Can I backout of purchasing a used vehicle?

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Can I backout of purchasing a used vehicle?

My wife and I had signed a purchase agreement for a used vehicle. It was late and I did not have my driver’s license at the time. The finance person wanted me to come back in and complete other documents pertaining to title and registration. My wife and I discussed it overnight and decided it was not a good idea to pursue the vehicle, so I went down to their dealership and advised the finance person that we no longer wanted the vehicle. At this point 2 managers tried to convince me that I had no choice. But how can that be – no possession of vehicle, no delivery trade-in vehicle, and no signed documents that allow the dealer to change registration and title in my name. Also, dealer did not provide a temporary permit to me; it was possibly placed in vehicle but I have not taken possession of it. It has been over a week since we signed the purchase agreement. What is our recourse?

Asked on July 26, 2011 Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, you don't have any recourse, unfortunately. You stated that your wife and you "signed a purchase agreement." That purchase agreement is a contract; it obligates you to go ahead and buy the vehicle. It doesn't matter that you have not received the vehicle, traded in some other vehicle, have the paperwork for a registration change or have a temporary permit; the agreement you signed requires you to go head and buy the vehicle (in the course of doing so, you will take care of all these details). The only way to get out of the purchase is if:

1) The dealership itself violates some material (important) term of the agreement;

2) You find out the vehicle cannot legally be sold to you (e.g. it's not road legal; the dealership lacks title);

3) The dealership committed fraud (e.g. lied to you in some significant way, to get you to buy the vehicle).


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