Claiming for a second hand car problem when purchased from a professional or car dealer. Defects and breakdowns. Consumer law. Legal warranty. Expert legal advice.

second hand car problem. Car dealer.

In previous articles we explained how to claim in Spain for a defective new car. This week we revisit the issue from a new perspective: What happens when the vehicle purchased from a professional or car dealer is not new, but second hand? We explain to you how to act and claim for a second hand car problem in Spain.

Legal warranty in the purchase of a second-hand vehicle.

Royal Decree 1/2007 of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users regulates the legal warranty in the purchase of second-hand vehicles from professionals or car dealers. Used vehicles have, in principle, a 3-year warranty. However, the law allows the professional vendor and consumer to agree on a shorter term (at least 1 year).

Therefore, in practice, second-hand cars are usually covered by a 1-year warranty. However, if nothing is stated in the contract, the warranty will be 3 years.

The car has problems: lack of conformity and burden of proof.

If the vehicle has any faults and does not function properly (either due to minor flaws or more serious issues) the professional seller or car dealer must take care of them. If the problem appears within the first 12 months (or within the first 24 months, when the warranty is of 3 years) the buyer is not obliged to prove that the defect is prior to the delivery. It will be presumed that the defect already existed when the vehicle was delivered to the buyer. However, the seller may destroy this presumption, for example, with an expert report.

Important: be careful with the wording of the purchase contract.

If the purchase contract expressly mentions the existence of any underlying fault or defect in the vehicle, it will not be possible to claim for this reason at a later date. In these cases, it is understood that the sale price agreed between the parties has considered the existence of this problem. Therefore, it is vital to check the wording of the contract to see if there is any mention of a pre-existing fault or defect. 

What can I do in case of malfunctions? Termination of the contract, refund and price reduction.

The buyer may request a reduction in the price due to his second hand car problem. It will also be possible to request the termination of the contract and the refund of the money paid, in certain cases:

– When the replacement or repair is disproportionate for the professional seller or car dealer.

– In case neither of the two has been carried out within a reasonable period of time.

– If after opting for either of the two (replacement or repair) there is still no conformity about the problems/defects.

These options (price discount and termination of the contract) are reserved only for serious defects, and not for minor problems.

Right of withdrawal.

If the purchase of the vehicle has been made “remotely” (e.g. through a website, telephone, door-to-door salesperson, etc.) the consumer has the right to withdraw from the purchase. The deadline is 14 working days and there is no need to provide any reason for the withdrawal. In addition, if the professional seller or car dealer does not inform the consumer of this right in writing, the withdrawal period is increased from 14 days to 12 months.


At White Baos Abogados we are experts in consumer law, and in claims related to the purchase of vehicles. You can claim for your second hand car problem bought from a professional seller or car dealer. Do not hesitate to contact us. We will study your case and offer you expert legal advice on how you should proceed.

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

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

White & Baos.

Tel: +34 966 426 185


White & Baos 2023 – All Rights Reserved.

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