I Put a Deposit on a Car, Can I Back Out of the Contract

Updated on June 10, 2013
D.F. asks from Monmouth Junction, NJ
11 answers

I put a deposit on a car. I signed a paper stating the deposit amount (which is non refundable) and the remainder of the price of the car still owed. Its been a week and the dealer still hasnt provided me with a title yet (he says he cant find it but is still looking). Meanwhile, I found a better deal and want to back out of the deal. I know the deposit is non refundable but can they force me to buy the car once he finds the title because I signed the contract and gave them a deposit? The bottom of the paper says deposit non refunable, contract not subject to cancellation. Do I *HAVE* to buy the car now, or can i back out? I live in NJ if that helps

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answers from San Francisco on

I would guess if the contact says "Contract not subject to cancellation" then they probably mean it.

Talk to the dealership of the new car you found, sometimes they can help you out.

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answers from Houston on

Am I the only one who watches Peoples Court? Your "non-refundable" deposit is just that...NON-REFUNDABLE....are you required to buy the car? NO, NO, and NOOOOO! You dont HAVE to buy it., the refund, however, is a loss.
Good luck and I hope you get a good car soon!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

if they have not come up with the title then they are not holding up their end of the contract, so i would think that you cannot be held to it, plus i would be very leary of buying if they didnt have it right there anyway! i wouldnt expect the deposit back but i would think that the deal is null if they cannot provide a title



answers from Kansas City on

I have been in the automobile business for 35 years and have repeatedly heard the argument "I have 3 days to back out of the deal". This is only true if the salesman came too your house. Anyone selling something to you at your home, example vacuum cleaner saleman, encyclopedia salesman, baby furniture salesman, in other words a door too door salesman. The other 3 day right to back out is if real estate is involved for a second mortgage or refinancing to give you a "cooling off period" The logic being if he's at your house you can't leave but if you're at a delaership you could leave at any time.



answers from Rochester on

It sounds like you do not have the car yet because the dealer does not have the title. That to me is a deal breaker. I think the dealer should give you back your deposit. He did not live up to his end of the deal. You should not have to wait this long to get possession of the car. What kind of dealer loses the title of a car? If he doesn't give the deposit back you should take him to Small Claims Court. I bet the judge would tell the dealer that he is the one that broke the contract, not you and give you back your deposit.



answers from Chicago on

My hubby placed a deposit on a Cadillac CTS a few yrs ago, and then a few weeks later decided to back out. (it was a special order). He even did get his deposit back a few months later, through simply asking the dealer politely.



answers from Chicago on

You usually don't get the title until the car is paid in full. If you're paying cash for the car, you'll get the title upon receipt of payment. If you will be making payments, the bank that has your loan will hold the title until you have fulfilled your obligation to them and then they will transfer the title over in your name.

You will probably lose the deposit but you may not have to buy the car.



answers from Las Vegas on

You usually can back out, however, I can't imagine the dealer is going to give you the title to the car with just the deposit. Is it planned that once you pay off the car, you will pick up the title, which he currently can't find? Sometimes, they have to order the title from motor vehicles.


answers from Dallas on

I know you said it has been a week. Sounds fishy

Legally, anyone has buyer's remorse but I think that is only up to 3 days.

Don't be bullied into losing your deposit, there are ways to get it back. I planned a vacation and paid for it (non refundable) and due to a health issue, I had to back out. I did get all my money back.

It depends on the credibility of who you are dealing with.

Good luck



answers from Pittsburgh on

I believe you have 3 days to change your mind on a large retail purchase like that. Not sure. Call your local attorney general maybe? Have you tried googling the question?



answers from Chicago on

I saw this web-site once maybe you can get some free legal advice from it.

I worked at a car dealer 12 years ago and we would have people back out even after taking the car home, without penalty. I don't know if it has changed.

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