The typical caller is a person that just purchased a used car from a used car dealer. After having left the dealership and the high pressure sales tactics behind, the consumer realizes he or she paid too much for the car or that they cannot afford the payments, or that there is something wrong with the car. Many times the car they have purchased has already broken down.
The unfortunate consumer calls me- the Consumer Lawyer. I have to tell them that there is no “cooling off’ period in Georgia in the purchase of a new or used car. Georgia law only provides for a three day right to rescind in the case of door to door sales of vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias or other home solicitation sales. In other words, if a salesman comes to your home and sells you any item for which you sign a contract to pay over time, you have until Midnight of the third business day after the date of the contract to rescind or cancel the contract. The law does not apply if you are away from your home to make the purchase.
There are other laws that contain “cooling off” periods. These include a federal law that gives you the right to change your mind after signing a second mortgage on your home and a federal law that allows you to cancel the purchase of real estate outside your state of residence (usually time share deals). Georgia’s Cooling Off Rules allow a consumer 72 hours to back out of certain door to door salesman type contracts like for vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias. But not for cars. For information on how to exercise a “cooling off” decision click here.
This does not mean that there may not be other laws that protect the consumer from unscrupulous used car dealers. Car dealers often perpetrate some other fraud in the sale of a motor vehicle, for example in misrepresenting the quality or characteristics of a car. The Consumer Lawyer may be able to help you with such a claim.