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Cooling off periods in California

Remorse is a powerful feeling, particularly when a large amount of money is involved. It is fairly common for someone who buys a car to have buyer’s remorse, either because they think they spent too much money or they come to find that there is someone about the vehicle that they have a hard time adjusting to. While California does have a “Cooling-off” period, unfortunately, it probably will not be much help to the buyer.

The buyer gets a 2-day window

Those who buy a motor vehicle here are not guaranteed a cooling-off period. They do have the option to buy a cooling-off period, but it lasts only two days. Moreover, the individual purchasing the vehicle must buy that cooling-off contingency before driving your new ride off the lot. A cooling-off period is often prohibitively expensive to buy, and yet the buyer must sign a form saying they decline to buy it. Of course, a vehicle can be returned if there is something wrong with it or the dealership did something wrong.

Dealers get 10 days

The standard contract here is that the dealer has 10 days to find financing to cover the car loan. If they do not find financing, they must notify you that they are canceling the contract and the buyer must return the car. The buyer gets back their trade in the vehicle and all the money put down. The seller, however, may try to:

  • Blame you for having bad credit
  • Require more money down for a vehicle
  • Sign a new contract with higher payments
  • Threaten to keep the down payment
  • Threaten to repossess the vehicle

It is against the law to try any of the above acts. If they repossess the vehicle even though the buyer is making the agreed upon payments, the seller can be charged with theft of your property.

Lemon law protects the consumer

The dealer is typically obliged to honor any warranties when there is an issue with a new or used vehicle, especially when there has been a recall or other issues covered under California lemon laws or federal lemon laws. Depending upon the circumstances, it is often smart to contact an attorney with experience handling these issues. They can protect your interests and hold the seller accountable.

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