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I signed a contract saying I would purchase the car but only"subject to test drive," can I get out of the contract?

Seattle, WA |

I took my car in as a trade in. The vehicle I looked at needed "seat belt repair", they told me that I was lucky to find a car that could absorb the negative equity of my current car and the vehicle they showed me would be perfect. It's a great newer car, with a high resale value but not having test driving it, I'm starting to worry. It's supposed to be ready Monday. With the contract saying "subject to test drive", can I get out of it before I drive the vehicle?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Do you still have your old car? If yes, you likely can tell the dealership that you have changed your mind about going through with the purchase.

    You may possibly have an enforceable contract to buy the new vehicle. However, given that only a few days have passed during which the values of the two vehicles likely have not changed and the dealership has not suffered any measurable damages, it is unlikely that the dealership would go through the trouble of suing you.

    The seat belt has to be repaired whether the vehicle is sold to you or to a different buyer. So, repairing the seat belt is not a damage to the dealership.

    If the only reason why you are hesitant to buy is possible mechanical troubles with the new vehicle, you can have your own mechanic inspect the vehicle and let you know whether major repairs will soon be needed.

    If you do not have your old vehicle in your possession, the dealership may be telling you that the vehicle has already been sold.

    If you have been a repeat customer at the dealership, the dealership likely would work with you to keep you as a customer.


  2. You can test drive it and state it did not pass the test and you are back where you should be, if that is what you want.
    Good Luck

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