Can I be sued for returning my car within the 30 day return period without dealer consent?

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2010

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Can I be sued for returning my car within the 30 day return period without dealer consent?

I got a car from a local car dealer. I was unsure about it (the size and the monthly payment). The rep told me to go ahead and take it and if I didn’t want it it could be returned within 30 days. Within the first 2 weeks I called the rep and asked to bring it back. The payment was too high and it was too small. She monkeyed around with me for another week or so bringing me up to almost the 30 day mark. When she would not take the car back at my request, I drove it to the dealer and took my license plates off and my registration sticker off, gave them the keys and was on my way.

Asked on November 8, 2010 under General Practice, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

IF there was a valid agreement made *when you bought the car* that you could return it within 30 days, that agreement is enforceable. Where you could get into trouble and be in breach of the sales agreement are:

1) If there was no return provision in the sales agreement when you bought the car, then the rep probably could NOT after the fact give you the right to return it--there would be no consideration for her doing that, and she could necessarily unilaterally alter the contract or agreement after the fact. So if when you bought it was nonreturnable, you probably can't return it.

2) Even if the rep made statements that you could return it within 30 days prior to your signing the sales agreement, if that term did not make it into the sales agreement, you can't enforce it contractually--it's not part of the contract of sale. In this case, you *may* be able to rescind the contract on the basis of fraud in the inducement--that is, that material (important) misrepresentations (lies) were made to induce you to buy the car. However, as a practical matter, it may be very difficult to make and sustain this case if there is no evidence of that discussion and meanwhile, there's a sales agreement which doesn't mention it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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