Buying a car is probably one of the biggest and most expensive expenditures you’ll ever make. But what happens if you buy a car and quickly realize it’s not something you can afford? Or what if the car isn’t what you expected, or it’s a total lemon? Is returning a financed vehicle in Canada possible?
Let’s get into more detail about how to return a car you can’t afford or no longer want.
Is Returning A Financed Vehicle In Canada Possible?
While you might have an easy time returning a sweater or purse, such is not the case with a car. If you just bought a car from a dealership, the odds are you won’t be able to take it back for a refund. In fact, most lenders don’t accept returns at all.
Why Don’t Lenders Accept Car Returns?
The moment you drive the car off the lot — especially if it’s brand new — it loses its value to some degree. By accepting a return, the dealer would be taking a loss, which is why they usually don’t do it.
Are There Exceptions To Returning A Financed Vehicle In Canada?
There may be some exceptions in which the dealer may accept a return, though it depends on the specific dealer and their policies. For instance, if you weren’t able to take the vehicle out for a test drive before agreeing to buy it and you purchased it on finance, there may be a chance that you can return it.
Another exception is online used car retailers like Clutch. With Clutch, you can try or test drive your car for 10 days. If you don’t like it or find some problem with it, you can return it without penalty. They will personally come and pick up the car, no questions asked.
While Clutch offers car returns, it is uncommon, and many dealers and lenders don’t offer it. In fact, as mentioned, most don’t accept returns at all. If you have a quick change of heart, you’ll either be out of luck or you’ll have to make arrangements to sell it.
Is Returning A Financed Vehicle In Canada Possible If You’re Having Financial Problems?
If you’re having financial troubles that are getting in the way of you making timely car loan payments, you may be able to return the car to the lender through voluntary repossession.
Returning A Financed Vehicle In Canada: Voluntary Repossession
Repossession is typically involuntary, which means the borrower doesn’t want to lose their asset but is in a position in which the lender has the right to take it back to recoup their losses. With voluntary repossession, on the other hand, you’re voluntarily giving up your vehicle in an effort to avoid more dire consequences, such as bankruptcy.
How To Return A Car Through Voluntary Repossession?
If you can’t afford to make your car payments anymore, you can ask your car lender to take back the car. Here you’ll voluntarily hand over the keys and car, which may save you from experiencing the involuntary repossession process.
Do note, that the repossession may not entirely cover the outstanding loan balance. When the lender takes your car back, they’ll try to sell it to recoup their losses. The money the lender collects from the sale will be deducted from your loan balance. But if it doesn’t quite cover the balance entirely, you’ll still have to pay the difference.
Will A Voluntary Repossession Affect My Credit?
Keep in mind that voluntary repossession of your car may still have a negative impact on your credit. A repossession, whether voluntary or not, will still count as a loan default and will be noted on your credit report, which may hurt your credit scores.
Want To Lower Your Car Payments?
Speak with a Loans Canada representative today and learn how you can refinance your car loan and save. Call us today at 1-877-995-6269 or click here.
Note: Program is currently not offered in Quebec.
Are There Any Penalties For Returning A Financed Vehicle In Canada?
While returning your car may alleviate your financial burdens, you could be faced with certain drawbacks when you try to return your financed vehicle, such as the following:
- Damaged Credit – Your credit scores could take a hit if you opt for voluntary repossession or you miss car loan payments.
- Fees – You may be charged cancellation fees (if your contract includes this clause) if you back out of the agreement before the loan term ends.
- May Not Cover Entire Loan Balance – You might still owe a balance if the lender cannot sell the vehicle at a price that would cover the entire loan amount you still owe.
What Should You Do If You Want To Return A Financed Vehicle In Canada?
Your first step is to get in touch with your lender or dealer to see if returning your vehicle is even a possibility. Depending on your exact situation, they may be willing to work with you to come up with an arrangement to help you with your financial issues.
Lenders may be open to working with you if you’ve lost your job, had your work hours reduced, or can no longer work because of a health issue. In these cases, your lender may suggest an affordable repayment plan that works for both of you. If you’ve been making timely payments up to this point, you may be in a better position to ask for some help.
What Kind Of Financial Assistance Can Your Lender Offer?
- The lender may allow you to skip a payment or two and tack these deferred payments onto the end of the loan term to give you some relief for a short period of time.
- They may agree to extend the term to give you more time to pay the loan off and reduce the monthly payments.
These suggestions only make sense if you’re experiencing temporary financial troubles. Otherwise, if your financial woes will be long-lasting, these short-term measures will be of no value. Instead, you may need to voluntarily surrender the car or take steps to sell it.
Reasons You May Want To Return A Financed Vehicle In Canada
There are several reasons why you might decide to return your car shortly after buying it, including the following:
- You can’t afford the loan payments
- You want to avoid vehicle repossession
- You discover that the vehicle is a lemon
- You think you overpaid for the vehicle and can get a better price somewhere else
- You no longer need the vehicle
- You had a sudden change of heart
|$500 - $50,000||Up to 46.96%||12 - 84||Learn more|
|Varies||8.49% +||24 - 96||Learn more|
|$500 - $35,000||29.99% - 46.96%||9 - 60||Learn more|
|$500 - $10,000||12.99% - 39.99%||9 - 36||Learn more|
|$5,000 - $40,000||Varies||12 - 72||Learn more|
|$5,000 - $45,000||4.90 % - 29.95%||36 - 72||Learn more|
|Varies||11.9% +||12 - 84||Learn more|
|Up to $50,000||Varies||12 - 84||Learn more|
|Up to $50,000||15.99% +||12 - 72||Learn more|
Alternatives To Returning Your Financed Vehicle
If your dealer won’t let you return your car, there are other alternatives to consider:
Refinance Your Car Loan
You may be able to refinance your car loan to help save you money. Refinancing involves taking out a new loan and replacing your old one. The new loan will ideally have a lower interest rate to help make the loan more affordable.
Or, you could refinance into a loan with a longer term. This will give you more time to repay the loan and keep your monthly payments lower. Keep in mind, that a longer loan term means you’re paying more in interest because it’s taking you longer to pay off the debt.
Trade-In Your Car
Some auto manufacturers will let you trade in your car for a different model. Keep in mind that you may have to pay early termination fees, though they may be rolled into your new car payments.
Sell Your Car
If your dealer is unwilling to take the car back, consider selling it. The money you make on the sale can be put toward paying off the outstanding loan.
There’s a good chance that you may not be able to get as much for the car as what you paid for it. In this case, you could come up short and may still have a difference to pay on the original car loan you took out.
Whether you quickly discover that you can’t afford your car payments or simply had a change of heart, returning your car isn’t easy. That said, it may be possible. Even if your dealer refuses to take it back, there are plenty of alternative options that may be available to you to get your car — and your loan — off your hands.