If your car needs normal maintenance, there’s a good chance you’ll take it to the dealer.
If you take your car to the dealer, there’s a good chance you’ll find out the car needs more repairs.
If your car needs more repairs, you’ll probably be upset about the repair bill.
If you’re upset about the repair bill, there’s a good chance you’ll think about trading your car in instead of repairing it.
If you trade your car in, you’ll probably wind up with a new car.
If you wind up with a new car, chances are, the next day you’ll wish you had your old car back.
This series of events happens a lot.
When a dealership says your car needs a thousand dollars in maintenance and repairs, including tires and brakes, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing to look at the car’s trade-in value.
It’s easy to justify the purchase or lease of a new car, especially if the payment increases only a few bucks per month. Why spend a thousand dollars now when you can spend just $20 extra per month and keep the grand in your checking account? You get a new car, a new warranty and fewer miles.
Of course, you also get a new lease or loan term, and once you get home you might reconsider your decision to accept that trade-in offer. Maybe you’ll question the financial choice or realize the car doesn’t have some of the features you want. You might even wonder if you can return the car.
Some dealerships have a 3-day return period, allowing buyers who have a case of buyer’s remorse to cancel the deal and get their old car back.
Contrary to what some people believe, there is no rule requiring such a return period. Unless there’s a clear problem with the car, once you sign the agreement to acquire the car, the dealer legally has no responsibility to allow its return.
Next time you take your car in for service at your local dealer, decide ahead of time if shopping for a new car makes sense. The worst thing that can happen is making an impulse buy you’ll regret, and can’t undo, later.
Have you ever wanted to return a brand new car?