You are here: Home / Blog / Auto / What is the difference between warranty and guarantee when buying a used car?

What is the difference between warranty and guarantee when buying a used car?

Difference between warranty and guarantee when buying a used car

When a used car is bought privately or from a dealer, both the warranty and the guarantee for the buyer form two important features of coverage. Especially in times of Corona, when some car dealers are also selling used cars online , you should know your rights. However, many consumers are not even aware that there is a difference between warranty and guarantee. The following article explains what everyone should know about their rights when buying a used car and what the exact difference between warranty and guarantee is. In this way, buyers can in future avoid having to pay for any damage to or lack of their new used vehicle.

What rights do you have at the used car dealer?

There are basically two different rules that give consumers security when they decide to buy a used car. These are:

  • the voluntary dealer guarantee
  • the guarantee to which the dealer is legally obliged

The warranty means that the dealer is obliged to repair any defects in used vehicles for two years. However, this warranty can be shortened by one year if necessary. This already exists at the time the respective vehicle is handed over. The guarantee, on the other hand, is a service that is provided by the respective seller on a voluntary basis. This also includes liability for special defects in the used vehicle. This voluntariness is the biggest difference between warranty and guarantee . It always depends on the respective contract how the duration of the guarantee is designed in detail and which vehicle components are covered by it.

What are the obligations of the car dealer?

When buying a car, the warranty is regulated in such a way that liability for the absence of defects in a used vehicle always lies with the dealer. Incidentally, there is no obligation to guarantee a purchase from a private seller. However, if the used car is purchased from a commercial dealer, then the latter is obliged to restore the vehicle to the promised condition if defects are found here. The prerequisite for this, however, is that these defects already existed at the time the car was handed over and that the buyer was not explicitly informed of them.

In the event of defects after purchasing a car, contact the car dealer

Buyers of a used car should always note that their rights when buying a used car always include the right to subsequent performance. This means that the respective dealer must be given the opportunity to remedy the corresponding damage or defect within a specified period. It is not possible to visit a workshop on your own and then reclaim the cost of the repairs from the dealer. However, buyers have the right to withdraw from the purchase contract if the damage cannot be repaired even after several attempts at repair.

Does the warranty apply when buying a used car privately?

In the case of a private car purchase, the seller can exclude the warranty. What is decisive here is what is in the sales contract. The correct formulation is particularly important so that the guarantee can be excluded. However, the seller cannot rule out defects that have been fraudulently concealed (e.g. accident-free or incorrect information on the number of kilometers ).

Warranty claims do not apply to wearing parts

However, buyers must be aware that damage caused by normal wear and tear does not have to be repaired by the seller. These include, for example

  • worn brake pads
  • coupling
  • transmission
  • Timing belt
  • tires
  • Etc

Hidden defects are covered by the warranty

Hidden defects must also be eliminated by the seller - provided that these did not appear until after the vehicle was handed over and are not typical for the respective condition and age of the respective used vehicle.

If there are any doubts as to whether the defects are just normal wear and tear or a warranty case, it is worth calling in an expert. In addition, it is not possible to exclude the so-called liability for material defects through clauses or additions in the contract. Any formulations are not legally effective.

The obligation to guarantee only exists if the purchase contract is concluded between a private person and an entrepreneur. If the used car is bought privately, the warranty does not apply. Then the only decisive factor is whether the warranty obligation was included in the purchase contract additionally and on a voluntary basis.

The warranty period is two years. However, it is only inevitably assumed that there was a defect at the time of purchase if it becomes apparent in the first six months after purchase. In addition, it is up to the buyer to prove that no fault in the operation of the vehicle triggered the defect.

Guarantee is a flexible and voluntary service

The difference between warranty and guarantee when buying a used car is that the guarantee is not required by law. Nevertheless, many dealers use this voluntary service offer for their customers. The guarantee is then usually included in the sales price of the vehicle or can also be purchased for a corresponding surcharge. The guarantee corresponds to a promise made by the respective dealer that they will repair certain defects in the future. The guarantee covers the buyer in addition to his warranty. A guarantee can, for example, cover the following points:

  • Electrics
  • Brakes: brake master cylinder, brake booster, regulator and limiter, wheel brake cylinder
  • Security systems

It is important to know that in the event of a guarantee, no wearing parts can be insured.

Car buyers should pay particular attention to the guarantee and warranty in the sales contract

The guarantee for a used watch is very different depending on the provider. Often only special components of the vehicle are included. When it comes to the cost of repairs, there is often a certain excess that the buyer has to bear. However, it is also possible that the terms of the guarantee are formulated very generously and even include the wearing parts for a certain period of time. Buyers are well advised to read the terms of the warranty carefully and to obtain information on the costs, the duration and the services included. Incidentally, the guarantee has no influence on the legally required warranty. Because this is where the major difference between warranty and guarantee lies: The warranty cannot be circumvented. When buying a car privately, however, the warranty can be excluded. Therefore, if possible, you should take a professional with you when buying from private individuals.

My name is Laura and I work as a freelance copywriter, blogger and author. I particularly enjoy writing about current news, the real estate and finance world, and health issues. Working with Best Credit is great fun and I'm happy to be able to provide reliable support here.


Banner car loan