How to Cancel an Auto Purchase

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Buyer's remorse is a common feeling, and it affects everyone from time to time. Certain items such as clothing, furniture and electronics are easily returnable; most retailers accept returns within the first 30 days. On the other hand, if you purchase a car and then decide to cancel the purchase, you may or may not be able to return the vehicle.

Read your contract. Before taking your vehicle back to the dealership, read the sales agreement. Depending on your state, you may be able to cancel an auto purchase within the first two or three days.

Contact the dealership. If you're able to cancel the purchase, call the dealership and ask to speak with the sales manager. Express your desire to return the vehicle and cancel the auto purchase.

Call the finance company. Either you or the car dealer will have to contact the finance company and explain the situation. Contact the finance company after the dealership agrees to take back the car. Once the dealership receives the vehicle, it'll refund the lender.

Return the vehicle to the dealership. Bring the vehicle back to the dealership in a timely manner. Incurring excessive mileage or damaging the vehicle voids the arrangement, in which case you will be unable to cancel the auto purchase.

Pay interest on the vehicle. Interest accrues daily, and it begins the moment you sign the loan documents. You'll have to make an interest payment before the dealership will accept the vehicle and cancel the purchase.


  • If unable to cancel the purchase, attempt to sell the vehicle or do a voluntary repossession.

About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as, AOL Travel, and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.

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