used car

Private car purchase in Germany – with or without risk?

Anyone who buys a car from a private owner usually does not get a guarantee or warranty. It says: bought as seen. But is there really no way for the buyer to get their money back in the event of unrecognized, unreported damage or immediate repairs? So are you stuck with the costs? To ensure that this does not happen if possible, car expert gives precise tips on what to consider when buying a car from private to private.

Is buying a car privately the famous “pig in a poke”?

The desire to own a car is greater than ever – despite all the statements to the contrary from politicians! Unfortunately, the supply is stagnating somewhat – the supply chain problem, the chip crisis, and most recently the failure of Ukrainian suppliers are slowing down the industry.

The demand is therefore concentrated on what is available on the market: used cars! This boom is not without an impact on prices. Anyone who buys a used car today often pays 10 percent more for it than for a comparable vehicle a year ago.

In order to still be able to make a bargain, you have to look at the private seller’s market. This often saves a lot of money, but it is not without risk.

If you don’t know what the value of your car is, you can have it checked by an inspection organization. This is possible at test centers such as DEKA, ADAC, TÜV, and contract experts. An examination protocol is created and this makes the car easier to sell.

If you want a good price for your car, you have to clean it!

Before the sale, the cleaning and photography work is on the schedule! If you are looking for potential buyers for your car, you have to make it attractive. This includes good photos of a clean car.

With younger and therefore higher-quality vehicles, it is always worth visiting the car detailer, who will turn the smoker’s carriage into a proper and fragrant car again.

When the “model” is finished, the flashbulbs can begin. But: No cell phone pictures, please! Nothing is more annoying than completely pixelated images with drop shadows and half fingers in the foreground. With a little effort, a sunny spot, and a decent camera, you can get pictures that show the car at its best. This also includes the engine compartment, the luggage compartment, and meaningful! Pictures of the interior and the instrument cluster. It is well known that a picture says more than 1000 words.

Warranty? Warranty!

The matter of the legal warranty is not only an important issue for professional dealers! The legislature also requires a warranty from a private seller if he does not explicitly exclude the warranty!

This is regulated, among other things, in paragraphs 433ff of the German Civil Code (BGB)In practice, in a purchase contract between private individuals, the passage “bought as inspected and test-driven excluding the statutory warranty” is included.

However, if the purchase contract also states that the car has not been involved in an accident or a vehicle with a replacement engine and these “guaranteed properties” later turn out to be untrue, the seller must take responsibility for this.

Exclusion of the warranty is also not legal if defects are fraudulently concealed or properties of an item are presented that do not exist at all.

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About the Author

Sandy Beck

Sandy Beck is CouponAnnie's consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by Consumer Reports, The New York Times, Savings Hub, and MarketWatch. Sandy enjoys shopping and she is an extreme couponing expert.