Used car warranties – What are you liable for?

legal updates

If a fault is found to have been developing at the time of sale, this could become the trader’s responsibility to provide a remedy.

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Warranties are usually included as an additional extra when buying a car and give the consumer peace of mind that should something go wrong, the warranty acts as a “financial umbrella” to cover all or part of a repair cost. However, providing a warranty on the vehicle does not negate the buyer’s consumer rights as some traders may assume.

Warranties can be used against some vehicle repairs and usually have a claim limit depending on which provider is used.

Most of the time, using the warranty for a fault that has arisen would be the easiest option for both the trader and the consumer, however, the consumer does not have to use their warranty. A consumer can choose not to use their warranty for any issues and request the trader undertakes any necessary repairs on the vehicle for which they are liable.

That does not mean a consumer is entitled to come after the trader for every single issue with the vehicle. Regular maintenance and wear and tear items are still the consumer’s responsibility to repair if required, and most warranties do not cover wear and tear items.

Items such as worn clutches, worn brake components, and consumable items are usually not covered by the warranty, but this varies depending on the warranty company. However, if a fault is found to have been developing at the time of sale, this could become the trader’s responsibility to provide a remedy.

Therefore, if a consumer raises an issue that is covered under the warranty, do not assume you do not have to get involved. You may still be liable to repair or accept the rejection of a vehicle even if the repairs are covered under the warranty.

Our HR Manager portal now provides Lawgistics members with the Warranty Management System to manage their own self funded warranties. Contact our Client Care team on 01480 455500 for assistance in setting up your warranty management scheme.

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Kimberly StickleyTrainee SolicitorRead More by this author

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