Can I go back on my car purchase if I signed the papers and made a down payment but didn’t take the car off the lot?

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2012

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Can I go back on my car purchase if I signed the papers and made a down payment but didn’t take the car off the lot?

I just did this yesterday on Sunday. What would happen if I called my bank and stopped the down payment? I can’t check the contracts signed because those too were left at the dealership?

Asked on March 26, 2012 under General Practice, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Once you sign the contract, you are obligated to it--it  is to late to go back on the car payment, even if you never took the car off the lot. If you try to stop payment, the dealership will be able to sue you to enforce the contract--i.e. to get the money--and possibly for additional damages or compensation, too. (E.g. collection or legal costs.) You could only rescind or terminate the contract without penalty if:

1) The dealership lied to you in a material, or significant, way to get you to enter into the transaction--i.e. they committed fraud; or

2) The dealership has breached its obligations under the contact in some  significant way--for example, it failed to deliver you possession of or title to the car.


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