Can I Get My Car Deposit Back That I Gave the Dealer?

It happens all the time, people find a car that they want to purchase and they put down a deposit to hold that car or to have the dealer bring in a new car. Then for a variety of reasons they change their mind and ask can I get my car deposit back that I gave the dealership. In most cases they can get their deposit back, but it might not be too easy.

When it comes down to it the car dealership is more interested in selling you the car than keeping your deposit because they know they can make much more money by selling you a car. They know that the $500 or $1000 that you left as a deposit means more to you than it does to them. Like I said earlier in most cases the dealership is obligated to return your deposit and in some states required by law.

Car Dealership Deposit Cautions

At many car dealerships the customers deposit is for the car buyer rather than the dealership. In fact at most dealerships if they come across a customer that wants to buy the car that you have reserved with a deposit and they are willing to pay more than you were going to pay the will probably sell the car. That’s right I have seen it over and over. If they can make more money by selling the car to someone else they probably will regardless of your deposit. Instead of finding yourself saying can I get my car deposit back that I gave the dealership you need to think real hard about leaving a deposit with the car dealer in the first place.

When the car buyer is committed enough to leave a deposit in the first place the dealership considers that car sold and will do everything they can to make the buyer believe that they have committed to buy the car. They will try to push you into buying a car and threaten to keep your deposit, but they are obligated to return your deposit unless you signed a document that the deposit is non-refundable if you decide that you don’t want to buy the car (that is a rare occurrence, but it happens).

Guidelines for Car Dealership Deposits

1. Don’t even consider leaving a deposit unless you are absolutely sure that you are going to buy the vehicle and that you are satisfied with the price and the condition of the car. Once a deposit has been made it means that the price is set.

2. If you are going to leave a deposit at car dealerships don’t give them cash or a check. Use a credit card because your credit card company will charge them back if you do not buy the car.

3. Do not leave a deposit on a car expecting to negotiate or go through your used car checklist later. It won’t happen.

4. Do not sign anything that states that your deposit is non-refundable.

5. Your salesman may say many things, but it all comes down to documentation and signed paperwork if you have to go to court. Don’t sign for anything unless you are buying the car and get a receipt for your deposit.

If it’s too late and you find yourself asking can I get my car deposit back that I gave the dealership and you didn’t sign anything that says your deposit is non-refundable then you can probably get your deposit back. You may have to endure some aggravation and talk to several different people, but you can get your deposit back.

Leave a Comment