How to Get Out of a Vehicle Purchase Agreement

There are a number of reasons a buyer might want to ‘undo’ a done car deal; maybe the buyer discovered a fatal flaw in the vehicle or perhaps they are experiencing an unexpected financial crisis. When this happens there are several options open to the purchaser; none of which involve a visit from the Repo Man. A contract is a legal and binding document, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way out if you’re truly justified in seeking one.

Review the terms of your agreement. If you did not sign a written contract and the sale was for an amount greater the $500 dollars, then by law you may back out of the arrangement. This is covered under what is known as The Statue of Frauds which clearly states that any sale or transfer of property for an amount greater than $500 dollars must include a written contract to be considered legal.

Check to ensure the seller has fulfilled all the terms outlined in the agreement. Read each provision carefully and be certain you understand exactly what each one says as well as what is required to complete it. If they have not carried out their end of the deal, they are in breach of contract and you can legally get out of purchasing the vehicle.

See if your car qualifies for a return under the ‘Lemon Law’ statutes. It is not illegal for the seller to fail to disclose every flaw the vehicle has, it is, however, illegal to lie to you about them if you ask, or to alter the mileage or service records in any way.

Make some form of record of the state of the car when it is newly purchased. If the car is in running order when you obtain it, you can reasonably assume it will run for a minimum of 30 days after the date of purchase. After that time, any necessary repairs are yours to contend with.

Hire an attorney. If you have a legitimate complaint and not simply a case of buyer’s remorse and you’re unable to resolve the situation on your own. Put a stop payment on the check and obtain legal representation. However, do this only as a last resort.

Tips

  • Approach the seller in person first. Many times the situation can be resolved and is the result of a simple misunderstanding between purchaser and seller.

About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.