Hyundai Dealers Aren't the Only Ones Who Will Let You Return a Car

By Nancy Dunham

You need a car, you want a car, but the economy has you thinking more than twice about the wisdom of plunking down the cash.

Sure, there are plenty of great deals out there but if you lose your job, end up with unexpected expenses, or just have buyer’s remorse, you’re stuck.

Or are you? Consider some of this information as you weigh your options.

Automaker Reaches Out: Many car shoppers realize that Hyundai Motor America is offering the Hyundai Assurance Program– that allows consumers to return any new Hyundai leased or financed in 2009 if the owners unexpectedly lose their incomes within one year of the purchase – has been expanded.

There are some caveats, though, so before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to read the terms of the contract carefully (for more about this program go to Hyundaiusa.com.

That’s true of all contracts but especially ones such as this, said Jeffrey Boone, approved automotive repair specialist of the Towson office of AAA Mid-Atlantic, headquartered in Wilmington, Del.

You should check the fine print on the return policies," said Boone speaking generally about such automotive contracts. "Sometimes they bill you for the difference between what you owe and what they sell it for."

Dealers Offer Options: Even if you buy a car without such automaker protection and you are overcome with regret a day or two later, you likely have options. But dealers said before you sign on the dotted line, remember you are making a significant purchase that may have ramifications if you change your mind.

"This isn’t like Dillards’ [department store]; when you turn a car back in it is a used car," said Brian Jones, dealer, Jones Ford Mercury, Wickenburg, Ariz. "We can do some kind of exchange [but we must also consider] the sales tax, title and DMV [paperwork] It happens though. Sometimes after a day or two they find they just can’t sit in it; it hurts their back or something."

Generally, dealers just want to see that the car is in good condition and that it doesn’t have more than 200 to 300 extra miles on it.

"We try to find out why they want to return it. Sometimes they were laid off or they have a problem them didn’t foresee," said Stan Anders, dealer, Iberville Motors in Plaquemine, La. "Typically we take the car back….We are not in this business to push anything on anybody. We are in this business for the long-term not the short-term."