Consumer Rights as per the Spanish Law: claim for the repair or compensation, problems with a second hand (used) cars in Spain.

Five months ago I purchased a second hand car from a dealer in Spain. Last week while I was driving the car started to overheat and I had to take it to the garage. The mechanic confirmed that the head cylinder and the motor are distorted and in poor condition and must be replaced, being the cost for the repair 4000 €. Can I legally ask the car dealer to pay for this repair or can I get my money back?

Dear reader,

Thank you for your consultation.

In principle as always we must point out that it is difficult to provide the proper legal advice without seeing the contract you signed with the car dealer.

However, in general we can inform you that if you purchased the car for your personal use and not for a professional activity, then we understand that you should be considered a consumer / user, and therefore the law in this respect is applicable to your case.

In this sense we point out that according to the General Law for Protection of Consumers and Users plus additional complementary Laws of 1/2007 (LGDCU) ((Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias (R.D.L. 1/2007) the company/dealer who sold you the car is required to deliver the car as agreed in the contract and will be hold liable if the car does not fit the description and quality specified at the time of the sale or if the car is not suitable for a normal use.

If, as you say, the car was not in the good condition indicated by the vendor, and being the problem you had a major failure far beyond the normal wear over time or the proper wear down for used vehicles, we understand that according to article 118 of the above mentioned Law you as consumer are entitled to either the repair, the substitution, a price reduction or to terminate the contract.

Legally and according to article 123 of the LGDCU, the vendor is responsible for the lack of compliance, in this case manifested by the appearance of a failure in the vehicle, that you understand should be paid by him. This and any other failures should be covered by the dealer during the guaranty period, normally of 2 year from delivery, although in some cases as second hand cars, it could be agreed to shorten this time to a 1 YEAR period, being this the least time period allowed by law.

According to what you point out in your query, you should also know that allegedly in your case and unless the vendor can probe otherwise, that if the lack of compliance or the failure occurs before the end of a six months period from the delivery of the product, the problem already existed when the car was delivered.

Therefore according to the above, if you were not warned of the existing problem of the purchased vehicle which goes far beyond the normal wear over time and having this problem appeared only 5 months after the purchase, we understand that it is you right to ask the dealer to pay for the repair. In this sense we can quote the Court Order 382/2011 of 3rd. October issued by the Court of the Province of Alicante (Section 9). We can also quote Court Order 99/2011 of  2nd. of March of Court of the Province of Alicante (Section 8 ) for those cases when the purchaser request refund of the money and resolution of the contract.

Should any reader be in this situation or similar please do not hesitate to contact us and the appropriate advice will be provided.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
Tel: 966 426 185

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