Warranty for the car – what buyers should absolutely know

What does "warranty" mean when buying a car?

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

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

Buying a new car is exciting, but often also means a lot of effort. Especially with used cars, good preparation is of great importance – a checklist for buying a car can do a good job 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 occur in the vehicle a short time after the purchase of the car. Sometimes drivers become aware of them due to unusual noises, in the worst case the car simply breaks down. Particularly when there is damage to the engine costly repairs unavoidable.

In such situations, the concept of warranty for the car then quickly emerges. Do you have the right to have a defect repaired by the seller?? What does "warranty" mean when buying a car at all?? 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 rights if the worst comes to the worst.

FAQ: Warranty when buying a car

The seller owes his customer a defect-free vehicle. If the car still shows damages or defects, the buyer can claim certain rights. It can be z. B. demand that the seller repair the damage or, if necessary, that the buyer repair the damage. withdraw from the purchase contract.

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

No, ordinary signs of wear and tear do not constitute defects. 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

Private people who sell their car can exclude the warranty, unlike the dealer

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

If you are buying a used car, you can either purchase a car from a private person or from a dealer. If you opt for the former, you usually benefit from a lower purchase price. Nevertheless, many people prefer to buy a new car from a commercial seller. The Buying a car from a dealer has an important advantage: Here buyers have a right to 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). It is specified in writing that Seller liable for certain defects. This applies if the defect was already present before the car was handed over and the buyer did not know about it. According to § 438 Abs. 1 no. 3 BGB the claims for defects become time-barred according to two years. Within this period, the warranty obligation applies, which the car dealer has to fulfill.

The seller is obligated to deliver a used car to the buyer that does not have any material defects. This is described 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 ordinary use and has a condition that is usual for things of the same kind and that the buyer can expect according to the nature of the thing.

Accordingly, the buyer can claim warranty from the dealer if certain conditions are met. It must either there is a defect or the car does not correspond to the specifications in the purchase contract. For example, if 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 therefore claim the warranty from the dealer if there is a defect or if the vehicle does not correspond in its characteristics to what was stipulated in the purchase contract. If, for example, it is stated there that the used car has an air conditioning system, but such a system is missing, then the salesman must repair this lack.

The question "Does a car dealer have to give a warranty??" can be clearly affirmed. However, this is different if you have a Buying a used car from a private individual. The latter 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 to this rule exist, however, if the private seller knew about defects but deliberately – i.e. fraudulently – concealed them or. intentionally made false statements. In such a case The warranty for the car also applies when buying 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 specified in the purchase contract, by the way, apply to the private seller The same rules apply as for a commercial car dealer with regard to the warranty.

defects or wear? The warranty at the car dealer

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

The warranty applies to a car purchase only if it is a defect.

The warranty for the car can often cause disputes between buyer and seller. The sticking point is usually the question of whether a defect is actually present or not whether it is only wear and tear. If the latter is the case, the dealer is not obligated to make any repairs.

Wear and tear in the case of a used car is usually referred to, 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 – above all the Age and mileage of the car. What is often assessed as a material defect in a new car and thus falls under the warranty for motor vehicles, is often rather classified as wear and tear in a used car with high mileage.

If it comes to Disputes between seller and buyer around this distinction as well as around the associated motor vehicle warranty, is a Proceedings in court usually cannot be avoided. An expert is then commissioned with the assessment of the damage. Its motor vehicle appraisal has a decisive influence on whether the dealer must assume the warranty for the car.

Car purchase and warranty – with whom lies 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 answer this question, it must be clarified when the damage occurred. If it was already present before the handover? Who must prove this however?

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

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

According to § 476 BGB 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.

When buying a used car, the transfer of risk is usually the handover of the vehicle. If the buyer recognizes the damage no later than six months after he has purchased 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 opposite. If he fails to do so, he is obligated to assume the warranty for the motor vehicle and to remedy the defects.

After these first six months, however, the burden of proof is reversed. Now it is up to the buyer to prove that the defect already existed at the time of transfer of risk. In many cases this can prove to be very difficult. Would you like to claim the warranty from the car dealer, it is in helpful, a Have an expert’s report drawn up by an expert.

You can claim these rights regarding the warranty for the car

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

You may not order the repair in another workshop without informing the dealer about it. In such a case, the dealer cannot be held responsible for reimbursement of costs.

If the second attempt at rectification fails or the seller refuses to repair the vehicle altogether, buyers are entitled to additional compensation with regard to the warranty for passenger cars. These are set out in § 437 BGB and include the following services:

  • You can withdraw from the purchase contract.
  • You can reduce the purchase price.
  • They can claim compensation for damages.
  • You can insist on compensation for wasted expenditure.

Shortening the warranty when buying a car from a dealer – ruling by the German Federal Supreme Court

In the past, when buying a car, the Warranty from the dealer often reduced from two years to one year, if the vehicle was a used car. In a case heard by the German Federal Court of Justice, this reduction in duration was stipulated in the General Terms and Conditions (GTC for short) on which the purchase contract was based. These were in accordance with the "Non-binding recommendation of the Zentralverband Deutsches Kraftfahrzeuggewerbe e.V.".

The ruling of the BGH of 29. April 2015 (Az.VIII ZR 104/14), however, stipulated that the warranty can be clauses of the general terms and conditions are incomprehensible to consumers who are not legally educated. This would contradict the transparency requirement laid down in the BGB and 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.

Car warranty and guarantee – the differences

Warranty and guarantee for the car: These are different concepts

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

The warranty granted by the car dealer is stipulated by law and it may not be excluded. The warranty, on the other hand, is a voluntary benefit. It must be explicitly assured to the buyer. Furthermore, a warranty is not always free of charge, it often has to be paid for separately.

Which services are covered by the warranty varies depending on the individual case. All details are set out in the terms and conditions, which is why you should check these thoroughly before taking out the warranty. Depending on the age, mileage and condition of the vehicle, as well as the scope of the warranty, you should weigh up in advance whether it is really worth it for you. Also note that for older vehicles, which are about ten years or older, used car warranty is no longer offered.

On the other hand, in contrast to the warranty for the car, with the warranty you benefit from the fact that you as the buyer 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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