How to Cancel a Car Loan After the Papers Are Signed & the Bank Approved the Loan

Before Taking the Vehicle

Contact your dealership immediately by phone. A dealer will not process your signed paperwork until you take ownership of the vehicle or drive it off the lot. Ask to speak to the finance or sales manager.

Explain to the manager that you are unable to purchase the vehicle and why. Your dealer may tell you that you cannot cancel the purchase, in hopes that you'll still pick up the vehicle, but this isn't so. Be firm about your decision not to purchase and tell the manager that you aren't going to take possession of the car.

Call your state's motor vehicle department to find out where to complain about the dealership if a manager claims that you can't cancel your purchase or refuses to return your deposit or down payment. Before doing so, let the dealer know that you plan to file a complaint with the proper state department, and it will likely return your money.

After Taking the Vehicle

Call the dealership immediately following your vehicle purchase. You may return your vehicle the same or the next day of purchase. The dealer will not immediately process your loan or motor vehicle paperwork, as the paperwork must be delivered or mailed to the proper establishments.

Speak directly to the sales manager. Salespeople or other dealer personnel do not have the authority to cancel your vehicle purchase. Tell the manager you are bringing your vehicle back and do not want to purchase it.

Return the vehicle to the dealership promptly, even if the dealer tells you otherwise. Bring all vehicle items with you, such as extra keys and Owner's Manual.

Park the vehicle in front of the dealership. Return vehicle items to an employee inside of the dealership. Leave the vehicle and depart with a pre-arranged ride.

Keep your purchase paperwork and wait to see if the dealer contacts you. If you returned the vehicle promptly, the dealer will not process your purchase paperwork in hopes of avoiding a complaint, a problem with its lender or reputation issues. If the dealer or lender contacts you to pick up the vehicle, you must do so, as your paperwork has likely already been processed.