Can A Cosigner Take Possession Of A Vehicle?

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When it comes to cosigning a vehicle loan, it’s important to understand the rights and responsibilities of both the primary borrower and the cosigner. One common question that arises is whether a cosigner can take possession of a vehicle in the event of default or other circumstances. Let’s delve into this topic and explore the implications.

Understanding the Role of a Cosigner

A cosigner is someone who agrees to take on the financial responsibility of a loan if the primary borrower fails to make payments. They essentially act as a guarantor, providing additional security to the lender. However, being a cosigner does not grant automatic ownership rights to the vehicle.

Default and Repossession

If the primary borrower defaults on the loan, the lender has the right to repossess the vehicle as specified in the loan agreement. The cosigner is not entitled to take possession of the vehicle unless they are also named on the title or have a separate agreement with the primary borrower.

Ownership and Title

The person listed on the vehicle’s title is the legal owner. Typically, the primary borrower’s name will be on the title, while the cosigner’s name will not. This means that the cosigner does not have the right to take possession of the vehicle solely based on their role as a cosigner.

Options for Cosigners

If a cosigner wishes to take possession of a vehicle, they have a few options:

1. Refinancing the Loan

If the primary borrower agrees, the cosigner can explore refinancing the loan under their name. This would involve applying for a new loan and transferring ownership of the vehicle to the cosigner. However, this option is subject to the lender’s approval and the cosigner’s creditworthiness.

2. Voluntary Surrender

If the primary borrower is willing to surrender the vehicle voluntarily, the cosigner can negotiate with the lender to take possession. This would involve working out an agreement with the lender to transfer ownership and resolve any remaining loan balance.

3. Legal Action

If the primary borrower refuses to cooperate or cannot be located, the cosigner may need to resort to legal action. They can consult with an attorney to explore their options and pursue a court order to gain possession of the vehicle.


While a cosigner plays a crucial role in securing a loan, they do not automatically have the right to take possession of a vehicle. The primary borrower is the legal owner, and the cosigner’s responsibility typically ends at ensuring loan repayment. If a cosigner wishes to take possession, they must explore options such as refinancing, voluntary surrender, or legal action. It is important for both the primary borrower and the cosigner to understand their rights and obligations before entering into a loan agreement.