Is There a 3 Day “Buyer’s Remorse” or Cooling-Off Law in Oklahoma for Cars?

1) True or False: If I buy a car and I change my mind or something goes wrong with it, I have three days to return the car. It’s the law.

Answer: False. It’s one of the most common misconceptions around. The 3-day cooling off rule (both Oklahoma and Federal) applies to home solicitation sales such as vacuum cleaners and cutlery. It is not for cars. Once you sign the papers, once you drive the car off the lot, it is yours.  This is why you should test drive the exact car you are planning to buy BEFORE you sign the final papers.  Also, if you are buying a used car, pay to have a private mechanic look at the car prior to purchase. There is a worksheet available online, Lemon Dodger Worksheet, which you can take with you when purchasing a car. Also, check out on-line car reporting services, such as www.carfax.com, which can provide the history of the vehicle.

  • A used car which is sold without a warranty is sold “as is.” That means the seller has no obligation to fix any problem that may arise. Check the Buyer’s Guide window sticker to determine if you will receive a warranty. That sticker will tell you if you have a warranty, or if you are buying “as is.”
  • Carmax has been known to insert the following in their contract: “5-Day Money-Back Guarantee – We know that not every car is perfect for every person, so all used CarMax cars can be returned for any reason within a 5-day period. See your Sales Consultant for written details.”
  • Check your contract to see if the dealer chose to add a clause to your contract that allows you to return the car within a specified amount of time.

If the new car is a lemon as defined by the OK lemon law, there is some relief available.  Here is the link to the OK lemon law: http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=66311 Don’t be dissuaded by bad advice from your dealer, the mechanic at the repair shop or the manufacturer, concerning what you may be entitled to under the lemon laws. Don’t think that you can’t afford to seek lemon law help or that you don’t “qualify”. Your rights are determined by the Lemon Law and the Federal Lemon Law (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act).

Finally, if your Google search regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s three-day right to cancel – called the Cooling-off Rule – lead you to my website, you have three (3) days to cancel your purchase of $25 or more made at your home, workplace or dormitory or at facilities rented by the seller on a short-term basis.

– Brian Huddleston

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