How to avoid buyer’s remorse

Jul 2018

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We all know the feeling, you buy something, get home, and then…nothing. You feel disappointed. With clothes, you can take it back, with a cell phone – not so much. With a vehicle, it’s tough.
The best way to avoid the sinking feeling of disappointment is to visit a dealer with a variety so that you can test drive all your preferences and compare them instantly.
Buying to suit your budget, lifestyle, and most importantly, driver comfort should be your deciding factors. A reputable, trustworthy dealer will go a long way to ensuring your expectations are exceeded. If, however, you’ve bought a car, got swept away in the moment but the euphoria vanishes as soon as you get home, then there might be a very slight chance of undoing your mistake.


In terms of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008, there is a cancellation period of seven days only if all parties involved agrees, so even if the dealer says they are willing to take a vehicle back, the bank might not agree. Now, signing a contract on the dealer floor means that the above ‘cooling off’ period does not apply because you are the vehicle owner.
Let’s complicate this a little more, say you’ve traded in your vehicle to get a better deal, and your trade-in has already been sold. You can’t get the old one back because the new owner probably won’t just give it to you.
In the meantime, you’ve been using the car you’ve bought, because you still need to get to work, buy groceries, pick up the kids, etc. Life goes on. But the car is no longer in the same condition as when you purchased it. Essentially, it’s like upgrading your phone, using it for two days, and then wanting to give it back. There’s nothing wrong with it, but you no longer want the Samsung, you want the iPhone. The reality is, unless you buy an iPhone cash, you will be stuck with the Samsung.

So, what can you do?

You can ask. But the dealer will have the right to say no, and the bank does too. In the unlikely event that the bank agrees to your request, the loan amount will have to be paid back, and cancellation charges will apply. You will probably have to take some financial losses, but at least you won’t be stuck with a car you don’t want.

A word to the wise

Prevention is better than cure so; research, test drive, talk to the experts and compare your options. Buying a car via the internet might, for some, be more convenient but what if you don’t like it, or the seats aren’t comfy, or you can’t see around it which makes parking a nightmare? You’ll be stuck with it and attempting to reverse the deal is much more of a headache than just going to your dealer in the first place.
Visit a dealer with a variety. That way, you can test drive your top choices, and compare the rides. The bonus is of course that it saves time not having to drive around between various dealerships.
Know your budget and your limitations. Often consumers feel pushed by a salesperson to buy a more expensive car. Don’t. At Citton Cars, our sales representative’s profit is not determined by the price of a vehicle, rather, they are remunerated per unit sold, regardless of cost. That way, every car on the floor gets treated equally, and there is no ulterior motive to influence a customer’s decision.

Buying a car should be an enjoyable experience.

Contact us for expert advice and quality cars