Auto Sales Cooling Off, But Another Big Year Ahead

No New Car Return Policy? These Steps Will Help

Auto Sales Cooling Off, But Another Big Year Ahead

Returning a new car to the dealer is a little returning hot lava to a volcano. Most ly, it's not going to happen without a lot of time, finesse and perhaps an attorney.

But it isn't impossible. In fact, some dealerships now offer a no-hassle new car return policy to attract buyers with low-risk deals and trial periods. You do have to act fast, however.

Kathryn Hatter at The Nest writes, “Make your return decision as quickly as possible. Some auto dealers have a 24-hour return policy for new car purchases. If you think you’re going to return the vehicle, don’t drive it. Keep it in new condition.” 

Even if your dealership offers no solution for auto buyer's remorse, you might still be able to reason your way a bad deal with the right approach and a charitable dealer. You should also make sure you're covered with an affordable car insurance policy. Read on for some tips and insights into returning a new car to the mother ship.

What's the Dealer's Problem?

Before you storm the gates, take a moment to see things from the other side. There is a reason that car dealers are mostly exempt from the federally mandated “cooling off period” that applies to toaster ovens and vacuum cleaners. The laws and state regulations on car sales and financing make a complicated web every single deal that auto sellers make.

No matter how willing your dealer might be to help you, the act of unsealing a done deal creates a lot of headaches for everyone involved.

In 2012, finance and insurance agent Marv Eleazer wrote a short article addressing the topic of dealer fairness regarding returns. In it, he outlines several of the main concerns dealers face when deciding whether to reverse a sale:

  • Taking back commissions from staff, even after paychecks have been cashed
  • Retrieving statements from the DMV that have already been filed
  • Filing affidavits to keep the new car status on the vehicle so as to prevent severe depreciation and financial loss
  • Retitling a trade-in and getting refunded by the bank

These tasks and the mountains of paperwork involved add up to many hours and troubles for dealership staff – for a vehicle that they considered sold and gone. Despite all of this, a dealer might be willing to work with you if you come in with an understandable and ethical reason for the return.

Good Reasons for Returning a New or Used Car

Eleazer lists several ethical issues for dealers to consider regarding their car return policy. You can use these to your advantage. Edmunds advises that you walk in asking for help and service in a reasonable tone. 

Being overly demanding or angry from the start will probably not get you nearly as far as appealing to ethics and great customer service standards. If one of the following applies to your deal, speak about your concerns with a manager or owner of the dealership.

Some of the top reasons to accept a return include the following:

  • Hasty, aggressive sales tactics: This includes a dealership practice that lures you in with same-day, sign-and-drive sales ly on a credit score. If the buyer's employment history and residential history do no back up the credit score, local lenders may be unwilling to back up the sale with financing or may charge such high interest rates that you cannot afford the payments. In this case, the dealer was at fault for being overly quick to sign and should probably allow a return.
  • A lackluster vehicle: Dealers should be willing to honor the promises they and their sales staff make to you. If the salesperson claims the vehicle gets 30 miles per gallon and you can only get 18 mpg on the highway, the salesperson misrepresented the facts. You would be well within your rights to ask the dealer to either adjust the price after the fact or accept a return. This can also apply if your used car turns out to be a lemon. Your state's lemon laws may ensure a return, but if the dealership is uncooperative, you will have to jump through a lot of mechanical inspection hoops to get official lemon status and get your money back.
  • Auto buyer's remorse: Legally, dealers are not required to honor a return based purely on auto buyer's remorse, but in some cases, you might convince a dealership to consider your return simply because you feel you got a bad deal. Perhaps the payments are hurting your budget more than you anticipated or maybe you found a much better price across town. In either case, a dealership that prides itself on customer service might be willing to work with you on a car return or a reworking of the numbers just to win your trust and future business.Bankrate writer Tara Baukus Mello advises, “If you regret your decision because you feel you got ripped off, gather documentation that shows in what way you were wronged. Request a meeting with the dealership manager and calmly present your case.”

Repeat business: Car sellers know that this isn't the last car you'll ever buy. They think ahead three, five or ten years down the line when you will either come back for more great customer service or hit up the competitor across town. 

Mention that you appreciated the great service you received while the deal was in process and then sum up the reasons you are dissatisfied with the way everything turned out. Ask that the dealership resolve the situation in a way that suggests you trust their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Reviews: Internet ratings on dealerships are everything these days; dealerships need good ratings to survive. If the dealer seems unwilling to hear you out, you might need to mention that your review will not be favorable, unless something gets fixed.

It's the right thing to do: Many dealers realize the simple fact that, in some cases, accepting a new car return is the best policy. Many dealership owners pride themselves in maintaining a spotless reputation in the community. They would rather put themselves through the hassle of a lengthy return process than leave a customer feeling shortchanged.

Last Resort

If you feel that returning a new car or used car is the only acceptable option and the dealer is unwilling to listen, Edmunds advises that you may have to seek legal counsel. This can be expensive and frustrating for all involved, so it is best to exhaust every other possibility first.

Of course, the best way to avoid the headaches of a sticky new car return policy is to look before you leap. Research and time are the best friends of the car buyer.

They can prevent you from dealing with unscrupulous auto salesperson and from accepting a deal on a car you can't afford or don't want. Auto buyer's remorse is a terrible feeling.

A little patience and an ethical, sympathetic dealer can help you get the car return you need.

When you get that car you want and need, finally, it's time to think about car insurance. Independent agents can help you get the best value for the coverage you need because they don't work for one parent company, big-name captive agents in your area do. Independent agents are ready to help you get coverage easily and quickly.


Can a Buyer Cancel a Car Dealership Contract?

Auto Sales Cooling Off, But Another Big Year Ahead

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Can a buyer cancel a car dealership contract? The answer is sometimes, but there's more to it than that. The more you understand about car buying contracts the more confidence you can have at the dealership. Buying a new car can be an exciting time.

Heading to a dealership to test drive a new vehicle for you or your family can be exciting, and that can lead to a lapse in judgment.

So, what happens when you sign a buying contract for the car, but realize it may not be the best fit for you the next day?

Getting a Car Purchase

One thing many people try to rely on when trying to cancel a car buying contract is a cooling-off period. A cooling-off period is something written into sales contracts that can protect the buyer in cases of high-pressure sales tactics.

Many people consider shopping at a car dealership a high-pressure sales environment, however, Edmunds indicates there is not typically a cooling-off period for car purchases. Part of the reasoning for this is the value of the car.

If a cooling-off were required by dealerships, they would be forced to sell practically brand-new vehicles for a fraction of the price and would ly be unable to sustain operations.

Because of how car valuation works, there is not a cooling-off period required as part of a car buying contract.

If you signed your name on the dotted line for a new vehicle, it will be very difficult to return it or cancel it in most cases.

This could be a different story if you're shopping for a used vehicle in-which a dealer may allow you to return the vehicle after a short period of time.

Findlaw indicates that what's called a contract cancellation option may be available to you. This addition to a sales contract may be available at an added cost to the buyer, but if it's something you feel you might need, then it's worth asking for. The dealership is still under no obligation to offer such an addendum to buying contracts unless certain states require it.

Some states, such as Massachusetts, have other protections in place to help protect buyers from cars in poor condition.

For example, if someone in Massachusetts purchases a car and it fails a safety inspection within seven days of the purchase, the buyer is allowed to return the car for a full refund.

Check your state's local laws to see what protections car buyers have before trying to negotiate with a dealership as it's sure to be less of a headache.

Other similar protections include lemon laws that protect buyers from defects that the dealer is unable to repair. Lemon laws provide a wider net of protection. In Florida, for example, a buyer is covered for up to 24 months after the purchase of a new vehicle:

  • A dealership has three attempts to fix the issue and return it to the buyer.
  • If the dealership is unable to complete the repairs, the buyer must then contact the manufacturer.
  • The manufacturer then has 10 days to direct the buyer to a third-party repair shop.
  • If the independent repair shop is unable to make the necessary repairs after 30 days, the buyer is entitled to request a refund.

There are certain things you can do if you feel you've been a victim of fraud in the car buying process and there are some steps you should take in the event of fraud, starting with filing a complaint with the Attorney General of your state. If there was no fraudulent activity and you did not pay for or have the ability to purchase a contract cancellation option, your options will dwindle greatly. Pocket Sense lists a few things you can look for in that case:

  • Study the fine print on your car buying contract. Look specifically for a return policy. Some dealerships include one, but they are not common for new vehicles.
  • If you can't find anything on the contract, check in with your state's Attorney General's office to see if there are any car buying protections in your state.
  • Call the dealer and explain your situation and why you'd to return it. They may be willing to work with you, but it's not granted and they are under no obligation to actually do so.
  • If they still aren't interested in working with you, you can try to offer them your deposit. This could sway the dealer's position at the cost of your deposit, but you would be the contract. Weigh your options carefully.
  • A dealership might be more apt to work with you if you are interested in another vehicle they have as well.

Canceling a New Car Purchase Agreement With a Dealership

Car buying contracts are pretty tight and per the Consumer Law Group, canceling one once you sign on the dotted line is pretty difficult. There are a few conditions that could lead to a car buying contract being canceled.

One such event is called a yo-yo sale. This is when the dealership gives you the keys and has you sign the paperwork prior to having final approval on the loan terms from a lender.

If the lender doesn't want to accept the deal, the contract is canceled.

You may be able to return your vehicle if the dealership misled you or didn't disclose the full history of the vehicle. Other things that would be in your favor would be if the vehicle failed a safety inspection or if there was an undisclosed mechanical issue with the vehicle.

Returning a Used Car to the Dealer

Consumer Action Law Group discusses returning a used car to a dealership and states returning a new car to the dealership is, in most cases, a lot harder to do than returning a used vehicle.

Dealerships that specialize in used car sales may even advertise friendly return policies to attract potential buyers.

In order to return a used vehicle, there are usually a few thresholds you need to meet:

  • It ly needs to fall under a certain amount of miles since it was bought.
  • It needs to be in the same condition.
  • You need your copies of the paperwork you signed originally.
  • The car should be free of tickets or liens.

Getting a car buying contract can be tricky. The more you know ahead of time can help you in the long run if you think you may want to return a vehicle purchase.

Information and research in this article verified by ASE-certified Master Technician Duane Sayaloune of For any feedback or correction requests please contact us at


How to Return a Used Car to the Dealer

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Buy­ing a New or Used Car

Auto Sales Cooling Off, But Another Big Year Ahead

Buying a car is a major purchase; it is also usually a complex transaction involving a contract, financing, and a warranty. You will want to think carefully about each of these aspects of your decision. You will also want to be aware of some specific protections are available to you under the law.

Car Safety

You may consider the vehicle’s safety when considering a purchase.  Crash testing results are available at

When buying any car, new or used, you can check to see if the vehicle has any unresolved safety recalls and its safety recall history.  Visit to learn more.

Shopping for a Car

First you must choose between buying a new car and buying a used car. A new car may cost more but will come with a longer warranty and no history of abuse or neglect. However, new cars depreciate (lose value) almost immediately when they leave the new car lot, which means that if you can find a well-cared-for used car, it might be a good bargain.

Consider the price of the car. This sounds obvious, but car dealers, new or used, may tempt you with a low monthly payment. You should be sure to look at the total price of the car, including interest.

Newspaper ads and the Internet can give you an idea of price ranges. The Texas DMV website has information on the prices of both new and used cars.  Don’t forget to look up rebates and other incentives that may be available on a new car purchase.

There are multiple online resources such as the “Blue Books” used by dealers to determine price ranges for used cars. Many people sell their used cars themselves. Buying from the owner often means paying a lower price than you can get from a dealer. And buying from the owner means you can ask the car's complete repair history.

Dealers’ used vehicles may cost more, but, may offer services such as financing or warranties, and may also be able to provide vehicle history.

You should ask the seller for the history of the vehicle and even some repair history, although this may not be complete.  If the seller won’t provide a report you may purchase one through  a private service that researches insurance claims.

Whether you buy directly from the owner or from a dealer, consider:

  • taking it for a test drive;
  • taking it to a mechanic of your choosing or having a mechanic visit the lot for a pre-sale inspection; and
  • inspecting the title.

If the seller won't let you do these things, you may want to consider walking away.

Closing the Deal

Make sure that the final price you base your decision on is the final price of the car, with all the features you want and nothing else.

The car dealer may offer you many assorted products, such as extended warranties, nitrogen filled tires, window tinting, interior or exterior protection packages and other products.

These products will affect the price of the vehicle and you may decide that you don’t want or need the product or service. If you don’t want those products, just decline to purchase the vehicle or negotiate the price of the products.

You will have to sign a purchase contract. The contract protects you as well as the dealer, so do not skip this step or hurry through it.

When reviewing your contract, you may want to check:

  • that you have read and understood everything in it.
  • whether it has blank spaces.
  • whether it contains clauses or terms that are different from what the salesperson said to you.

If the salesperson has made written changes and you agree to them, make sure you both initial the new language.

If you are financing the car, make sure you understand:

  • how much you will pay and how often;
  • how many payments you must make in total;
  • how much you will have paid in total; and
  • what the annual interest rate is.

Don't just assume you will finance through the dealer. Sometimes, you can get better financing from your bank or credit union.

  You should also check your credit score before you go shopping as this can affect the terms such as the interest rate you are offered.  By shopping around, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. Note that Texas law sets maximum interest rates for financing used cars.

The rates vary according to the age of the car and the amount owed on it.


DO NOT leave with your new car before the contract has been finalized completely and signed by   both parties. This is especially true if you are financing through the dealer and/or leaving a trade-in vehicle behind.

It has been known to happen: the consumer leaves the old car as a trade-in and drives away in the new car with only a verbal agreement about the amount of the monthly payment. The contract just needs final approval – “a mere formality” – by a manager who is not immediately available.

What happens? The buyer's credit is not approved, the monthly payment will be significantly higher and the trade-in has already been sold. The buyer is stuck with the new car at the higher payment or no car at all.

Warranties and Insurance

Get all promises about service and guarantees in writing in the contract and in the final copy of the buyer's guide. If you were promised something but it is not in writing, do not sign. If the seller offers a warranty, it must be in writing for it to be valid.

All used car dealers are required by federal law to tell buyers whether a used car is being sold with or without a warranty. Dealers must clearly display this information on a side window of each used car. This buyer's guide, or window form, should state either:

  • “AS IS” — the vehicle does not have a warranty and the seller is under no obligation for repairs; or
  • “WARRANTY” — the vehicle has a warranty, and the window form must list exactly what parts and services are covered and for how long.

The buyer's guide becomes part of the contract at the time of the sale, and any guarantees listed on it override any restrictions in the contract. If the sale is in Spanish, the buyer's guide must be in Spanish. If you don't see the buyer's guide in the car window, ask to see it before you agree to buy a car.

Under the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, you usually do not have to use a dealership for regular maintenance or a manufacturer’s replacement parts to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty. For more information about your warranty rights under federal law, visit

The law prohibits rolling back or changing the number of miles on an odometer. Texas law requires the seller of any used vehicle to state on the title assignment the total number of miles the vehicle has traveled. Make sure you get a copy of the odometer statement when you sign the contract.

Texas law requires you to have liability insurance. Whoever finances your car might offer to include the cost of the insurance in the loan, but it is your responsibility to have it.

The financier might also require you to have collision insurance to cover the balance owed on the car. If it is required and you do not have it, the financier can repossess your car.

Before agreeing to allow the financier or the dealer to obtain insurance for you, shop around. Generally speaking, you will pay less for insurance you purchase yourself than you would for insurance purchased by your financier or arranged by the dealer.

Understand all your insurance responsibilities before you sign.

After the Sale

Under Texas Law, you do not have 3 days to cancel the purchase you may with some transactions the dealer is required to register and title the vehicle in your name within 30 days, regardless of if you owe money on the vehicle to the dealer or another financier. As soon as the vehicle is registered in your name, the dealer should provide you with the original title application receipt from the Tax Assessor-Collector's office.

If you owe money on the vehicle, the original title will be sent to your financier. If you pay in full for the car when you purchase it, you will be mailed the original title.

Keep all payment receipts and other documents in a safe place. Do not keep them in the glove compartment. If the car is stolen, or if a dishonest dealer illegally repossesses the car, you will have no records of ownership or payment.

Make your payments on time. If the dealer or your Lender says that you can change the payment dates, or pay late, get it in writing. Get a receipt for each payment.

Texas dealerships have the legal right to repossess your car without prior notice, even in the middle of the night. Keep your records safe and up to date for your protection.

Learn more about your rights after the sale with the Texas DMV.


How to Be a Successful Car Salesman: 6 Car Sales Tips for the Digital Age

Auto Sales Cooling Off, But Another Big Year Ahead

It’s no secret that the future of auto sales is shifting gears. Car buyers are spending less time at dealerships and more time online.  But do you know how to be a successful car salesman as we move further into this digital age?

Because while the process of selling cars used to be a well-oiled machine, complete with print ads and billboards – that’s simply not enough anymore. Things have changed.

The price point (and every other detail) of every comparable car within 1,500 miles is at the customer’s fingertips, so a low price can’t even guarantee a sale.

And while charisma and a friendly demeanor might help you sell a car, it’s no use if people aren’t coming into your dealership in the first place. You can’t just wait for customers to stroll in. You need to actively achieve face-to-face time with them before they even step foot in your lot – and that requires video.

So, as you figure out how to become a good car salesman in the 21st century, know that it requires an agile, plugged-in mind to see the opportunities hidden in these challenges.

To help you navigate the new car-buying model that consumers are embracing, we’ve compiled a list of car sales tactics to consider in the modern digital era:

1. Learn Names and Remember Them

What’s in a name? A lot, actually, especially if you want to get cars sold.

If you want to learn how to be a successful car salesman in this day and age, you need to start learning the names of current and future customers and remembering them.

This needs to happen before any car sales pitch is made. And adding names to the subject lines of your marketing emails – while among good email tactics – doesn’t cut it alone.

You see, with the progression of technology, the personal touch of communication has dwindled. Plain-text emails, especially marketing emails, have lost their authenticity.

But people still need to know they’re not just a number in order to trust you – especially since this is a purchase they only make a handful of times in their lifetime.

So, as soon as you get an online lead, learn their names. Send them an introductory video email and use their names in your message in a natural way – you would with a friend of yours in casual conversation. You can also write their name on a whiteboard to display in an animated GIF to increase their lihood of pressing play.

See how Katherine Wysocki from Volkswagen of Rochester reaches out to online leads as part of her car sales prospecting in the video below…

By kicking off her video with her prospect’s name in a friendly greeting, she is showing him that he matters. It engages the trust needed to build a relationship. That’s what will get him in the dealership in person, and off the lot with a new car.

2. Answer Questions and Showcase Your Knowledge (Better Than Google)

Once the introduction has been made to potential customers, you are bound to have questions pouring into your inbox.

But consumers are more educated than ever before because…

 They have access to the same stock you do on any car they're interested in across the whole country.

 They have access to the same Carfax and other reports you do right from their phone.

 They probably have also already initiated at least one or a few conversations with other dealerships and sales professionals through email or some other digital communication medium before talking to you.

However, only you can give them the full picture along the car buying process – not Google. Part of figuring out how to be a successful car salesman right now is learning to adapt.

So, to stand out in the new level playing field, you need to give prospective clients direct answers to their questions on a more personal level via automotive video email. This is how you’ll give them a great car buying customer experience that will bring you success.

As you record, don’t contradict your customers. It can come across as condescending. Instead, gently steer them toward the truth.

Video is the only way you can get this across with empathy. Plain-text email answers can be misinterpreted. Don’t take that risk. Be of value in a personal way that Google can’t.

3. Know What Customers Want and Show Them

Part of mastering how to become a good car salesman means perfecting the art of identifying what your customers want and delivering on those expectations.

Many customers have a specific car in mind that they want to purchase – one they’ve methodically researched. Unfortunately, that can give them tunnel vision which can be difficult to get past.

However, if you ask your client what kind of features and feelings they’re going for, you can tailor your car sales pitch to them. If they want one model of car that looks good and goes really fast, you can offer them similar options and thus provide a wider selection. And you can accomplish this before they even step foot in the dealership.

You can send customers the best car sales walk around videos of their dream car, and/or other close options, ahead of time. So, when they do make it to your lot, they come in with a more open mind and test drive the cars they d most in your videos.

Watch how Doug Hodgson of MacMaster Buick GMC, conducts an auto walk around on camera in the video below…

Doug really focuses his video on the car, and how its features will benefit his client. So, he will know just what to expect from the vehicle when he comes to test it out in person.

These videos save both you and the customer time. And this will make the decision phase go a lot quicker.

4. Patience is a Virtue

Of course, patience has always been an important factor in the auto sales process. That’s important to remember when you’re learning how to be a successful car salesman in the modern car-buying age.

Customers can smell desperation. They don’t being pushed either.

And yet, they want to buy! They just don’t want to be sold.

So, just because a customer walks your dealership without a vehicle, doesn’t mean it’s over. They may just need more time to make a decision, and that’s OK.

In the meantime, you can reach out to these customers with a video thanking them for stopping by the dealership. Tell them how much you enjoyed showing them cars, and welcome any questions they may have.

The fortune, after all, is in the follow-up.  The more you can cultivate relationships with every video email, the more ly you are to get the deal. Stay friendly, stay cool, and stay patient.

5. Check In After the Deal is Done

Even after your clients sign on the dotted line, the work continues. Because ultimately, you want customers for life – not just the duration of this transaction.

Learning how to be a successful car salesman means figuring out how to keep people coming back and garnering referrals.

So after the sale is made and a vehicle leaves the lot, send your customers a video email to see how they’re liking their new car. Express your gratitude for their business, and encourage them to leave a review.

Videos this will leave a lasting impression long after customers purchase their vehicle. That way you’ll stay top of mind when it comes time to refer someone or buy another car further down the road.

6. Take Charge of Your Online Marketing

If you want to know how to become a successful car salesman, online marketing must be a priority. Online marketing for any business requires a coherent strategy – one with clear messaging that will get people in the door of your dealership.

Whether you’re serious and professional, or informal and light, you need to keep that consistent to build your brand. And the best way to showcase your brand is on camera across your online marketing platforms.

Use video to highlight your team and culture. Post regular walk arounds of cars on the lot. Record giveaways and service center specials. Share simple vehicle maintenance tips to keep cars in top shape. Be an expert your current and future customers can trust.

See how MacMaster Buick GMC accomplishes this with its Tuesday's Tech Tips series…

Don’t let your online marketing get put on the backburner. And don’t let the cars in your lot pay the price for a lack of internet presence.

Differentiate Yourself in Car Sales with Video

The car sales tactics covered in this post all have something in common – video. Video is ultimately what gives you the edge over your competitors. Especially in a digital age when communication has become so impersonal.

Need more ideas for getting started with video? Check out how top dealerships are using automotive video email to sell more cars.


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