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Buying a used car 'without warranty'

Car companies and dealers who sell used cars sometimes mention an exclusion from the warranty in the purchase contract. The car is then sold 'as it is' or for a 'take-away price'. If defects occur after the purchase and you report to the seller, he can invoke the exclusion of the warranty. As a buyer I did pay in that case, but did not receive a car that meets expectations.

This article provides some tips for the consumer buyer who buys a used car from a company or dealer who regularly sells used cars.

The law stipulates that as a buyer of a used car, you can expect that the car has the characteristics that are necessary for normal use, and that you as a buyer do not have to doubt. Examples are normal operation of the engine, gearbox or board computer.

The car should also be suitable for use in traffic and there should be no defects that endanger road safety. But that's a lower limit that the legislature has set. For example, if the air conditioning does not function properly, you can still use the car safely. In that case, it is important that you, as the buyer of the used car, should have the expectation that the air conditioning is also in good condition.

Good preparation is half the work. This applies in particular to the purchase of a used car. If the purchase proves unsuccessful and you want to do something about it, then good preparation can increase the chance of the successful reversal of the purchase (dissolution) with repayment of the purchase price (undo obligation)

The outcome of legal proceedings for the dissolution of the purchase of a used car that does not meet expectations may be affected if the following tips are carried out prior to the purchase.

  1. Record (with screenshots of websites) asking prices in other advertisements of similar cars with the same year of construction, equipment level and approximately the same mileage readings. Afterwards it can be argued that the price you pay is not particularly low.
  2. Save any terms and conditions when the seller refers to them. You can then later prove which version of the general terms and conditions applied at the time of the purchase.
  3. Communicate with the seller in writing as much as possible via email, WhatsApp or SMS. You can also record a phone call afterwards with a message to the seller about what has just been discussed by phone. By recording the correspondence in writing, it is easier to prove (the lack of) the information that the seller has provided about the car.
  4. Make it clear to the seller what your expectations are. Be specific. If you expect the electric windows to function properly: report this to the seller. Make sure that you can demonstrate afterwards that the seller has been able to take note of your expectations of the functioning of the car prior to the purchase. The seller is then obliged to point out to the buyer that the car does not meet the specific requirements and expectations of the buyer.
  5. Do not wait too long to report any defects after the purchase. In the first six months after delivery of the car, the consumer buyer is extra protected because of the legal suspicion. The defects that reveal themselves in those six months, which you as a buyer did not have to expect, are presumed to have been present at the time of the purchase. The seller cannot simply state that the defects were caused by the use of the car after the purchase.
  6. Make sure that you inform the seller in writing by registered mail to repair the defects. The seller must be given the opportunity to investigate and repair the defect himself. It is therefore unwise to have the car repaired by someone else before the seller has been given the opportunity to do so.
  7. Check the policy conditions of the legal expenses insurance. It is possible that the purchase of used cars is excluded from the cover, unless the car has been purchased with 'BOVAG warranty'

By the way, there are many more things to pay attention to when buying a used car, but most are practical in nature such as having a purchase inspection carried out by DEKRA / Mijn Autocoach or carrying out extensive research into the state of maintenance based on the maintenance booklet. Have you bought a used car or do you trade used cars and do you have questions? Please feel free to contact Mr. Sepehr Yadegari. I'd rather be too early than late. It is better to hear that nothing is wrong, than to receive the message that it would have been more convenient if you had contacted us earlier. Can be reached by e-mail at the address advocaat@sepehr.nl and by telephone at: 020 – 244 3900.