If you buy a car and only have a permit, can the dealershiptakethe carback?

UPDATED: May 25, 2011

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UPDATED: May 25, 2011Fact Checked

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If you buy a car and only have a permit, can the dealershiptakethe carback?

I recently bought a car. I didn’t have a license at the time but I did have my permit. We put $2,000 down and signed a contract. We’ve had the car now for about 2 1/2 weeks. The dealership let me take the car home, but I needed to get  my license ASAP. I took my driving test but failed,; it is rescheduled for 3 days from now. However the dealership wants the vehicle back today. Can they do that?

Asked on May 25, 2011 under General Practice, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Well, I am guessing that in order to purchase a vehicle in California you have to have a valid driver's license at the time of purchase.  You did not.  The fact that the dealership did not check is really unusual and yes, they can probably ask for the vehicle back.  Read the contract of sale.  Do you "warrant" having a valid California Driver's License in effect at the time of purchase?  If you did then you misrepresented probably a material fact and the contract is most likely void.  I would call and speak with the dealership as soon as you possibly can. ANd be prepared to give it back.  Good luck with the car and the test. 

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