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Can I Cancel My Car Purchase? I was Ripped Off by a Car Salesman or Sold a Bad Car!!!!

I want to cancel my car purchase. I got ripped off.

Generally, cars when purchased and the after the contract is signed cannot be canceled. Contract law in New Jersey on this issue is relatively straightforward. Once there is an offer, acceptance, consideration the contract is completed.

Once the contract is completed both sides are bound – stuck - by the terms and conditions of the contract. Further, once a contract is signed New Jersey Law presumes and assumes that the parties to the contract have read the contract, understood the contract and agreed to all of the terms and conditions. These are the basic underlying principles of contract law in New Jersey and they apply to the sale of course also.

Many people think that there is three days to cancel the contract. Under certain circumstances New Jersey law permits either contract cancellation or review of the contract by an attorney. The minimal exceptions to the basic contract principles are door-to-door sales and real estate contracts. New Jersey law provides that sales that are performed and completed on a door-to-door basis are cancelable within three days. This is a specific law which contradicts the basic contract principles. Pertaining to real estate contracts they final when signed however an attorney may review it and cancel.

Many people think they can cancel any contract within three days when they buy a car at a dealership or they finance a car at the dealership however this is not accurate. This is not a recitation of New Jersey law. But this is a common misunderstanding or misapprehension of what the contract rules are New Jersey under New Jersey Law.

So before you sign a contract need to fully review the contract read it and understand it.

There are a few other exceptions to finalization of a contract. Sometimes the manufacturers will provide the three-day cancellation right with a qualification for mileage. What this means is that as long as the vehicle contract is canceled within three days and 150 miles the car can be returned. On occasion a manufacturer will run a program like this, however this is the exception. I have seen this in the sale of certified preowned vehicles. The warranty issued by the manufacturer will provide additional rights to the consumer to purchase a certified preowned vehicle.

Aside from this it is unlikely and an exception where somebody would sell a vehicle with the right to return. Sometimes the dealership has promotions or they provide certain amount of time to return the vehicle. Be very careful.

The law does however provide for the right to cancel a contract for certain legal violations by the dealership. However this right to cancel a contract is a remedy which is provided in a lawsuit. This is not a right to cancel contract when it was purchased under New Jersey law. This is sometimes difficult to understand and very confusing.

As an example if you bought a car and it broke down the next day the dealer could say to you that you signed the contract, you purchased the car and you are not allowed to cancel the contract. Technically the dealer is correct in his statement of the law and his rights pertaining to the sale of the vehicle.

That contract cannot be canceled. However the right to cancel a contract under certain circumstances is provided as a remedy in the court of law. As an example in the hypothetical was just addressed the remedy of cancellation or rescission would be available to the purchaser of that vehicle under certain circumstances. The law provides for this right as a remedy in a lawsuit. If there were the cause of action would be selling a defective good were not be able to fix the car in a reasonable period of time. The laws in New Jersey for these types of claims provide for cancellation of the contract. Remember, this is a remedy in a lawsuit for selling a defective vehicle.

This is not the right to cancel contract at the time of purchase.

There is another problem altogether. Let us say that there is a right to cancel the contract because the manufacturer provided a three-day right to cancel. Let's say you go back to the dealer and asked to cancel the contract. They might say no. Well if this happens you need to get a lawyer and sue in the dealership in Small Claims Court, or Superior Court in the state of New Jersey. You can never force the dealer to do anything they didn't want to do. If they refuse to repurchase this vehicle for whatever reason you're going to have to sue them to cancel.