The Importance of Mileage in Purchasing Used Vehicles
You buy a second-hand vehicle (car – motorbike – motorhome – plane – boat).
The year of manufacture, the vintage, is a determining factor in your purchase. Indeed, this date clearly identifies your vehicle and gives it a precise value. The vintage differs from the date of first registration on the registration certificate, which corresponds to the authorization of the purchaser to put this vehicle into circulation. And there can be a significant difference between these two dates. Indeed, the vehicle can be built one year, remain in stock, then be registered another year. Or it can also be sold to a professional, who uses it as a demonstration vehicle, then sells it after a few months and after thousands of kilometers.
The registration card will then bear a date of circulation different from the date of construction. You can therefore buy a vehicle which has a first entry date distant from the construction date, giving the vintage and which has already driven before this date. This is what happened to a couple who bought a used vehicle in 2014 with a date of first entry into service in 2012.
He thought the vehicle was from 2012 …
But this vehicle had a life before 2012 since, even before its first registration, the maintenance book mentioned an maintenance at 23,283 km! In fact, it was built in 2010, then sold to a Belgian dealer, who used it in a demonstration vehicle, without registering it, before selling it to a French professional … Believing that they had been deceived, in particular as regards the resale value, the couple brought an action.
By judgment of June 9, 2020, the POITIERS Court of Appeal thus ruled: « If the reference to the model year was abandoned from July 1, 2000, it should be noted that the date of effective circulation of the vehicle as its mileage are particularly determining elements of the consent. It is one of its essential characteristics which must be communicated to the purchaser … It must be considered as part of the determination of the value of the vehicle and of its future reliability … that a delay of two years of use made not only has a significant impact on this value but also on its age and longevity « .
The Court therefore accepts a failure to deliver in accordance with the order placed. She cancels the sale, orders the full price to be returned, in addition to € 2,500 for the lack of information and € 3,000 for reimbursement of fees. Note that since 2014, the vehicle has traveled tens of thousands of kilometers, which will prove to be free. Thus, in the event of a lack of conformity of a vehicle sold by a professional, contact a specialized lawyer.
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