How to Return a Used Car in Florida

by Steve GregoryUpdated July 05, 2023
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Purchasing a used car can be exciting, but it is also a big financial commitment. The excitement can quickly wear off, however, if the car turns out to be electrically or mechanically damaged. If this is the case returning the car may be your only option. However, "there is no lemon law for used vehicles in Florida according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles." ( See References 1) You can still return your car successfully once you review and understand the car dealer's policies and Florida's laws.

Lemon Definition

A lemon is a vehicle that is defective or does not meet the standards of quality expected by the consumer.

Read your sales contract paying particular attention to the return policy. In the state of Florida warranties, policies and agreements are not valid unless they are in writing and signed by both the buyer and seller. Therefore read the contracts to determine if the car is eligible for return and the requirements needed to return it. Contact the attorney general's office if you need help determining your car's eligibility at (866) 966-7226.

Copy all of the paperwork pertaining to the vehicle. When you return the car you will need to take all of the original paperwork that was signed at the time of purchase. Keep copies in case you need proof of the transaction.

Check the vehicle to ensure that it is in the same condition that you bought it in. If the vehicle is damaged in any way the seller may refuse to return the vehicle. If you have damaged the car get it repaired immediately.

Contact the seller of the car. Call, email or write a letter to the seller explaining that you find the car unsatisfactory and that you wish to return it according to the requirements in the return policy. Organize a time to return the car with the seller.

Take the car back. Return the car to the seller with all of the paperwork and accessories intact. Carry your ID, insurance information and the original contracts with you.

Sign the cancellation contract. The seller will provide a cancellation contract voiding the original purchase contract. Review the details of the contract including the purchase price, the cancellation date and stipulations outlining the dissolution of the original purchase contract. Fill out the required information such as your name and phone number and sign the contract.


If all of the requirements have been met according to the contract and Florida State law and the seller refused to accept the car, contact an attorney and file a complaint with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.


Some dealerships charge a restocking fee which depends on the miles the car has driven and the length of time it was off the lot.

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