My Fiancee bought a new car...I hate it! Advice Needed!

I suppose this is mostly just a rant, but I am looking for a little advice, too…

My Fiancee and I have been looking at new and used cars for the last six months or so. We have been looking primarily at Honda Accords and Civics, and we really had our eye on a 2003 or 2004 Honda or Civic EX. Well, last week her car broke down finally, and she needed to get a new one right away. So, on her day off she goes to the local Ford dealer to test drive a few cars. I do not know why she did not go to the Honda dealer…something attracted her to the Ford dealer.

Now, the initial plan was that she was going to find a car that she liked, and then we would both test drive it. She would find a car at the dealership and I would go there on my lunch break to check it out. If we both liked the car then we would get financed and both pay for the car. You see, we plan on getting married in July, so paying for a car together is seemingly no big deal.

It was at this point that things went horribly, horribly wrong. About halfway through the day she calls me to say that she has picked out a car that she really likes and that she is going to try to get financed. Not too concernced so far, I ask her what kind of car it is. It is a 2004 Ford Focus SE. Amazed that she would consider this particular car, I ask her what it is that attracts her to the car. Apparently the car is red, and it reminds her of her old red car that she really, really liked. Also, she thinks it is cute. The financing goes through, and sure enough, she buys the car. The total to drive the car off the lot, after adding on a five year bumper-to-bumper extended warranty and sales tax is around $13,000.

She bought the car on Monday. Today is the first day that I had an opportunity to drive the car. Compared to the Hondas that we were looking at, this car SUCKS! As soon as I got onto the highway, it sounded as though I was flying a crop duster over a Kansas wheat field. I had to turn my sports radio talk show up so loud that I thought my ears were going to start bleeding. The brakes make a horrible noise whenever you actually attempt to use them, which is something that I feel I ought to do periodically. All in all, I HATE this car.

Since I am going to be paying for this car as well, don’t you think that perhaps I should have been able to take it for a test drive before she purchased it? I would like to return this car and start over, but after doing some looking it does not look as though the state of Kansas has any sort of Buyer’s Remorse laws. Any suggestions? Do you think there is any way we can return this car and get another? I have no problem paying several thousand more for another car. She knows this, and we could afford it. I have not called the dealership yet, as everything is completely under her name, and I imagine that she would need to call. I am totally dreading the argument that is going to happen when I tell her that I do not like, no…that I HATE the car she picked out and I want nothing to do with it.

I also ought to mention that I am probably going to be driving this car about 60% of the time that it is driven. My Fiancee works as a case manager for the homeless, and doesn’t really want them and their various bodily discharges getting all over the interior of the new car. So, on days that she has to take a client somewhere, I drive the new car.


Can’t offer advice on calling a “do over” with the purchase but…

A brand new Focus shouldn’t be making any alarming noises with its brakes. There may be a mechanical problem there. Also, you have my sympathy. I despise Foci. I’ve had to drive one a couple’a times (rentals), and I always get out of the car pissed off at it.

In case I did not make it clear in my original post, and I don’t believe I did, my fiancee is now using MY car, my much loved 1995 Buick LeSabre, to haul around all of her stinky, discharge-plagued clients. I love my Buick, and I have taken very good care of it. It runs like a beauty, has a wonderful sound system in it, and it does not currently reek of homeless discharges. I am so afraid that I am going to stuck with this Focus, and my Buick will be taken to hell and back thereby making sure that it will never be the same again! :frowning:

I know this is a really out-there suggestion, but have you considered talking to your fiancee about this?

She is in meetings for the next several hours. Believe me, as soon as I can discuss the car issue with her, I am going to. I didn’t have a chance to drive the car until she was already in her work-related meetings today. Prior to that I optimistically hoped that the Focus would be an OK car. Now I know that it will not be.

Sounds like the brakes need to be inspected immediately, and by someone other than a Ford technician who will tell you ‘they just need to be broken in.’ If they’re in truly bad shape, maybe you have an opportunity under a ‘Lemon Law’ or something similar.

Otherwise, you’re likely stuck, unless you are willing to take the major hit on trade in value that comes w driving a new car off the lot. Being a relative newlywed (five year anniversary next month), I’d say my bigger concern is the lack of communication on a major decision. You really need to explain to her that leaving you out of the process is a problem. Believe me, you want these sort of things resolved BEFORE you get married v. letting them stew until someone has a major, major blow-up months or years afterwards.

Wow. Wow. Wow is that going to be a long talk I want nothing to do with. Kansas - good, that about the distance I want to be away from this thing.

I can see both sides of this - I can see being on either side of it. And totally losing my shit in the following discussion, regardless of side.

Yeah, the communication broke down. If I were you, I’d bring it up that you totally respect her decision for her new car, but that you didn’t enjoy your experiance with it and you two are going to have to work something out so that you have a car you enjoy. Either you can return the Ford (Found On Road Dead, Frequent Overhaul/Rapid Depreciation) and go get a shiny that you both love (Get the Hybrid! My mom just got one and it RAWKS!), or she can drive her car and not mess up your car.

But I suggest that you let her pick on this one as long as you can accept both without feeling grumpy about spending money on a car you hate, as long as you don’t have to drive it and get to keep your old car in the condition you like it.

Decide what you want, and leave options open.

Its a crap situation for both of you, try not to make her defensive about her decision. That’s everything I’ve got, good luck.

From a page from the Kansas Attorney General (

Doesn’t look good.

Also, Kansas lemon laws ( only apply if you have a series of problems that aren’t fixed appropriately.

Personally, I would still talk to the dealer and tell them you need to return it. See if they give you any options. Perhaps they’ll take it back if you compensate them for the time they’ve invested. If they absolutely refuse, tell them you’ll make a big stink, including setting up a stand to sell the car in front of their lot.

Doesn’t look good though.

Of course, you want to talk to your wife-to-be about including you in important decisions like this in the future.

I am by nature a non-confrontational sort. I’d rather go along and not make waves if at all possible.

Having said that … this calls for a mess o’ confrontin’, in my opinion.

You’re supposed to be the primary driver of the new vehicle, and you didn’t get to test-drive it before she bought it? That’s not right in the least.

My suggestion on the car deal is to keep your old car and tell her “You bought it, you drive it” regarding the new car. The primary issue here, though, is her complete disregard for your input with a major purchase. Unless you two are so well-off you use money as insulation, y’all need to work out some communication/purchasing dynamics pronto.

Money is one of the single largest causes of divorce today. There’s enough stress on relationships without pulling crap like this.

I think the only chance you have of getting the dealer to take it back is if you swap for another car they sell. Ford makes a hybrid Escape, perhaps that would be more to your liking? Anyway it goes down, it will probably cost you some money.
Other than that, this could get real ugly real fast. Be very very careful, or you could find yourself attempting to get refunds on wedding related deposits.

How could you let that happen? What prompted you to be “not concerned” when there was an earlier agreement that you too would test drive the car. What prevented you from asking her why she had suddenly changed her mind to choose a Ford and not a Hinda as had been earlier considered? Why didn’t you immditely take some time off from work when she called you to go look at the car and test drive it?
Beats me!

Ditto on that. A car is ephemeral (and from what I’ve seen of the Ford Focus, it is more ephermeral than most) but if this is the kind of (non)communication you expect from your fiancee, maybe you need to take a step back and consider what you’re getting into. Perhaps it wasn’t an intentional jibe at you, but even if it weren’t, it doesn’t speak to consideration in an area that involves your finances and interests. And, while IANA psychologist, there are hints of some kind of passive/aggressive behaviors here.

Oh, and the Buick that “taken very good care of it…runs like a beauty, has a wonderful sound system in it…does not currently reek of homeless discharges”; I’d lay claim to that. It would be one thing if both of you selected the car that was purchased and thus agreed to put your car as the clunker, but since she flew out on her own on this one, I think she needs to take responsibility. Since she picked a car (based upon some pretty superficial criteria) that you don’t like and that, frankly, isn’t likely to last as long as your well-maintained Le Sabre, it can be “her” car, smelly discharges and all.

But, please, do address the underlying communication and trust issues before fiancee becomes wife. A divorce is a lot more expensive (among other things) than a lemon car.


ouch, sorry to hear you’ve been saddled with a ford crapbox (ford spelled backwards incidentally means “Driver Returns On Foot”), and not just any ford crapbox, the most recalled car in their stable, the 2001 focus alone had at least 8 NTHSA recalls/investigations on it

i agree with the “you bought it, you drive it” philosopy, and get the brakes checked ASAP, that was one of ford’s well known problems with the focus, the brake pads lasted 14,000 miles (or less) if you were lucky

good luck trying to get rid of it…

All I can say is: good thing this happened before you tied the noose . . . I mean knot.

“You bought it, you drive it” doesn’t only apply to cars.

Not only was the Focus I rented a few months ago making grinding noises on the brakes, but the Oil Pressure and Check Engine lights were on. I took it back to the rental car office, where they replaced it with another Focus…on which the seat belt buckle wouldn’t lock and the brakes still ground. Finally, they upgraded me to a Taurus, which was moderately less of a piece of crap (underpowered, noisy, uncomfortable, but functional.)

I’ve never been a big fan of Ford products (or GM, for that matter) but their quality doesn’t seem to be “Job #1” anymore. In fact, it seems to have seriously gone down hill in the last decade or so. I’ll stop before I verge into Pit territory, but to the OP, I empathize with your frustration regarding the vehicle.


I realize that I am not completely free of fault here. Looking back, the moment that she said she was getting financed, I should have told her to hold everything and that I would be right there. I suppose at this moment I am more frustrated with myself for not leaving work and meeting her at the car lot. I was so happy that she was excited about getting a car that I figured if it made her happy then we should just go with it. Once the excitement of the moment had passed and the reality of the situation set in, things started to seem awfully crappy.

I guess that this will just have to be one of those learning moments we so often encounter in life, and hopefully this will not happen again. We have already talked at great length today about making sure that both of us are happy before purchasing anything of this magnitude again, and I am confident that it will not be a problem.

Right now my main concern is trying to figure out what we can do to get rid of this car. I hate this Focus so much that I would not mind losing a little money on the deal if it meant we could be rid of it.

Is there some sort of a buyers remorse law or clause in the financing?

I test-drove a Focus a few years back. I was just looking for basic transport, and after the drive I figured I could live with it, but wanted to check a few other options. The salescritter offered to let me take it home overnight, about a twenty mile drive.

I was on the Interstate, about halfway home, listening to the stereo, tapping my fingers on the wheel, when, out of the blue, I said out loud:

**“Jesus! I really hate this car!”/b]

I took it back the next day, and went out and purchased a used Volvo, which was the cat’s pajamas.

She purchased this car, in her own name, without your signature or lany egal commitment on your part to pay fot it, right? Your name is not on the title, right?

Wake up! You can do NOTHING! Period, end of story. It is not yours, you have zero say over the ultimate disposal of it.

You CAN speak to her, and try to convey the depth of your disagreement with her choice. You can do is explain that she is responsible for paying for it. You will not contribute because you did not agree to the purchase, and she violated the agreement you had about a joint purchase. Not to mention that you have no ownership, nor entitlement to any of the eventual resale income.

If you decide for the sake of the relationship that you have to contribute toward buying the car, make damn sure you name gets added to the title and registration. Even if you love this car, even if it is a car you had both agreed to, in my mind ourchasing it without your participation, and co-ownershiop, constitutes a serious breach of faith.

The Buick is a much better car than the Focus; make her haul her smelly clients in that one and reclaim your Buick immediately. Take away her keys to the Buick and tell her you don’t want a key to the Focus. In fact, tell her you don’t want anything to do with the Focus except maybe to watch it burn.