3 Things to Know About Putting a Deposit Down to Hold a Vehicle for Purchase


3 Things To Know About Putting A Deposit Down To Hold A Vehicle For Purchase

Purchasing a vehicle these days has become such a pain.  Buyers want to browse and continue to shop around but do not want to get serious about a vehicle but also don’t want the seller to sell the vehicle.  At the same time the seller wants people to be interested and purchase the vehicle however not be too pushy as it will scare off the buyer.  This is where deposits or money down comes in handy.  Money down and deposits have been around for ages.  You’ve likely seen numbers painted or stickers on cars on a dealership lot $1550 Down or $500 down.  Putting that money down can be tricky and if you are not careful that money down becomes part of the sale.  Placing money down or a deposit on a vehicle is a promise that you are going to purchase it. It is also a promise of the seller to hold the vehicle until you finalize the purchase. Most deposits or money down are not refundable unless stated otherwise. Here are a few ways to protect your deposit on your next vehicle purchase.

Make sure your deposit is unconditionally
refundable and make sure that it is in writing.

Let’s face it. Salespeople are all about the $$$ even if it is just a couple hundred bucks. If they think they can wiggle out of refunding your deposit they will try and do it.  Never take a verbal gentlemen’s agreement or handshake contract if anyone tells you a deposit is refundable. Always be sure to get it in writing what you are putting down and that it is refundable.  This goes for private sellers as well, not just dealerships.  Protect your money down… Protect yourself.

Make sure you place conditions of refund of your deposit such as repairs performed, passing an inspection or finance approval.

Much of the time we put money down on a vehicle to “hold it” or so the seller won’t sell it out from under us.  Most of the time we are ready to purchase the vehicle but there may be some repairs that need to be addressed before we finalize the sale or maybe we are pending on finance approval.   If the seller is willing to take a deposit and hold the vehicle but is not willing to do a full refundable deposit then request it be refundable with agreed conditions AND be sure to put those agreed conditions on paper.  If the agreed conditions do not get met, the deposit gets refunded and everyone goes on their merry way.  If the conditions do get met then the sale gets finalized and everyone goes on their merry way.

Make sure you are 100% ready to purchase if the deposit is nonrefundable.

Some sellers and dealers are sticky about money down deposits as they are supposed to be a way for them to lock you into the purchase and make sure you are serious. Some want a certain percentage of the asking price on a credit card and they will not agree to the deposit being refundable.  In cases such as this you can push back harder to add conditions to the deposit to make it refundable or just be 100% certain this is the vehicle you want to purchase and you are ready to finalize the sale.