When is the deal for the car binding?

Discussion in 'Dealers & Pricing' started by EricBlair, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. EricBlair

    EricBlair New Member

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    To anyone who's had experience with this or knows about this kind of thing.

    I went to a dealer today to buy a 2012 Prius. We agreed on a price, but they did not have the car in stock so I left a $500 deposit and all I signed was an order to locate the car. Subsequently I came home and an email for a quote I was waiting for, came in. This quote is better than the price agreed at the dealer I went to, by a thousand bucks.

    The question is, does leaving a deposit and signing an order to locate a binding contract or can I just call and cancel it?


    Thanks!
     
  2. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Well you signed something so your bound to whatever you agreed on. But they may refund if you ask nice.
     
  3. EricBlair

    EricBlair New Member

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    Done! :)
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    A deposit shouldn't compel you to buy. The idea of a deposit is that you pay to show an interest. But, it may not be refundable.

    In Maine, when a dealer takes a deposit you must sign a document with the dealer's deposit policy, which must clearly indicate whether you are entitled to a refund.
     
  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    All you did was what you did.

    Which was give them a deposit. (This may or may not be refundable)

    And Authorize them to locate the vehicle you want.

    You haven't signed a purchase contract, so you haven't purchased anything.

    You have some leverage here. You might just tell them the truth, that you've found a better deal. They either match it..or you are going with the other deal.

    The only sticking point might be the deposit. Some are refundable, some not.
     
  6. J5A

    J5A Active Member

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    I think asking them for $500 additonal off makes sense if they don't want to honor a refund..because if you walk away, you lose $500, pay $1000 less on another Prius, net gained on discount is $500. Now, a "wash" when comparing dealer pricing.
    Either they want your business, or they don't.
     
  7. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    You are not bind to anything until you sign on the bottom line of the contract, also the contract must have the VIN number of the vehicle.
     
  8. Corvidae

    Corvidae New Member

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    Unless they do what a dealer did to my wife. They wrote on his Subway napkin the neogotiated figures and wrote "I will buy this car for x price" and asked her to sign it. I was like hellllllllllll no and got the **** out of there.
     
  9. EricBlair

    EricBlair New Member

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    This was in NH, and there is no doc saying anything about refund policy that I signed. Only that I was leaving a deposit.
     
  10. ReginaK

    ReginaK New Member

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    I actually have the opposite problem and was wondering if anybody could help.

    I went to the dealership and agreed on a price for a 2012 Prius with specific colors. They told me they located the car and it would arrive in a few days. However, a few days later, they told me the car we agreed to buy was already purchased by someone else. Then they tried to locate another car with the same colors I wanted, but then said they could not locate that car. Are they bound to this contract?

    Another dealership in town has the same exact car I want, however they will not agree to the price I had with the first dealership. The first dealership can't do a trade-in with the second dealership because they are in the same city. What do I do?
     
  11. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Unless there were signed documents you are out of luck. If the other dealer has what you want... buy it.
     
  12. ReginaK

    ReginaK New Member

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    Oh, and I did give them a $500 "non-refundable" deposit. The first dealership offered to give me my deposit back. Are they bound by a buyer's agreement? They said they can't locate the car, however when I called back and spoke to a different person, that person said they could definitely locate the car.
     
  13. Yogi56

    Yogi56 New Member

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    Check with your dept of motor vehicles. In Calif there's no such thing as a non refundable deposit.
     
  14. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    Looking forward you say that the dealer is in NH. I do not have any experience there, but in Mass they do not have to give you back the deposit (at least that is how it was about 15 years back).

    The basic idea behind when is a contract a contract is that there needs to be a meeting of the minds between the parties and consideration needs to have been given. It sounds like you did agree to terms and you left the deposit. I would imagine that they began the leg work of tracking down the specific car. So it seems like the conditions for a contract have been met unless local law states otherwise.

    I'd do a little bit of research and then call the dealer. I would imagine that a reputable dealer would give you your money back unless they had already made the trade for the exact car you wanted and incurred cost getting it.

    How did you leave the deposit - if it was done by credit card you would have more leverage as you can dispute the charge down the line if need be.

     
  15. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    So it sounds like the dealer that you were working with saw that another local dealer had what you wanted and were going to see if they would do a trade. From what I understand this happens a great deal and most of the time without problem. But dealers do this as a courtesy, they are not required to do so. In this case it sounds like the other dealer did not want to trade. Perhaps they had their own customer interested in the car or some other reason. I would imagine what happens in this situation is handled in either the agreement that you signed or in local law.

    But the gist of it is that the dealer that you are working with is not able to get the specific car that you want and that likely will not change in the here and now. You have a couple of options - wait until they can get the exact car you want, pick a different combo that they can actually get, or get your money back and go elsewhere.

    The one thing that you can not do is make them produce a car that they do not have.

     
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