Buying a car: read the contract carefully

Since “the devil is in the details” as we say in English, take the time to fully understand your contract before signing it.

Before signing a sales contract, make sure that all the necessary information is there. Remember that the clearer the agreement, the more problems you will avoid. Please note that new car sellers are not required to use a written contract in a specific form, except in the case of an installment sale (that is, when your purchase is financed by the seller). At the same time, dealers still use the contract, which contains all the information related to the sale. Also read the terms and conditions on the back of the contract. You will find there, among other things, those concerning its cancellation.

Make sure that the content of the contract is consistent with the announcements and promises given to you by the seller. And make sure the following information is included:

• place and date of signing the contract;

• name and address of the seller;

• your name and address;

• year of manufacture, serial number, make and model of the car, as well as engine size;

• selected options, if applicable;

• accessories added by the dealer and their cost (winter tires, remote starter, etc.);

• date of delivery of the car;

• total price payable;

• the amount of the bond, if applicable;

• the price of the car left behind, if applicable;

• trader’s permit number.

Sale of housing

If you are selling your old car through a dealer from whom you are buying a new car (home sale), your contract should include all the relevant information.

This advice is taken from 100 TIPS for Consumers, Your Rights on a Daily Basis, produced in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Authority. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Authority is offering this guide free of charge to all consumers.


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