Carlos Baos – Purchasing a second-hand car

Legal Rights for Used Vehicles in Spain: Your Essential Guide

In previous articles, we discussed how to handle claims for new cars in Spain. Today, we address a different scenario – what to do if you ever encounter a problem with a second-hand vehicle that you have purchased from a professional or car dealer in Spain.

Warranty for Second-Hand Cars

The Law of Consumers and Users (RD 1/2007) governs the legal warranty for second-hand vehicles bought from professionals or car dealers. Typically, second-hand cars come with a 3-year warranty, but it can be shorter if agreed upon in the contract (ever being able to be less than 1 year). In the absence of any agreement, the warranty defaults to 3 years.

If a second-hand vehicle experiences problems within the initial twelve months (or twenty-four months in the case of a three-year warranty), the vendor is responsible, and the buyer is not obligated to demonstrate the pre-existence of the defect. Nevertheless, the seller retains the right to contest this presumption with an expert report.

Purchase Contract: Wording Matters

If the purchase agreement specifically references pre-existing faults or defects, it might limit the possibility of future claims related to these issues. This suggests that the sale price takes into account the acknowledged problems. Hence, it is vital to carefully examine the contract’s wording concerning pre-existing issues: engine issues, chassis defects, etc.

Options for Malfunctions: Termination, Refund, or Price Reduction

In the case of significant defects, the buyer can request a price reduction. However, as happens with new cards, both the termination of the contract and a refund of the money paid are only possible under specific scenarios:

  • If repairs or replacements are disproportionate.
  • If neither has been executed within a reasonable timeframe.
  • If problems persist even after repair or replacement.

Note that these options apply to serious defects, not minor issues.

14 days for a no-questions-asked change of heart.

When a vehicle is purchased via the internet, by telephone, or through direct sales, the customer is entitled to a 14-day withdrawal period without needing to provide a motive. If the seller fails to inform the consumer of this right in writing, the withdrawal period extends to one year.


At White Baos Lawyers, we specialize in consumer law and vehicle-related claims. If you encounter problems with a second-hand car purchased from a professional seller or car dealer, feel free to get in touch with us. We provide expert legal advice tailored to your specific case.

You may be interested in the following services and articles:

Rent with option to buy in Spain. Legal advice. Concept. Taxation. Advantages. Etc.

Who should pay for repairs during a lease contract?.

The guarantors in the rental contracts. Eviction court cases against guarantors in Spain. How to get the money back..

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.