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Toyota Return Policy on Used Cars

1. Introduction

Concise yet adequate, Toyota's return policy on used cars gives the customer 3 days (from the purchase date) to return the vehicle for a 100% refund. The 3-day policy was created to get customer confidence up and to ease customer's remorse. Toyota firmly believes that the 3-day return policy instills even more customer confidence than cars purchased from a private seller. During the 3-day period, the customer has the option to trade the vehicle for another one of equal value if the purchased vehicle has less than 1500 odometer miles and is damage-free. An even exchange can be made providing the purchased vehicle is the same vehicle that is being returned and has the same options priced equally. Step by step, Toyota's return/exchange process is simple, easy, and fair. Step 1: the customer initiates the return at the dealership where the purchase was made. Step 2: the purchased vehicle eligibility will be determined as noted per above. Step 3: the customer selects another vehicle for exchange that is of equal value or simply returns the vehicle purchased. Step 4: if applicable, the customer will pay the difference in price on an exchanged vehicle. Step 5: the finance contract and return/exchange process is completely voided. All in all, the entire process was implemented to ensure customer satisfaction and it has been reiterated and meticulously followed by all Toyota sales personnel. Any attempt to rebuild a customer contract terms and documents to disallow a return or an agreement to take back a vehicle and deliver a restored or different vehicle will result in disciplinary action. This policy applies both to used vehicles and new vehicles. (Manurung et al.2024)

1.1 Overview of Toyota's Return Policy

In addition, Toyota has implemented a finance contract cancellation option providing customers with a means to cancel their vehicle purchase without suffering significant economic damage. This option is included in the retail installment contract that would be the financing agreement made with a financing company, and it allows for questions on how to cancel and an explanation of the compensation calculation, where the customer will only be responsible for the remaining principal on the contract and a charge for a portion of the total finance charge. Typically, if one wishes to cancel a vehicle purchase, this would result in them being responsible for paying off the contract and in most cases end up with negative equity on a vehicle trade-in at a future date. This option will save the customer from the burden of higher debt and give them an improved credit rating.

Toyota implemented a return policy for used vehicles to provide their customers with greater consumer protection. Their return policy lasts for two days or 250 miles, whichever comes first. Hillside Toyota and Toyota of Manhattan offer their customers a longer policy lasting seven days and 1000 miles. During this time period, the customer is able to make an appointment to bring the vehicle back to the dealer and exchange it for a different vehicle of the same or greater value. If the vehicle is of greater value, the customer must pay the difference. This was implemented due to an increasing number of customers who have buyer's remorse. Buyer's remorse can occur due to various reasons where the customer is dissatisfied with their purchase. This could be due to feeling rushed or pressured into the sale, or the customer may realize the car does not fit with their needs or lifestyle. They may have found the same car they purchased at another dealer for a cheaper price. These are all common purchasing situations, and Toyota's return policy is a safe fall so to speak if one of these scenarios should occur. (Yuanitasari et al.2023)

1.2 Importance of a Clear Return Policy

Too often, return policies are considered to be the 'fine print', carefully placed at the bottom of a document, or on the back pages of hard copy material. Even when a company has a return policy, there is always the issue of how the policy is actually practiced. A return policy represents the terms and costs associated with a product or service return. Without a clearly stated return policy, it creates confusion and ambiguity in the customer's mind. The customer may not know what to expect, or may expect more than is reasonable. Consequently, a dissatisfied customer who is refused or unsatisfied with the return process is likely to become a lost customer. A clear and practical return policy is essential in customer satisfaction and customer retention. This is especially the case of with high involvement purchases. A car is an example of a high involvement purchase. This is because the relative importance of the purchase, the risk and the costs associated. The higher the risk and costs associated with purchase, the more a customer will seek information and be mindful in their purchase decision making. A car is also symbolic in that it reflects upon the owner. This is especially true with a new car. A return policy is important for new cars too, however Toyota only sells new cars. Therefore we shall direct our focus upon Toyota's return policy as it pertains to used cars. At Toyota, their return policy is demonstrated in the Toyota Certified Used Vehicle (TCUV) purchase. This is part of the 'new era in vehicle certification and protection' (Toyota Certified Used Vehicles), which starts by setting the benchmark for what makes a vehicle 'certified' at a Toyota dealer. This is unlike the used vehicle policy for some other Toyota dealers and most other car manufacturers, as typically a manufacturer's used vehicle certification will just be a safety and mechanical check of the vehicle.

1.3 Benefits of Buying a Used Car from Toyota

A car, no matter how reliable it is said to be, is still a machine, and it is subject to wear and tear over time. It is not uncommon to find people who have had to replace cars that were still relatively young, but due to high mileage and various mechanical problems, the cost of repairing was said to be no longer worth it. In such cases, it is more practical to find a replacement. If new cars depreciate so quickly, it is not in the best interest to purchase another new car to replace an old one. It would be more logical to seek a replacement in a car of the same age that still has good years ahead of it. With such a plan in mind, it would be wise to consider the same said model of the car that is a few years older, and this is where the used car buyer can make a breakthrough. (Othman et al.2021)

Many people put a large amount of consideration into purchasing a new car. After all, a new car is a big investment, and one wants to be sure they are making the right choice. Buying a used car, while more economical, is often seen as more of a risk because of concerns pertaining to its condition and the credibility of the seller. In the long run, one might find though, that used cars prove to be a better investment. According to an article by David Merline, "a new car loses approximately 30 percent of its value the minute it is driven off the lot," and a car is said to depreciate between 15-20% per year.

2. Eligibility for Return

Vehicles are eligible for return if all of the following conditions are met: The car is within three days of purchase. The car has been driven less than 200 miles since the time of purchase. You have completed and submitted the Odometer Statement and completed the lemon law rights cancellation form. If you meet all of the above requirements, you may return the vehicle by following the return procedures listed on the back of the Buyers Guide. (Please note that Buyers Guides are required to be posted on all vehicles for sale, but the wording of the return policy on the back of the Buyers Guide may differ for cars purchased from different dealers.) If the Buyers Guide contains the return policy: You must write a letter to the dealer referencing the buyers guide and stating that you are returning the car. The letter must be written within the 2 week/ 500 mile limit. Retain a signed and dated copy of the letter for yourself. Send the letter certified mail to ensure delivery and receipt of the letter.

2.1 Condition and Mileage Requirements

Toyota accepts the return of a used vehicle on the condition that it is returned within 7 days of purchase, with the vehicle having not covered more than 1,000 miles post-purchase. The vehicle must be returned in the condition in which it was purchased, aside from normal wear and tear. Damage to the vehicle during possession will result in additional charges being assessed to the customer. If said damage results in the vehicle being worth less than what is owed on it, the customer will be responsible for the difference in value. Any diminished value caused by the vehicle having been in an accident will be the responsibility of the customer. If the customer has financed this purchase, the customer will be refunded any down payment and will not be charged any additional fees. Any amount financed will be refunded to Toyota Financial Services and the customer will be released from any future obligations on this loan. Global Positioning Systems and satellite radio devices must be removed from the vehicle prior to return. If these devices have been removed or damaged, it is the customer's responsibility to pay for the repair or replacement of these items. If a vehicle is returned without a set of keys or with only non-master keys, it will be considered as damaged and the cost of the replacement keys will be assessed to the customer. If the sole set of master keys is lost, the customer will be responsible for the cost of a locksmith to replace the locks.

2.2 Timeframe for Returns

Limitation on when discretionary returns can be made is important in ensuring returns take place efficiently. Customers must request a return no later than 2 days after the expiration of the 3-day return period. If the documentation requested in section 2.3 is received before the expiration of the 3-day return period, the customer may return the vehicle within 2 days of notification regarding the documentation or the expiration of the 3-day return period, whichever comes first. Any vehicles for which the customer is seeking a return because it has not met the condition and mileage requirements set forth in 2.1 must not have exceeded the maximum allowed mileage for return of 100 additional miles. The timeframe for these returns related to condition and mileage is within 10 days of the original purchase; the vehicle cannot be driven more than 100 miles from the odometer reading at the time of purchase.

2.3 Documentation Needed for Returns

If you have decided to return your used vehicle, you must provide a copy of the sales contract. This is necessary to verify the system information and mileage for the car at the time of purchase. Your contract includes money exchange information, how you decided to pay for your vehicle, and a detailed explanation of the vehicle including color, options, and cost. The Odometer Disclosure Statement is also necessary to verify mileage at time of purchase. If your car was financed, you must provide a copy of the Retail Installment Sales Contract and cancellation of sale pursuant to bank requirements. These documents are required to ensure that Toyota Financial Services receives the proper notification and is aware of the return. Other customers who are in the middle of a vehicle financed through TFS might want to discuss with a phone advisor about the possible effects to their existing contract due to returning a vehicle. All of the documents listed can be obtained through your selling dealer or TFS. Please keep in mind that it is also up to your selling dealer to provide additional documentation of the vehicle and customer to allow for a faster and easier return process. This would include more verification of the vehicle's condition at the time of return, system information, and customer information to help identify the vehicle and its history. Any documentation provided by the selling dealer or customer would be kept for internal use only.

3. Return Process

If the inspection and evaluation of the vehicle proves that the vehicle is a lemon, the customer may choose between a repurchase or replacement of the vehicle with an additional cash settlement for the diminished value of the lemon. A vehicle is a lemon if it has a substantial defect that the customer did not discover at the time of purchase, is a serious safety hazard, and has impaired the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. Time limitations on the eligible vehicles for a lemon law relief vary among the states. This is the reason why the customer will need to provide the required information to the Toyota Customer Assistance Center for determination of the time frame to the vehicle, title, sales contract, and work order for the last repair before an inspection is arranged with the dealership.

If the customer is not satisfied with the vehicle and wishes to return, the customer must immediately (a) contact the Toyota Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-331-4331 and (b) contact the selling dealership. A customer service representative at the Toyota Customer Assistance Center will ask for the customer to provide a written description of the problems and/or concerns with the vehicle and why they believe that the vehicle is a lemon, a copy of the work order for the last repair, and a copy of the title or sales contract for the vehicle. Upon receipt of this information, the Toyota Customer Assistance Center will forward it to the selling dealership and will arrange for a joint inspection to determine whether the vehicle is a lemon.

3.1 Contacting Toyota for Return

The most efficient way to find the correct contact at Toyota would be to call the customer service hotline at 1-800-331-4331 and ask for the contact information of the Toyota Customer Relations office that handles Toyota Certified Used Vehicles. When contacting a Toyota representative, it is important to be persistent with the request to return the vehicle. The first response from the representative will likely involve alternatives to returning the vehicle, such as offers for extra repairs covered by Toyota or extra accessories for the vehicle. These offers can be very tempting free solutions given to a customer who has just purchased a vehicle that already needs repairs. However, it is important to stick to the decision of returning the vehicle and not accept the extra offers.

Contacting Toyota to return a vehicle is probably one of the most difficult steps of the entire return process. Firstly, it is very difficult to find the appropriate contact information for a Toyota representative. This information is not listed on the Toyota Certified Used Vehicle warranty documents, which states to contact an authorized dealer. However, it is probable that a dealership representative will not know how to properly handle a return. In some cases, when a customer calls Toyota for return assistance, they are redirected to a dealership. This creates confusion and possibly an extended period of time before a return process is initiated.

3.2 Inspection and Evaluation of the Vehicle

Upon return of the car to Toyota, the vehicle will go through an extensive inspection and evaluation to determine if it is eligible for a refund or if it qualifies to be purchased back by the original seller. If the inspection is performed at the place of purchase, Toyota will obtain authorization from the original selling dealer to perform the inspection; otherwise, the inspection will take place at the location of the return. The vehicle will be inspected to determine its current market value price, which will be based on the condition of the vehicle. If the vehicle is found to be in the same condition as it was purchased (with no damages, defects, or excessive wear and tear), it will be deemed eligible for a refund. An eligible vehicle for a refund will be refunded at the purchase price. If the inspection determines the vehicle is not in the same condition as when it was purchased, Toyota will have the potential to deny the refund or offer a lesser amount than what the purchaser has paid. This would result in either returning the vehicle to the original seller and void any obligations for future refund of the vehicle or selling the vehicle back to the original seller at the determined market value price. Any transfer of funds in the purchased vehicle back to the original seller will be reimbursed to the purchaser of the vehicle. If the customer can no longer understand how to trade bitcoin as explained in our guide, the possibility of the refund in Bitcoin depends on the current market value price of Bitcoin. The refund amount of Bitcoin will depend on the current market value price of Bitcoin in Australian dollars. The refund amount will be equivalent to the determined market value price of the vehicle in Australian dollars, divided by the current market value price of Bitcoin in Australian dollars. Any vehicle that is not eligible for a refund will be purchased back by the original seller. It will be purchased at the determined market value price of the vehicle, and the purchaser will be responsible to pay any difference in the purchase price of the vehicle and the current market value price. Any transfer of ownership in the vehicle or transfer of funds for the purchased vehicle will be done exclusively between Toyota and the original seller. Any additional amount paid for the vehicle by the purchaser and any expenses of the original seller will not be refunded or compensated by Toyota. This section does not pertain to purchased vehicles in Bitcoin, as the only option is to obtain a refund of equivalent current market value price.

3.3 Refund Options and Procedures

Toyota allows for 100% of the purchase price to be refunded on the return of a Toyota Certified Used Vehicle. Return policies and procedures will be identical to those of the Toyota Certified Used Vehicle Return Policy. All refunds will be issued in the form of the original purchase. If the vehicle was returned for a reason other than the vehicle being improperly described or the vehicle having a mechanical or safety issue, the customer will be responsible for any and all lost value if the vehicle has over 1,000 miles from the time of delivery as per Toyota Certified Used Vehicle Policies and Procedures. If a customer purchased a vehicle below $3,500 in value, the refund will be issued to the customer's credit card. This is due to the fact vehicles of this value cannot obtain a lien, therefore a lien search cannot be completed in order to issue the refund in the form of the original purchase. If the refund amount equals the amount charged to the credit card, the remainder will be refunded to the customer by Toyota in the form of a check. We will not issue any refunds prior to the completion and verification of all return documents with Toyota Financial Services. An inquiry to return a vehicle purchased through Toyota Financial Services must be submitted in writing stating the reasons for the return. The request must also include a copy of the RISC (Retail Installment Sales Contract) and/or Buyers Order and a copy of the Retail Buyers Agreement. These documents are to be sent to Toyota Motor Sales, ATTN: Customer Relations Group, 19001 South Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501. Upon receipt of these documents, a customer service representative will contact the customer to discuss the procedures and requirements for returning the vehicle.

3.4 Return Fees and Deductions

When a car is returned to Toyota, it is assessed and assigned a recommended auction value. The customer is only responsible for the difference between the purchase price and the recommended auction value. If the car is worth more at the time of return than the purchase price, then the customer will not owe any money on the return of the vehicle. If the car is worth less than the purchase price at the time of the return, then the customer is only responsible for the difference. This ensures that the customer will not lose money on the car that is no longer in their possession. Additionally, there is a $200 restocking fee that will be deducted from the refund price of the car. This fee goes towards the cost of reconditioning and transporting the car to the auction to be sold. The intent of this policy is to ensure that the customer will not be unfairly charged excessive fees on their return. It is important to note that a customer has a personal obligation to pay off any late fees or delinquent payments that were disputed on the final receipt of the agreement. If the car is in a condition where damage was done to warrant a deduction in the value of the car, the customer is only responsible for the difference in value as a result of the damage. The customer will be notified of estimated costs of repairs and will have the option to pay out of pocket for repairs to avoid deduction in value if the customer so chooses. An invoice will be provided to inform the customer of what was charged on the return.

4. Customer Satisfaction and Support

Toyota is committed to complete customer satisfaction. From understanding that your used vehicle choice may not always be perfect for you to providing fantastic customer service, Toyota is striving to provide the best that it can. Customer feedback is a crucial part of the used vehicles return policy; Toyota actively seeks feedback from our customers in order to continually improve our products and to potentially help resolve issues for unsatisfied customers. See what some Toyota customers are saying about their vehicles. In order to access customer feedback and testimonials, please refer to the Toyota Owners website. If any customer has issues or concerns about their vehicle, Toyota encourages them to contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center for assistance. Should any concerns be unresolved, Toyota also has a 24-hour/7-days-a-week online technical support in which customers can engage in a live chat with a technical support representative. Evidence of Toyota's commitment to customer support can be seen through the following initiatives and the way in which they helped to resolve an important customer issue.

4.1 Customer Feedback and Testimonials

A strong message that gives feedback, suggestions, testimonials, and other perspectives of customers is the cause why it is so very important for a company to maintain good relationships with its customers. They have done far more than right in a very organized manner in this case. A webpage strictly dedicated to the cause of providing a platform for voicing the customers' complaints, a form with step-by-step instructions providing the customers a chance to get in touch with the company to share their feedback available in various languages that are clouding our globalized modern world, the efforts are in full swing towards making customer-feedback provision easier than ever. They also are buying customer feedback from third-party companies like J.D. Power and Associates to determine any underlying issues that may be well hidden. These issues, if spotted with a tool like a spy and a blanket in a dark room, are worked upon tirelessly until customers are satisfied. This feedback is essential to determine the value of products and services that we offer to our customers and whether it will meet - or hopefully exceed - customer expectations. Another positive move is to capitalize on reviews and ratings that customers give on the product purchased by use of a 5-star system. This way, products can be measured according to how it impresses the customers and also enables a comparison between products to help customers make better-informed purchase decisions. Testimonials provided by customers who have purchased Toyota cars and services, when faced with some of their toughest times, became a motivational tool to self-introspect through comparing the customers' era of turbulent times and the provided customer service with a case-studying method to learn new problem resolution methods. These testimonials have depended on the customer's mode of resolution of issue "good/bad" resulted in a sentimental rewards system where customers are thanked for giving testimonials with the provision of a $25 prepaid Visa card. This act has touched the souls of grateful customers and has added a sense of an owe to it from Toyota to its customers of nowadays providing a similar customer service as in the past.

4.2 Toyota's Commitment to Customer Support

Offering a great level of customer support improves the company's image and makes customers much happier with the overall purchasing of a service or good. It is assurance and insurance that they will not be left stranded and will have assistance readily available in any situation that arises. Toyota has put in place many facilities to help customers with any issues or concerns. This includes a dedicated Customer Assistance Centre, an online database for previous customer concerns and how they were addressed, and a comprehensive dealer support system. Customers can receive help on any issue by either contacting a Toyota representative or by visiting a Toyota dealership where they can request additional assistance if an issue has already been addressed. With this, Toyota ensures that any issue will not go unaddressed and customers will always have somewhere to turn for assistance. In the case of product recalls or for a warranty issue, Toyota will make every attempt to inform the customer via mail or telephone. For recalls, customers can bring in their vehicle to a Toyota dealership where the issue will be fixed at no cost and usually little inconvenience to the customer. This demonstrates Toyota's commitment to customer satisfaction as they are making an effort to correct an issue and ensure the customer's continued satisfaction with their vehicle.

4.3 Resolving Issues and Concerns

There are often instances where used vehicle owners may encounter issues or have concerns about the condition and performance of their car. Toyota understands that used vehicles are often more susceptible to wear and tear and therefore require more maintenance. The Return Policy is designed to provide customers with a sense of security and satisfaction with their vehicle. Should a problem arise, our dealership is committed to ensuring that your vehicle is repaired and returned to you as quickly as possible, but we also understand that there may be certain cases where you are dissatisfied with the repair outcome. In such cases, where you feel that the repair service did not adequately fix your vehicle, you are encouraged to make use of the Toyota Customer Support Program. Under this program, Toyota will help you to set up a file on your claim, assess your needs, and work with the BBB AUTO LINE to mediate your dispute. In certain cases, if you feel that the problem is still not resolved, the program may also provide you with repurchase or replacement assistance. This program is designed to ensure that customers' needs are fully met and that their vehicle is returned to its proper working condition.


Manurung, N.T.N., Nasution, J. and Syarbaini, A.M.B., 2024. Analysis of The Relationship Between Warranty and Returns on Consumer Loyalty at Car Dealership in the Application of Conditional Khiyar. Jurnal Manajemen Bisnis, 11(1), pp.444-454. umi.ac.id

Yuanitasari, D., Kusmayanti, H. and Suwandono, A., 2023. A comparison study of strict liability principles implementation for the product liability within Indonesian consumer protection law between Indonesia and United States of America law. Cogent Social Sciences, 9(2), p.2246748. tandfonline.com

Othman, N., Razali, A., Chelliapan, S., Mohammad, R. and Kamyab, H., 2021. A design framework for an integrated end-of-life vehicle waste management system in Malaysia. In Soft Computing Techniques in Solid Waste and Wastewater Management (pp. 305-319). Elsevier. researchgate.net

Learn More About Toyota Vehicles and Policies

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