Law FAQ: I bought a car yesterday but now think I made a bad decision. I have 3 days to get my money back, right?

No.  There is no “cooling off” period in Tennessee that gives you the right to back out of a car purchase simply because you’ve had a change of heart.

Of course, if the Dealer offers a return policy – i.e. a money-back guarantee or a “return with no questions asked” policy – then you may indeed have a contractual right to return the vehicle, but that would have nothing to do with a so-called “cooling off” law.  You should remember to get a written copy of the policy when you purchase the vehicle and then read it very carefully.

If you’re talking about a defective vehicle, or a vehicle that doesn’t live up to its warranty, then you’re not necessarily dealing with a “cooling off” issue, but rather a warranty claim.  Speak to the Dealer to see if your complaint can be resolved, or perhaps even the manufacturer if necessary.  If your new vehicle has had to have the same part repaired 3 times in the first year of ownership, you may even have a lemon law claim.  For more information concerning Tennessee’s Lemon Law, please refer to my blog post last week.  Be diligent in your efforts to correct the problem and speak with an attorney so that you don’t miss any deadlines to pursue your claim.

While there is a Tennessee “cooling-off” law and a federal “cooling-off” law, they only apply to home solicitations.  In addition, both “cooling-off” laws specifically exclude automobiles.

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