


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