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Can I change my mind about buying a used car after I’ve signed the contract?

Can I change my mind about buying a used car after I’ve signed the contract?


Clear language definitions to common legal terms. 

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December, 2016

In most cases, no.

There is no cooling off period when you buy a used car from a dealer. This means you usually cannot change your mind after you buy a used car. It is better to inspect the car carefully before signing a contract instead of trying to cancel a contract after it is signed.

There are a few situations when you can cancel the contract. For example, a contract can be cancelled within 90 days of when you receive the car if the dealer did not tell you the total mileage on the car or that the car was used as a daily rental car, police cruiser, taxi or emergency vehicle.

If the dealer made false or misleading statements about the car, you can cancel the contract within one year of when you signed the contract. Making false, misleading or deceptive statements in order to sell a car is known as an unfair practice.

Sometimes the dealer may agree to cancel the contract if you ask them to before you take possession of the car. If they do, they may refund all or only part of your deposit. A dealer may decide to use part of your deposit to pay for their expenses. Some examples of these expenses are:

  • advertising
  • administrative costs
  • lost profits
Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.

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