Why a warranty?
According to the German Civil Code (BGB), since 2002, a used car dealer is no longer allowed to exclude a full warranty in case of “sale of consumer goods”. This means that if a customer buys a vehicle from a car dealer/contractor that he wants to use privately, the car dealer/contractor is liable for defects for at least one year (§ 475 para. 2 BGB).
It is therefore advisable to consider protection that also extends beyond this period. The used car warranty protects the owner in the event of a defect in the car as soon as a repair is necessary. The resulting costs of the used car warranty are often already included in the purchase price, if the customer decides to buy.
Distinction of the warranty
There are differences between a guarantee and a bond. Often both terms are used verbatim. A warranty (or “liability for defects”) describes all regulations that give the buyer rights against a seller if the seller has delivered defective goods. Under a warranty, the seller assumes responsibility for all defects that existed at the time of sale. This also applies to “hidden” defects, i.e. those that were not visible at the time of the sale (purchase) and were only discovered later.
The warranty is therefore a legal obligation of the seller towards the buyer
In trade, a warranty is an additional, freely configurable and – above all – voluntary service rendered by a trader or producer to his customer. If a used car dealer promises a warranty, it usually covers the functionality of certain parts or the entire vehicle for a predefined period of time. The condition of the car – for example – at the time of sale is irrelevant, as it is the predefined period of time and functionality.
Advantages of the used car warranty
Basically, it can be said that a warranty on used cars leads to greater legal security between buyer and seller. Suppose a vehicle is defective at the time of purchase and the seller enters into a warranty agreement with the buyer. In this case, the decisive factor is when the defect in the vehicle leads to damage and whether the warranty or guarantee applies.
However, a warranty commitment in the form of a used car warranty also has advantages for sellers: Without a warranty agreement, in the case of defects that only become apparent after a certain period of time, the seller may have to prove that the vehicle was free of defects upon delivery, in accordance with the so-called reversal of the burden of proof under § 476 BGB. These disputes often lead to legal action.
In contrast, in the context of the guarantee for used vehicles, there is a claim for compensation or repair of defects beyond the legally prescribed period; provided that everything takes place within the guarantee period.
Another advantage is that details can be included in a warranty agreement that specifically clarifies what other obligations are incumbent on the buyer and seller and which parts of the vehicle are covered. – This also helps both parties avoid disputes.
Conclusion: With a used car warranty, both parties, dealers and buyers, are on the right side.
1. The legal warranty for hidden defects
This mandatory warranty applies to all used vehicles, whether sold by an individual or a professional. It is valid for 2 years from the discovery of the hidden defect. A certain number of criteria must be met in order to benefit from it:
- The defect in question must render the vehicle unusable. A problem with an electronic rear-view mirror, for example, cannot be taken into account.
- The defect must be found by a certified automotive expert.
What is the warranty on a used car purchased through an official seller?
- consumer = a natural person who buys a used car for purposes other than business or commercial purposes
- lack of conformity = when the vehicle and its condition do not correspond to the description in the contract
(*) The legal warranty on a new car is 2 years. For a second hand vehicle, this legal period can be contractually limited to 1 year minimum.
What does this legal guarantee consist of?
- The seller guarantees that the car conforms to the conditions and performances described in the contract.
- The car meets the qualities and performances deemed normal given its age, mileage and price.
- The vehicle may be used in accordance with the purchaser’s purpose.
Please be aware that this legal warranty is not an omnium insurance. The warranty does not cover :
- Normal wear and tear of the vehicle (filter, timing belt…)
- Parts that would normally need to be replaced during the year of purchase (e.g., based on information provided by the seller)
There are 2 periods in terms of legal warranty1. During the first 6 months
If, during the first 6 months, you notice a (conformity) defect in relation to the contract, the law considers that it already existed at the time of the sale.
- After the first 6 months
If you notice it after the first 6 months, the law says that it is up to you to prove that it already existed at the time of delivery.
Buying a new or used car is a significant investment. To avoid unpleasant surprises, the buyer has the obligation to carefully check the warranties offered by the dealer, manufacturer or agent before making the decision to buy a vehicle. It should be noted that the scope of these warranties varies according to the type of vehicle, new or used, and according to the seller, whether professional or not.
WARRANTY AND EXTENSIONS
Buying a car is an important step in life. It’s quite a commitment! After having finally chosen the model, the color, the options, and having taken the step to buy our expensive car, it remains to maintain it well! Why is that? To limit its discount and especially to avoid the risks of breakdowns and the expenses which result from it … A purchase from a serious and solid professional will enable you to benefit from a guaranteed car but also to protect it longer. But how does it all work? Everything is explained here.
What is the warranty for my new car?
The purchase of a new car is all the more important since you are investing a substantial budget, we are well aware of this. In all transparency, we wanted to explain to you what our obligations and our complementary offers are. In summary, there are two types of guarantees:
The legal guarantees, which concern the legal guarantee of conformity and the guarantee against hidden defects. The latter covers design, manufacturing and assembly errors that make the vehicle unfit for use. No risk for you to be unable to use the vehicle!
The commercial warranty is limited in time by contract. It can be defined automatically, and / or be subject to a paid or free extension. The commercial warranty of your new car covers all breakdowns (excluding consumables), corrosion and paintwork.