Car warranty – what buyers should know

What does "warranty" mean when buying a car??

Damage to the car just purchased: the warranty from the dealer protects buyers

Damage to the car you just bought: the warranty from the dealer protects buyers.

Buying a new car is exciting, but it often also means a lot of effort. especially with used cars, good preparation is of great importance – a checklist for buying a car can be of great help here. Who researches prices in advance, studied defect and reliability reports and is attentive during the inspection and test drive of the vehicle, is usually on the safe side.

Nevertheless, it may happen that defects appear in the vehicle shortly after the purchase of the car. Sometimes drivers become aware of unusual noises, in the worst case the car simply breaks down. Particularly if there is damage to the engine, the warranty is not valid costly repairs unavoidable.

In such situations, the term "warranty" for the car quickly comes up. Do you have the right to have a defect repaired by the seller?? What does "warranty" actually mean when buying a car?? Can a car dealer exclude the warranty? And how does it look when buying from private?

these and other questions are answered in the following guide, so that you can make use of your right in the event of a claim.

FAQ: warranty when buying a car

the seller owes his customer a defect-free vehicle. If the car is still damaged or defective, the buyer can assert certain rights. He can z. B. Require that the seller repair the damage or, if applicable, that the seller repair the damage. Withdraw from the purchase contract.

Yes, the warranty law applies even if. However, a private dealer may exclude liability for. However, this must be explicitly stated in the purchase contract.

No, normal wear and tear does not constitute a defect. It is quite normal that certain parts wear out over time and need to be replaced. This includes z. B. Tires and brake pads as well as the car battery. However, this is at the expense of the buyer.

Buying a car from a dealer – important information about the warranty

In contrast to dealers, private individuals who sell their cars can exclude the warranty

Private persons who sell their car can exclude the warranty in contrast to the dealer.

When you buy a used car, you can either sell the vehicle to the purchasing from a private party or from a dealer. If you choose the former, you usually benefit from a lower purchase price. Nevertheless, many people prefer to purchase a new car from a commercial seller. The buying a car from a dealer has one important advantage: here buyers have a right to the statutory warranty.

But what exactly is the warranty for a car?? Basic legal regulations concerning the purchase of products can be found in the German Civil Code (BGB). There it is stated in writing that seller liable for certain defects. This applies if the defect existed before the car was delivered and the buyer did not know about it. According to § 438 abs. 1 no. 3 of the German Civil Code (BGB), claims for defects become statute-barred after two years. Within this period of time the warranty obligation applies, which the car dealer must fulfill.

The seller is obligated to deliver a used car to the buyer that does not have any material defects. This is stated in § 434 abs. 1 BGB defined in more detail:

  1. If it is suitable for the use presumed under the contract, otherwise
  2. If it is suitable for normal use and has a condition which is usual for items of the same type and which the buyer can expect according to the type of item.

The buyer can therefore claim the warranty from the dealer if certain conditions are met. Either there is a defect or the car does not correspond to the specifications in the purchase contract. If, for example, it is stated that the car has electric windows, but this is not the case, the seller is obliged to remedy the defect.

After buying a car, the buyer can claim warranty from the dealer if there is a defect or if the vehicle’s characteristics do not correspond to what was stipulated in the purchase contract. If, for example, it is stated that the used car has an air conditioning system, but such a system is missing, then the buyer is not liable the seller must remedy this defect.

The question "must a car dealer give warranty?" can clearly be affirmed. However, this is different if you have a buying a used car from a private person. The buyer can exclude the liability for material defects and therefore does not have to be liable for a defect that existed at the time of purchase. However, this must be explicitly stated in the purchase contract.

Exceptions exist, however, if the private seller knew of defects but deliberately – i.e. fraudulently – concealed them, or if the private seller has acted in bad faith. deliberately made false statements. In such a case the warranty for the car also applies if the car is bought privately. However, it can often prove extremely difficult to prove fraudulent intent on the part of the seller.

Was no exclusion of liability for material defects by the way, the following conditions apply to private sellers as stipulated in the purchase contract the same rules apply as for a commercial car dealer regarding the warranty.

Defects or wear and tear? The warranty at the car dealer

The warranty applies to a car purchase only if there is a defect

In the case of a car purchase, the warranty only applies if there is a defect.

The warranty for the car can often cause a dispute between buyer and seller. The crux of the matter is usually the question of whether there is actually a defect or not whether it is only a question of wear and tear. If the latter is present, the dealer is not obligated to make improvements.

Wear and tear in the case of a used car is usually mentioned, if a component is worn out due to use and for this reason must be renewed at regular intervals. In the case of vehicles, this is the case for the following parts, for example:

However, in most cases a clear distinction must be made between wear and tear and defects the individual circumstances are considered in each case – first and foremost age and mileage of the car. What is often considered a material defect in a new car and thus covered by the warranty for motor vehicles, is often classified as wear and tear in a used car with a high mileage.

If it comes to disputes between seller and buyer about this distinction, as well as about the related vehicle warranty, a proceedings in court usually impossible to avoid. An expert is then commissioned to assess the damage. the vehicle appraisal has a decisive influence on whether the dealer has to accept the warranty for the car.

Car purchase and warranty – who has the burden of proof??

Does the commercial seller have to take over the warranty for the car and repair the existing defect?? In order to be able to answer this question, it must be clarified when the damage occurred. If it existed before the handover? But who has to prove this?

If there is a dispute about the warranty for the car, an expert opinion can help

If there are disputes about the warranty for the car, an expert opinion can help.

According to § 476 BGB, the following applies in this context:

If a material defect becomes apparent within six months of the transfer of risk, it is presumed that the item was already defective at the time of the transfer of risk, unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the item or the defect.

In the case of a used car purchase, the transfer of risk usually takes place when the vehicle is handed over. If the buyer recognizes the damage at the latest half a year after he has acquired the vehicle, it is assumed that the defect already existed at the time of the transfer of risk. In this first six months, it is up to the dealer to prove the contrary. If he fails to do so, he is obligated to assume the warranty for the vehicle and to remedy the defects.

However, after these first six months, the burden of proof is reversed. Now it is up to the buyer to prove that the defect was already present at the time of the transfer of risk. In many cases this can prove to be very difficult. If you wish to claim warranty from the car dealer, it is helpful to file a to have an expert appraisal carried out by a specialist.

These are the rights you can claim regarding the car warranty

If you have identified defects in the vehicle that already existed at the time of delivery, you can claim warranty for the car. To do this, affected parties must inform the dealer about the defects in a timely manner and first give him the opportunity to repair the damage.

you are not allowed to order the repair in another workshop without informing the dealer about it. In such a case, the reimbursement of costs cannot be imposed on the latter.

If the second attempt to repair the vehicle fails or if the seller refuses to repair the vehicle altogether, buyers are entitled to additional compensation with respect to the car warranty. These are defined in § 437 BGB (German Civil Code) and include the following services:

  • You can withdraw from the purchase contract.
  • You can reduce the purchase price.
  • You can claim compensation for damages.
  • You can claim compensation for wasted expenses.

shortening the warranty period when buying a car from a dealer – judgment of the federal court of justice

In the past, when you buy a car, the warranty often shortened from two years to one year by the dealer, if it was a used car. In a case heard by the Federal Court of Justice, this reduction in duration was stipulated in the general terms and conditions (GTCs for short) on which the purchase contract was based. These corresponded to the "non-binding recommendation of the central association of the german motor vehicle trade e.V.".

The ruling of the Federal Court of Justice of 29. April 2015 (az.VIII ZR 104/14), however, stipulated that the warranty must be clauses in the general terms and conditions are incomprehensible to consumers who are not legally educated. This would be contrary to the requirement of transparency laid down in the German Civil Code (BGB) and would lead to disadvantages for the buyer. For this reason, the court ruled that the shortening the period of limitation regarding the warranty for a car is not effective.

Warranty and guarantee for the car – the differences

Warranty and guarantee for the car: these are different concepts

Warranty and guarantee for the car: these are different concepts.

The warranty that the car dealer grants is fixed by law and it cannot be excluded. The warranty, on the other hand, is a voluntary service. It must be explicitly guaranteed to the buyer. Furthermore, a warranty is not always free of charge; it often has to be paid for separately.

The services covered by the warranty vary depending on the individual case. All details are set out in the terms and conditions, which is why you should check them thoroughly before concluding the warranty. Depending on the age, mileage and condition of the vehicle, as well as the scope of the warranty, you should consider in advance whether it is really worth it for you. also note that used car warranties are no longer offered for older vehicles, such as those that are ten years old or older.

In contrast to the warranty for the car, you benefit from the fact that you, as the purchaser, can request does not have to prove when the defect occurred. If this occurred during the warranty period and is included by the conditions, you are covered.

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Christina Cherry
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