Understanding Cooling Off Rights When Buying Used Cars

  • Posted 22 Sep

Understanding Cooling Off Rights When Buying Used Cars

When you buy a used car from a second hand car dealer, you get a short period of time, after you sign the contract, to reconsider and possibly change your mind about the deal. This period is called the ‘cooling off’ period.

This cooling off period should consist of three business days (which excludes all Sundays and major holidays) according to the latest Australian legislation.

Understanding Your Rights

It’s important to note that cooling off rights do not apply to new cars at all. They also don’t come in force if you buy a used car from an auction, a private sale or from anywhere other than a second hand car dealer licensed in Australia.

During the cooling off period, ideally the car should stay with the dealer. You must keep in mind that if you take delivery of the car during the cooling off period and then decide to not go through with the purchase, you will need to pay for any damage or harm caused to the car while it is in your possession.

If you’re exchanging your old car for another used car, you can keep the car you’re trading in until the cooling off period is over.

What happens if you use the ‘cooling off’ option?

If you decide to call off the deal and not go ahead with the purchase of the car, you must notify the dealer in writing (fax and emails may also be acceptable) during the cooling off period and make sure that they have acknowledged your decision.

If you simply decide to change your mind about buying the car, the dealer will be entitled to keep a small portion of the deposit you have submitted. The portion may be $100 or 1% of the price of the used car; whichever is greater in amount.

What You Need to Know

Before the cooling off period starts, the dealer might ask you to submit a deposit of 10% of the price of the car, according to the contract you’ve signed. If you cancel the contract, the dealer will have to refund it within the next few days, only keeping the amount that they are entitled to.

The car dealer you’re buying from has no right to waive the cooling off period or to compel you do to so. Any such attempt will be considered against the law.

Only you, the client, is allowed to waive the cooling off period should you wish to. However, if you take possession of the car or if it is delivered to you, with your express consent, immediately after the transaction is done, you may be asked to sign a waiver form to remove your cooling off rights altogether.

You are free to decide if you want to sign the said form. The waiver only applies if you take immediate delivery of the vehicle after you’ve signed the form.

There might be many reasons for you to make use of the cooling off rights period. Whether it’s matters related to car finance or any other personal reason, you’re entitled to the cooling off period when you’re buying a used car.

To find out more about buying used cars in Australia, chat with our team of experts today and allow us to help you find your dream car.

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