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The Globe and Mail

My husband gifted me a car we can't afford

THE QUESTION: My husband surprised me with a new car for Christmas, which we can't possibly afford. But since it decreased in value as soon as he drove it off the lot, what can we do now?

THE ANSWER: I spoke to three car pros across Canada to see if anything can be done to reverse your husband's thoughtful but impulsive purchase. Car guy No. 1 said: Nope, nothing you can do. Car guy No. 2: There isn't a cooling off period when it comes to a car purchase. Your only option is to try to exchange it for something less expensive and that depends on the dealer's policy. Car guy No. 3: You might be able to negotiate with the dealer to take the car back. This would require crackerjack powers of persuasion and a reputable dealership - it'd be a long shot. If you've already registered the vehicle and, if you financed or leased it, once the funds have been released, there's no going back. Talk with your husband to figure out a way the car could make you money if you can't return it, such as starting a part-time driving service for seniors. And agree to consult each other for future buys over $500.

Kelley Keehn is a financial expert and host of W Network's Burn My Mortgage.

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