What is an Auto Dealer Buy-Back Program And is it Right for You?

A dealer buy-back program is becoming a popular option amongst both dealerships and consumers. Convenience, peace of mind, and cost-effectiveness are some of the key benefits this type of program provides consumers. Let’s discuss what a buy-back program is and if it’s the best option for you. 

What Is A Dealer Buy-Back Program?

An automotive buy-back program is a relatively new concept introduced in 2009 that was designed to streamline the new car buying process while offering comfort to the consumer in the form of what is essentially a guaranteed return policy. It differs from the traditional trade-in process in a few key ways, notably with the time frame in which the car is sold back to the dealership. 

A traditional trade-in allows you to sell your car to a dealership during any point of ownership, and factors like condition, age, mileage, and market value will be used to determine the amount of the trade-in offer. While a buy-back program gives the consumer the option to return their vehicle back to the dealership within a certain time frame and receive up to a full refund. The same factors may impact the amount of the refund you receive, but in most cases, a full refund is possible if all conditions are met. 

Benefits of a Buy Back Program

Dealer buy-back programs were designed with the customer in mind and provide various benefits for the car buyer.

Alleviate Buyer’s Remorse

A vehicle is one of the biggest purchases most people will make in their lives, and it’s not uncommon for consumers to second guess their decision or even come to regret it. A dealer buy-back program helps alleviate buyer’s remorse by allowing consumers to return their vehicle to the dealership within a time frame if they change their mind about the purchase.  Additionally, if a newer model of your vehicle is released within your buy  back program return period, simply bring it back to the dealership and swap it for the new model.

Conveniently Buy and Sell  

Buy back programs were designed to create the most convenient and streamlined car purchasing and selling process possible. While car owners can typically sell their vehicles privately at higher prices, it’s far more involved and time-consuming. Selling privately includes taking photos, doing pricing research, and meeting up with potential buyers for price negotiation with no guarantee of a sale. With a buy back program, a consumer knows exactly how much value their vehicle has. There is no negotiation, as the value is set by criteria like mileage, condition, and ownership time. 

Avoid Immediate Depreciation 

A brand new vehicle loses value quite literally the second it is driven off the car lot. On average, a car loses 10% of value the minute it is driven off the lot, and 20% of its value within a year of ownership. Without a buy back program, you can end up losing thousands on the sale of your vehicle, even if you end up immediately deciding to sell it. A buy back program typically offers a full refund upon the return of your vehicle within the allotted period, so you don’t have to suffer the losses associated with immediate car depreciation. 


The next time you’re shopping at a dealership, ask about their buy back program so you can shop with confidence, knowing your next vehicle will have what is essentially a guaranteed return policy. Dealer buy-back programs are providing buyers the peace of mind they deserve with a purchase the size of a vehicle. 

A valuable tool to use the next time you’re shopping for a vehicle is the CarRx app which allows dealerships to send you custom deals and offers based on your vehicle reports and driver data. Once you’ve made your purchase, CarRx’s built-in maintenance history log can help you keep track of all the services done to your vehicle throughout ownership. Contact one of our CarRx specialists to learn more.