When buying a new car from a professional seller (e.g. a garage), you will benefit from the so-called two-year guarantee of conformity provided for in Article 212-6 of the French Consumer Code. It starts on the day the car is delivered. This also applies to used cars, but in this case, the seller may ask the buyer, who may refuse, if he or she agrees to reduce it by a few months (by up to 12 only) in an individually negotiated contractual term in writing. After this warranty period, the buyer will still benefit from the legal warranty against hidden defects which professional sellers must acknowledge.
By purchasing a used car from a private seller, the buyer also benefits from the hidden defects warranty, unless it is not stipulated in the sales contract by a clause which leaves no doubt as to the parties' desire to leave it out. This following sentence meets this condition: "The parties agree to exclude the hidden defects warranty".
A hidden defect is a defect that any person who normally pays attention to detail but does not have specific technical knowledge, could not be aware of at the time of purchase. The seriousness of the defect must be such that it makes the car unfit for the intended use, or impairs it to the extent that the buyer would not have purchased the vehicle or would have done so for a lower price, if he or she had been aware. The hidden defect must have existed at the time of the transaction. An expert assessment must be carried out to determine this. It should be noted that under current case law, the buyer is required to take greater care when buying a used car which is relatively old and/or has a high mileage.
Lastly, please remember that holders of the ACL Europe membership card benefit from legal protection covering overall legal fees and/or expert costs of up to €2,000. It may be used by the holder, for example, in the event of a dispute with a garage or private seller concerning the sale, repair, warranty and use of the car.