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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, here's the problem. If I sign for the car sight unseen, I'll want to test drive the car. What if I drive the car off the lot as a test drive? I'm assuming "driving the car off the lot" means paying and leaving with the car. Or not?
 

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thelookingglass said:
Well, here's the problem. If I sign for the car sight unseen, I'll want to test drive the car. What if I drive the car off the lot as a test drive? I'm assuming "driving the car off the lot" means paying and leaving with the car. Or not?
In Cal, if you sign for the paperwork then the car is "purchased". When your take the car off the lot it is "delivered" and thus completes the sales transaction. End of story.

Under the scenerio you described, that "test drive" that you call it is actually "you driving your car". Capische??!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, beewang. Let me clarify something. So, are you saying that even if I "test drive" the car, the car is considered delivered? In other words, if during the test drive I for some reason determine that I don't want the car, that I'm stuck?
 

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thelookingglass said:
Thanks, beewang. Let me clarify something. So, are you saying that even if I "test drive" the car, the car is considered delivered? In other words, if during the test drive I for some reason determine that I don't want the car, that I'm stuck?
Dude.... Let me see if I understand what you said..

If you signed your purchase agreement that and paid for the car (thru finance, aka finance papper) sitting in Boston AND..
Fly into the Cal dealer and wants to "test drive" the car you agreed to buy (actually at this point, you've already "bought") and drive the car out the dealer's parking lot.

Yes!! that would be correct... You have techincally "closed the deal" on the sales transaction, as you have

a) Purchased the car by paying for it (albeit you financed it so nuthing really came out of your pocket, but you essentially agreed to pay back the lender (aka bank, etc) so they agreed to fund the money on your behalf).

b) Took physical delivery of the car by driving it off the dealer's lot

Key components here that legally makes it yours (and you must have both) PURCHASE and DELIVERY.

sooooo.... just so you understand this... If you pay for the car (be it by cash or financing) and never showed up to the dealership and YOU never physically drive the car off the lot, the "delivery" part never occured and you can always demand your money back (in California).

Any other question?? :dunno:
 

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thelookingglass said:
don't sign for the car before you actually see it and drive it.
QUOTE]

Ughhhh, OK. Thanks for the words of wisdom :dunno: I would have never thought about it. I just assumed I put 40K down and only then I figure out what car I want.
I also usually get dressed and then I take a shower.
 

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The California Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement (reg. 552, 553, or 704T)
makes no mention whatsoever about a test-drive, or delivery, and is a
completely enforceable and binding legal document.

There is explicit language stating that there is no cooling off period,
and that there is unilateral right of recision on the part of the seller.
You sign it -- you own it -- unless the seller is willing to "unwind"
the deal.

The moral of the story: DO NOT sign a CA contract unless
you are 100% certain that you wish to be an owner.
 

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I believe so. Even though the contract is signed, it is not binding until all aspects of the sale have been completed, i.e., you have taken physical possession.

thelookingglass said:
Is it true that even if I sign a purchase contract that it's non-binding until I actually take possession of the car?
 

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Don't sign for a car until AFTER you've test driven it. Otherwise, you have taken delivery.

thelookingglass said:
Well, here's the problem. If I sign for the car sight unseen, I'll want to test drive the car. What if I drive the car off the lot as a test drive? I'm assuming "driving the car off the lot" means paying and leaving with the car. Or not?
 

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Paging Jon

Jon, you're the expert here, but if I sign a lease agreement, go home w/o the car to examine the agreement, and come back the next day and to rescind the agreement, I am still obligated under the contract?

Jon said:
The California Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement (reg. 552, 553, or 704T)
makes no mention whatsoever about a test-drive, or delivery, and is a
completely enforceable and binding legal document.

There is explicit language stating that there is no cooling off period,
and that there is unilateral right of recision on the part of the seller.
You sign it -- you own it -- unless the seller is willing to "unwind"
the deal.

The moral of the story: DO NOT sign a CA contract unless
you are 100% certain that you wish to be an owner.
 

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I'm not Jon...

...but yes, the contract is binding. That is why is says "no cooling off period" in its text. My free advice (and therefore worth what you are paying for it)--on any large (in $$) purchase or lease, ask for a copy of all the contracts while you are still looking and deciding. Review them before you sign anything. If you want to have them hold a car for you, give them a check for $500 or $1000 as a deposit, but don't sign anything else. The deposit is refundable until you sign the contract. Then, don't forget to include the amount of the deposit when calculating how much you'll pay.
(All of this applies only to California.)
 

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Robert A said:
I believe so. Even though the contract is signed, it is not binding until all aspects of the sale have been completed, i.e., you have taken physical possession.
It says right on the contract that once signed it is binding without reference
to a demo, ...etc.

Of course, any dealer is going to have a tough time shoving the car down
your throat in the event that you reneg (sp. renig?). In other words, if
you haven't taken delivery yet, the dealer would possibly unwind the deal
realizing the hassle in enforcing the contract. Assuming the the report of
sale has not yet been processed (DMV fees posted to the car, sales/use tax
paid), the dealer is not out of pocket anything in the event of an unwind;
not worth the aggravation of an unhappy customer. I have heard of
instances where the dealer has had the car delivered to the customer's
home when the customer refused to take delivery. An executed legal
contract is just that. Offer, acceptance, consideration paid.
A meeting of the minds.
Caveat Emptor.
 

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I don't understand this whole thread.:dunno: Is it a used car and they won't allow a test drive?(then walk away).Or are you ordering new cars at 5 different dealerships and want to pick the combo you like best and reneg on the others? I apologize if i'm missing the reason you want to be able to weasel out of a good faith deal but it comes across as the exact reason we can't get Individual options here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Clarke said:
I don't understand this whole thread.:dunno: Is it a used car and they won't allow a test drive?(then walk away).Or are you ordering new cars at 5 different dealerships and want to pick the combo you like best and reneg on the others? I apologize if i'm missing the reason you want to be able to weasel out of a good faith deal but it comes across as the exact reason we can't get Individual options here.
Buying the car sight unseen. Dealer wants me to sign for it via FedEx before I even get a chance to see or test drive it.
 

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Can't you simply leave a substantial deposit with a written letter outlining the agreement?

thelookingglass said:
Buying the car sight unseen. Dealer wants me to sign for it via FedEx before I even get a chance to see or test drive it.
 

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In California, most cars are sold on conditional sales contracts -- even if you're financing, you actually are not agreeing to pay back a lender, you're actually agreeing to pay the dealer over time, in installments, for the car, in exchange for paying a finance charge (i.e., interest). The dealer then usually assigns, or sells, that signed contract to a lender. (I've heard there are some dealers who actually keep the paper and take your payments...) If no lender will buy it, say because the credit risk is bad, the contract usually gives the dealer the right to rescind the deal. Though I think most dealers will simply call you back and ask for more money down, or try to rewrite the terms. (but most good F&I guys know before they've signed the deal what finance company will buy and on what terms.) Leases are a different structure, but they too are often just agreements between you and the dealer, and are assigned to financial institutions after the fact.

As others have mentioned, these contracts do not provide a "cooling off period" in which you can simply refuse to abide by the deal.

Most states have some enacted some form of the uniform commercial code, a basic set of laws about the sale of goods which often gives you the right of inspection, delivery etc. but there probably has to be something wrong with the goods delivered to you -- the scenario you suggest is simply deciding you don't like the car after you've signed the contract.

If it were me, I would get specific advice from a lawyer before you try to sign first, and decide to buy later.

And, then, even if you're right, it's going to be a major hassle as I suspect the dealer will not see it that way. Why inflict that on yourself?
 

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In theory, there are only two ways to unwind out of a California vehicle sales contract: 1) with the seller's consent or 2)for cause, which usually means fraud or malfeasance.

In practice, there's lotsa ways to get out of a deal, your chances of success decreasing by about 1/2 for each 24 hour period that elapses.
 
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