Do I have three days to change my mind about buying a car?
Question: “I bought a car the other day, and I am having second thoughts. I signed the contract, but want to get out of it. Can I?”
Answer: In the State of Washington, and most other states, there is no “Cooling Off” Period for buyers that encounter “Buyer’s Remorse”. If someone comes to your house to sell you a vacuum or something like that, you usually have a three day window to rescind the contract. However, on a motor vehicle purchase at a dealership, you do not have that choice.
There are a couple ways to get out of the vehicle though.
1. Trade the car in. While you will not get what you paid, sometimes it is the only way out of a car you do not want. It will give you the chance to buy a car you like better, and the dealer you bought the car from will probably give you more than any other dealer because they will not need to inspect the car as thoroughly if you just bought it.
2. The dealer can be nice, and let you out of the contract. This does not happen very often. Sometimes under extenuating circumstances, like death or illness. It needs to happen very fast, because once the new loan is funded by the lender: YOU ARE DONE. The dealer most likely will not help.
3. The dealer cannot get the loan financed. If the dealer cannot get the loan financed as contracted, and needs to have you resign the contract at different numbers and/or come up with more down payment, you do not have to sign the new contract and are able to “unwind” the car deal. Congrats, you have bad credit and they could not get you financed. That is probably the only time someone is happy about having bad credit. (If you lied about anything on your application and that is the reason for not being able to get financed, the dealer may decide to keep your down payment and/or trade. Do not lie on a credit application. It is not worth it.)
4. The dealer may let you out of that car deal if you agree to buy another car. Typically, the dealer will make you buy the second car before they let you out of the first contract. You get a different car, and the dealer gets to keep the customer. This is usually the best solution because it is Win-Win for both the dealer and the customer.