Useful information


on 16. January 2019

The period of warranty is different if you buy a second hand car from a particular (privately) or from a car dealer.

In the sale of vehicles between individuals, the period to claim against defects or hidden defects is six months.

The first time the decision is made to buy a second-hand car, many drivers have a question: will the vehicle have a guarantee? And if it does, what aspects will that guarantee cover and for how long? Consumers should have complete peace of mind regarding this issue since, in any case, the car will be covered by a guarantee with which the buyer will be protected against possible defects, faults or hidden defects prior to purchase.

Individuals and professionals, both with guarantee

According to current legislation, there are two types of guarantees depending on whether the car is purchased from an individual or a professional. In the first case, when the purchase is made to an individual, it is the Civil Code itself in its articles 1461 and 1484 that is responsible for establishing the framework of the guarantee

Article 1461 shows that “the seller is obliged to deliver and repair the object of the sale”. This means that the car must not have hidden defects and that it must be free of charges or encumbrances, which provides great security to the driver who acquires it.

In this way, in case the buyer detects any hidden defect during the six months after the delivery of the car, the seller will be obliged to repair it. Once a complaint is made and it is proven that the defect is prior to the purchase of the vehicle, the seller either has to pay the amount of the necessary repair or must rescind the purchase-sale contract and return the transaction amount to the buyer. Likewise, the seller must answer for hidden defects even if they were ignored at the time of sale.

It should be remembered that the defects referred to in these articles are those that make it unfit for the use to which it is intended or reduce its use so that, if known, the buyer would not have purchased the vehicle or paid less for it.  In this sense, it is important to bear in mind that the only vices or hidden defects that the buyer may claim are those that already existed prior to the purchase-sale. If the defects or defects appear or manifest after the acquisition, the seller will not be responsible for any reason.

With a professional, up to two years warranty

On the other hand, if the purchase of the second-hand car is made through a professional (ie a second-hand dealer), the coverage of the guarantee is included in the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users

As indicated by this law, the seller is obliged to deliver the vehicle to the buyer as it appears in the contract. If the buyer detects any hidden damage during the two years from the date of sale of the car, the professional seller must repair it, return the amount of the sale or replace the car with another of equivalent characteristics. Therefore, the characteristics are similar although the period covered by the guarantee is greater in this case. It must be borne in mind that not every failure or damage allows the buyer to terminate the contract and request a refund of the price paid, the failure must be serious.

Finally, It is highly advisable that the buyer request to the seller a part of damage or other document that proves that the car has been repaired during those first 2 years. Many times, buyers do not have any evidence that they have been taking the car to the car dealer to repair several times.