Sign Lease Paperwork Before Delivery

Hi, quick question here.

I am being offered what I consider to be a very good deal, but the car I want is not in stock currently and there are no substitutes on the lot that I’ll accept. Apparently this dealer is very backed up with demand and so is not willing to “hold” the car for me. What they want me to do is start my lease today, and then take delivery of the car when it arrives in <3 weeks.

I should note that I’m in California, and I’ve been told that in Cali supposedly a deal is not “done” until you both sign the papers AND drive the vehicle on a public road.

Is that correct? If so, what risk am I taking besides paying for 2-3 weeks of lease payments on a car I don’t have the use of?

Thank you

Can they even do it? Paperwork goes through the bank and dealer doesn’t even have the car in their possession. Why a deposit won’t work for them?

If you sign the deal doesn’t mean the payments start now. I think they just want to lock you into a sale and the deal you want. They would have the paperwork ready to go and then when the car comes in they would submit the deal. Like you said the car is not officially yours until you drive off the lot with it so the transaction could be reversed.

If they did indeed submit the deal before you got the car there would be a lot of liability on their part that wouldn’t be worth the headache. What if the car rolled off the delivery truck? Etc etc…

Yes they can lock someone into a terms they like but have a window where the car has to be delivered by for those to be set in stone. Too long and too many other variables come into play like potentially having the mf or residual change.

I would not sign any deal that has me paying for a car that I cannot use, so if your lease term starts when you sign I would say no and push for deposit.

1 Like

He may ask for a loaner for that time :slight_smile:

Yeah I agree with all this. I’m not super comfortable with it either. But if I like the deal and it’s 3/4 of a monthly payment, it kindof makes sense financially. I’m just worried about the liability if one of Rondtable’s scenarios comes to pass. But it seems to be the dealer’s problem if that does?

how can they do a deal without a VIN number? Or is it currently on the truck to be shipped to the dealer?

VIN is available as soon as it leaves factory, so they must have it.

Yeah, I think I misunderstood it was on the delivery truck.

I guess my next question would be, how “locked in” are you going to be if you sign the deal right now? What happens if the car gets damaged in shipment? Sure, the dealer could repair it, but I wouldn’t want to buy it in that case without a further discount. This seems kinda sketchy to me. If you truly can unwind the deal when the car arrives with no recourse, what’s the difference between signing a deal and a deposit (which has been mentioned above)?

Is it a car that the dealer has coming in or is it a car the dealer is trading another dealer for?

Signing the contract isn’t the big deal here. If they are processing the contract and taking money from you, then it becomes an issue.

What is make and model of car? If it is a premium car less risky.
Do you have a VIN? Is car on the dealer website? If the dealer is selling you a car that he already has ordered, he can process all paperwork. He probably is doing that to show the sale in current month. Why not just use his quote and check with another dealer, they can match it.

I think the short answer is none, but in my experience since I moved to CA, dealers and everyone are aware of this rule. The rule states that you have to refund the customer’s money when asked until the papers are signed and it’s driven off the lot. Because of this, dealers know that a deposit is meaningless so try to get you to the point where you’re really locked in. I suppose in this case if I did want to get out of the deal, I would have a lot of hoops to go through to get out, so maybe I’m more likely to proceed?

The difference is signing a deal means that your numbers are locked in. Giving a deposit means you are holding the car, but has nothing to do with the numbers. I mean you could have a deal on the selling price, but things can change.

The only way you are locked into that contract is if you drive off with the car (in Cali). The only way in Cali for you to buy a few days after the purchase is for you to have the car delivered to you.

I think you’d be safe here to sign if you’re getting such a great deal. Before you sign, ask them for a loaner vehicle until your car comes in and drive the hell out of the loaner! Less miles on your car lol

Fair enough…I didn’t think about locking in the numbers in the event programs change. With that said, let’s assume the car wasn’t delivered until December, and programs changed for the better in @bagspacked favor. If he signs the deal, is he locked in to November’s numbers, or can he rip the contract up and start over?

If he signed this deal then he is locked in to what he is signing. However there would be a window where the transaction had to be finalized by fully submitting the paperwork to the bank. The car would need to be driven off the lot by the owner or it is all null and void. If it went past that point then the paperwork would have to be redone anyway.

So you’re saying he could just not take delivery if the programs change in his favor, and wind the clock out on the original deal?

In theory yes, as long as he never took delivery of the vehicle and it passed the window where the deal needed to be submitted. If the dealer submitted the deal and said he was stuck with the car and the deal they would have one hell of a lawsuit against them.

in the state of California, you have to take delivery within 5 business days or your in big shit with the DMV. you can contract ‘paperwork’ a deal, but it’s not a complete binding you own the car type of contract.