Buying a car on the spot or on the internet

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buyer tips and differences when buying a car on the spot or on the internet

Things to know about the purchase contract

Car purchase

What to look out for when buying a car online ?

As already stated, a contract for the purchase of a car is concluded by two concurrent declarations of intent (offer and acceptance). Although a contract of sale for a vehicle can also be concluded verbally, it is advisable to put it in writing – after all, a lot of money is at stake. usually the seller makes the contract. Occasionally, however, a buyer can influence the content of the purchase contract in dialogue with the seller. It is also important to record the offer of the vehicle (whether in the newspaper, on the internet in a car sales portal or on a note at the dealer). For the content of the purchase contract must correspond to the offer in principle. In the event of a dispute, a buyer may be able to provide "tangible" evidence of the warranted characteristics of the vehicle via the offer.

Buying a car from a local dealer on the spot

The classic purchase of a motor vehicle often still takes place in direct contact between the buyer and the seller "on site" (usually at the seller’s place of residence or business). As a rule, a contract of sale is concluded after a test drive and a detailed inspection of the vehicle.

There is no right of revocation here, as is the case when buying over the Internet. However, the buyer can inspect the car on the spot to "heart and kidneys" and inspect. A buyer should have the necessary expertise, especially when inspecting a used motor vehicle. Otherwise, he or she should consult a professional confidant. A reputable seller should have no objections to a test drive to a nearby specialist workshop.

The right of revocation should not be confused with the right to complain about defects and liability and the right to withdraw from the purchase contract based on this right. In the event of a defect, a car buyer naturally has a right of rescission under certain circumstances, even if he buys the car on the spot. In addition, a buyer may be entitled to claim damages in the event of an error, a false transmission or fraudulent misrepresentation. Also the right to challenge one’s own declaration of intent to conclude the car purchase contract. In summary, the right of revocation only exists in the case of distance selling. Withdrawal and rescission exist independently of the modalities of the conclusion of the contract: this is, of course, only valid with restrictions – e.g., the buyer can withdraw from the contract.B. Warranty claims (including the right to withdraw from the contract) must be effectively excluded.

The purchase by means of telecommunication

Nowadays, cars are also increasingly the subject of distance selling transactions. In many cases, motor vehicles are offered by dealers and private individuals via the Internet. Here, in addition to the usual sales portals (such as ebay.De) also car brokerage platforms, such as mobile.De, autoscout24.De or used car.De used.

In contrast to online auction platforms, the usual brokerage portals regularly do not offer direct conclusion of a contract at the click of a mouse.

As the name suggests, the purpose of the brokerage portals is to act as an intermediary between dealers and potential buyers. A dealer places an offer on the portal. Potential buyers can then use the platform’s search function to compare this offer with all other available vehicle offers on the portal. The contract itself is concluded only later – in direct communication between buyer and seller.

With auction portals, a contract is usually concluded at the click of a mouse. In this respect, pressing the mouse button represents an act of will with the aim of concluding the contract. It should be borne in mind that in the case of an offer in "auction format" (the highest bidder is awarded the contract after a certain period of time), the purchase contract is not concluded until the auction has ended. In the case of an offer in the "fixed price" or "immediate purchase" format, a contract is concluded when the declaration of intent is submitted.

If a contract between a retailer and a consumer is concluded by means of distance selling (including via e-mail), the consumer has a right to a refund fourteen-day right of revocation to. If the seller does not inform the buyer about his right of revocation, or informs him inadequately, the revocation period does not begin. In the event of inadequate information, the consumer may therefore still be able to exercise his right of cancellation 12 months after the conclusion of the contract.

Practical tip for buying a car

People looking for a used car don’t want to buy a "cat in a bag". A "used car check" can reveal hidden defects or deviations from a full-bodied car price quotation. Sometimes such a check can even save a long trip to the vehicle location.

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