Used Car Warranties

Warranties - The Legal Requirements when Selling Second Hand Cars

The amendments to the Sales of Goods Act (EC Directive 1999/44/EC) that came into force on 31st March 2003 now place the burden of proof on you 'the car dealer' for the first six months after a purchase.

If your customer makes a claim in the first six months it will be up to you to prove the vehicle was correct when it left your premises.

This is your customers’ legal rights, not their warranty. In addition to having their legal rights a customer may be offered a warranty by the car dealer on a voluntary basis.

It is up to the car dealer offering the warranty to decide on the duration. Many used cars are sold with a three-month warranty, some have one year while others may have none. This is entirely legal.

Although warranties do not have to be offered Lawgistics recommend car dealers provide customers with something in writing (dealer guarantee, claims procedure or simple terms and conditions). This can help manage difficult customers and stop unsubstantiated claims.

TOP TIP: A new MOT will prove the vehicle was road worthy and a documented PDI / service will add weight in your favour in the event of a claim.

Make Sure Your Warranty Complies with the Sales of Goods Act

Under the amendments to the Sales of Goods Act (EC Directive 1999/44/EC) such warranties given free of charge with a vehicle must be:

· Legally binding on the person offering the warranty.

· Written in English and in plain intelligible words.

· Available for viewing by consumers before purchase.

· State that they do not affect the consumer’s legal rights.

· State its territorial limits.

Any car dealers own warranty must comply with the above; obviously verbal warranties or simply “engine/gearbox only for three months” written on the invoice will not comply with these requirements.

Read more about how to run your own in-house warranty scheme


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