What is a Used Car Cooling-Off Period?

Oct 25, 2022 | Car News

When it comes to used cars, buyers don’t have the luxury of being the first owner and the peace of mind that comes with it. Cooling-off periods help ease the used car buying process, offering buyers a window to back out for any reason.

For sellers, this cooling-off period is non-negotiable, and was decided by the state’s Office of Fair Trading. Although it’s a great protection for the buyer, it can give sellers false hope and make sales less convenient and final.

Cars Brisbane has the expertise to help sellers and buyers alike by navigating government guidelines for an easy and efficient sale. As a registered motor dealer, we aren’t entitled to this cooling-off period ourselves, meaning any car sold to us is a done deal.

How long is the used car cooling-off period in Queensland?

The used car cooling-off period in Queensland is 1-business day. During that time, the buyer is entitled to cancel the sale without paying any penalties. Whilst a non-refundable deposit can be requested, in most cases, if the sale doesn’t go through the buyer is not liable for any costs.

This time period refers to the dealer’s days of business rather than just Monday to Friday, so the buyer could be entitled over the weekend if that’s within 1 day of the purchase date.

However, these rules only apply if the Statutory Warranty document has been completed and provided to the buyer. If it hasn’t, the buyer gets a 7-business-day cooling-off period. The document offers a contractual agreement between the buyer and seller over the conditions of purchase and is essential for both parties.

Why do cooling-off periods exist?

Cooling-off periods exist on used cars so buyers can sleep on their purchase. This lets buyers consider if the purchase is right for them, evaluate the vehicle and ensure financing.

A used car is usually a much more economical purchase but with it comes the risk of it not being a brand new product. With cooling-off periods, the buyers get to reflect on the purchase and make sure the car can meet their needs. They’re common in the sale of these big ticket sales to support the buyer through such a major purchase.

Are there cooling-off periods for new cars?

New cars aren’t required to offer a cooling-off period. The Office of Fair Sales only states it for used car purchases.

If you purchase a new car, your right to a cooling-off period will depend on the terms of your contract and the dealership, rather than protected by government guidelines.

Do all car purchases have a cooling-off period?

There’re a few exceptions to this guideline. When the buyer is a motor dealer themselves, they aren’t required to receive the cooling-off period. Cars Brisbane, as a result, isn’t entitled to a cooling-off period with our clients. When the sale goes through, it’s final. For used car sellers, this offers much more reliability and ease than selling through other means.

Once we’ve inspected your vehicle, made an offer and paid on-the-spot, the car is out of your hands.

Other circumstances that don’t offer a cooling-off period:

  • if the car isn’t purchased through a registered dealer
  • if the buyer has already taken possession of the car (excluding: test drives or taking it to inspections)
  • if the car is purchased through consignment, auction or privately
  • if the Statutory Warranty document has not been completed

How do I cancel my contract during the used car cooling-off period?

Buyers can cancel the used car purchase contract during the 1-day window with a written request. This must be sent out by the close of business the day following purchase – remember that business days will likely include weekends in an industry like this.

Looking to sell your car?

Our team at Cars Brisbane aims to make the stressful journey of selling your car as convenient as possible. When selling with us, all purchases of used cars are done deals. Without a cooling-off period, you can enjoy an easier sale with on-the-spot payment. Contact our team to understand your options.

Ready to Sell your Car?

Click below to schedule your appointment with the Cars Brisbane team.