AutoOccasiounsFestival 2023

The "AutoOccasiounsFestival 2023" takes place from Wednesday 10 May to Sunday 14 May 2023. Therfore, the Ministry of Consumer Protection wants to inform buyers of the essential points to consider when buying a used car from a car dealer, garage or retailer:

  1. Be aware of prices : It is important to remember that the prices of used cars sold by professionals can be higher than those offered by private individuals, because of the guarantees and services offered. Compare offers and consider all aspects (warranty, maintenance, financing, etc.) before making your decision.
  2. Inspection : Do not rely solely on the appearance of a vehicle on display, as this does not necessarily reflect the conditions of use and maintenance by previous owners. Make sure you have the mileage recorded in the contract and check that it matches the general condition of the vehicle.
  3. Commitment to buy : The signing of a sales contract, order form or similar document is contractually binding on the buyer, with no right of withdrawal, as with internet distance purchases. If you change your mind after signing, the seller can claim damages. Read each document submitted carefully and do not hesitate to refuse to sign or to ask for a modification if certain conditions seem unfair. The law protects against unfair terms that result in an imbalance of rights and obligations in the contract to the detriment of the consumer.
  4. Guarantee : When buying from a professional, you usually have a two-year guarantee, which can be reduced to a minimum of one year if stated in the contract. This warranty covers hidden defects and mechanical problems that may occur after purchase. Check the conditions of the legal and commercial warranties.   But be careful: make sure you know who the real seller is. If it is the professional himself, the legal guarantee applies (Article L.212-5 of the Consumer Code). However, if the professional is acting in the name and on behalf of a private person - i.e. as an intermediary - the buyer does not automatically benefit from the legal guarantee provided for by the Consumer Code. If a problem arises after the purchase and the trader refuses to repair or pay compensation, consumer organisations, motorists' associations and some insurance companies can help you to assert your rights.
  5. Financing : Traders often offer financing solutions, such as loans or credits, to facilitate the purchase of the vehicle. They have to comply with certain legal obligations, such as registration on the list of consumer credit intermediaries, provision of detailed pre-contractual information and verification of the consumer's creditworthiness.                                                                       

It is advisable to include a clause in your contract stating that it will be concluded under the suspensive condition of obtaining a consumer credit. This way, you will not be bound by your contract if you refuse to obtain the necessary credit.

By following this advice, you will maximise your chances of finding a used car that suits your needs and budget. Don't hesitate to take the time to research your options and consult online reviews and resources to help you make an informed decision. 

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