Carlos Baos – Do you have problems with your new car?

We explain your rights as a consumer in Spain.

Although the purchase of a new car is usually a reason for everyone to rejoice, things can change quickly if the car starts to present problems, faults, and breakdowns. In this week’s article we analyse the Consumer Protection Act (known as Royal Decree 1/2007) and the possibilities that consumers have when they buy a car from a professional and it does not turn out as expected.

What is the legal car warranty in Spain?

After the last reform of the law, the warranty was increased from 2 to 3 years. During this period, the vendor is liable for faults in the vehicle. In addition to the above, the manufacturer must be able to provide spare parts for at least a decade after the car is discontinued.

What happens when the vehicle starts to malfunction?

When a new car starts to present problems, the consumer has different options. Firstly, he/she can choose between a reparation and a replacement. However, a limit is set that the option chosen is not disproportionate or objectively impossible for the seller. For instance, if there was a problem with trunk opening system, it would be disproportionate to request a replacement by a new car. Nonetheless, choosing one of these options does not prevent that, if the problem persists, the other option could be chosen.

Is it true that I have to present the car dealership with a technician’s report to prove that the fault is a manufacturing problem?

No. Not exactly. The law establishes that, during the first two years, any fault in the vehicle will be presumed to be of origin. However, during the third year, this presumption changes. And it will be presumed that the defect or fault is not of manufacture. Only in this last case (last year of warranty) if you want to prove that the problem was already there, usually you will need a report.

And in which cases can I ask for a price reduction? And if I no longer want the car, can I terminate the contract and ask for my money back?

The price reduction (which in any case shall be in proportion to the extent of the damage or defect) and the possibility of cancelling the contract, return of the vehicle and request the reimbursement of the amounts paid, are only foreseen for the most serious cases in which the breakdowns, faults or defects are significant. If the vehicle has only minor faults and defects, these two scenarios are not available.

At White-Baos Lawyers we have been fighting for the rights of our clients, based consumer law, for almost two decades. If you are experiencing problems with your new car, do not hesitate to contact us. We will study your case and offer you expert legal advice on the matter.

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Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

White & Baos.

Tel: +34 966 426 185


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Written by

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

Lawyer Carlos Baos has been advising on variety of expat-related legal issues for years and weekly column offers free weekly insights.