What are my rights if a car dealership does not honor the advertised price listed on a car listing website?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012

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What are my rights if a car dealership does not honor the advertised price listed on a car listing website?

On a car listing website, there is a new car listed at a price of around $6,000. The car is probably worth somewhere around $50,000. I would like to purchase this car in cash. For the details of the car, all of the options equipped are listed. The car’s VIN is also listed. The only disclaimer listed on the website is: Price excludes taxes, license and title fees, and a documentary service fee. I would like to know my rights if the advertised price is not honored at the dealership, how I should contact the dealership, and how I should respond in the event that the dealer does not honor.

Asked on August 8, 2012 under General Practice, Illinois


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you won't be able to purchase the car at that advertised price.  The car ads are an invitation to make an offer.  A valid contract requires an offer and an acceptance.  If a party to a contract knows or should have known of the other party's mistake, the party won't be able to take advantage of it and enforce the contract against the mistaken party.

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