Goose Creek, SC asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for South Carolina

Q: Can I get a down payment back on a car if I never took the car from the lot

I put a down payment on a vehicle and signed the paperwork but the car dealership created a fake driver’s license for me to get licensing which is what has made me not want the vehicle after concentration he kept telling me it’s legal and I wouldn’t get into trouble which is the only reason I signed and did it. I talked to him to get my money back and was told that he would have to cancel it with their bank and “he doesn’t see why’d I couldn’t get the money back”

1 Lawyer Answer
D. Nathan Davis
D. Nathan Davis
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Licensed in South Carolina

A: My initial answer is yes, you should get your money back. Even though you signed the contract, you never took possession of the vehicle. The reason should not be an issue. You never took delivery of the vehicle so one of the conditions to make the contract never occurred.

Another reason the contract would not be enforceable is that part of the contract required the commission of a crime. A court will never enforce a contract that requires an illegal act. The real problem is how do you prove the illegal act was part of a deal?

If you are not careful, you could get into trouble for agreeing to commit a crime. You should probably contact an attorney and see how you can handle this with the police so they do not try to take you down.

The big thing is that you do not want to threaten the car dealer about the criminal act to get paid. There is something called accessory after the fact which may apply if you do not report the crime. You also want to not aid in putting unlicensed drivers on the road.

If you simply bring a lawsuit, the dealer is likely not going to agree to pay and will claim you breached the contract.

My real advice to you is to never agree to be part of a criminal act to achieve some goal such as buying a car or obtaining a license. You were smart enough to not commit a crime.

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