RAC Cars News


Do You Regret Buying That New Car?

By raccars Published

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For most people, buying a car is a huge purchase, one that requires a lot of thought and financial planning. However, it's quite easy to get swept away by clever sales techniques or simply to wonder if you've done the right thing having already handed over a deposit. A new car is rarely an on the spot purchase, requiring the organisation of finances, insurance and registration documents, which can take a few days or even a whole week to complete. In that time you may spot what you feel is a better deal or decide you can't afford the model you have chosen. If, having made a commitment to buy a car, you change your mind, what can you do about it?

Realistically, your options will depend upon how you are buying the car. If you are buying privately, you don't really have any - you could contact the previous owner and ask if they would be kind enough to take back the car they no longer wanted and return your money, but your chances of success are probably slim to none.

When buying from a dealership in person, your first commitment is usually a vehicle order form - this is a legally binding contract. It confirms the details of what you are buying and the price you will pay, including any part-exchange arrangements, and allows a dealer to take that vehicle off the market, confident in his sale. This document will not affect your consumer rights to return a faulty item and receive a refund but does not allow you to simply change your mind. A reasonable dealer may be prepared to make changes to the original order form, but is under no legal obligation to do so.

If you have arranged a sale over the phone or internet, you do have the benefit of some consumer protection, as the law on distance purchases allows you to cancel an order within 14 days of fulfillment. The dealer is obliged to explain its returns and cancellations policy, which may include charges for the collection of the car. If you have caused any damage to the vehicle in the meantime, the cost of repairs is your responsibility. The distance purchase laws only apply under those exact circumstances - the transaction must have been completed without the buyer setting a foot on the seller's premises. Dealers are often reluctant to sell on this basis to avoid the obligation to give refunds.

Ultimately, you need to be sure you want this car before making any legal or financial commitment such as a deposit.

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