Autofestival 2023: Reminder of some legal principles

With the start of Autofestival 2023, the Ministry of Consumer Protection would like to remind of the importance of some legal principles concerning the protection of consumer rights.

A reminder for consumers:

  • It is generally advisable for prospective car buyers to check the terms and conditions of the sales contract before signing it;
  • The delivery time must be specified. If the delivery period is relatively long, it is important to be aware of any indexation clauses, which could mean an increase in the sale price at delivery and a possible reduction in the buy-back price of the trade-in vehicle. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask the professional to explain or modify certain clauses if they do not seem appropriate to you;
  • If the sale price is higher than the one indicated, the consumer has the right to terminate the contract in court;
  • If the car is being purchased with a loan, it is advisable to include a suspensive clause in the contract so that you are not contractually bound if the loan is refused.

Reminder for professionals:

The Consumer Code requires all prices to be clear, easily identifiable and legible. This means that the professional cannot charge higher prices than those indicated, which in practice means that:

  • When selling an exhibited model, the professional is bound by the posted price;
  • When a new car is ordered, the dealer is bound by the price stated in the sales contract and cannot unilaterally set a higher price. This applies both to the prices displayed in the salesroom and to the prices shown on the order form or contract. It should be noted that sales prices should include VAT and all taxes and should not include any government subsidies;
  • If there is an indexation clause, it should be clear and understandable and detail the recalculation procedures.

Finally, the Ministry of Consumer Protection would like to inform the public that it will be carrying out checks on car dealers during the festival, with particular attention being paid to the display of prices, the general conditions of sale of vehicles and vehicle trade-in contracts. In addition, the checks will also serve to verify compliance with the rules on consumer credit.

In this respect, Paulette Lenert, Minister for Consumer Protection, believes that "it is important for the protection of consumer rights that car sales prices are indicated in a clear and comprehensible manner. Our inspectors will make sure that these basic rules are followed and will be on hand to assist retailers if necessary."

Press release by the Ministry for Consumer Protection

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