Vehicle purchased in Germany and hidden defect

5 janvier 2022 Equipe rédactionnelle

Vehicle purchased in Germany and hidden defect

Garantie des vices cachés et la prescription de cinq ans



It is recognized that vehicles registered in Germany are worth less than identical vehicles sold in France. Hence the temptation to buy in Germany.

But beware !

This choice has consequences for the applicable law in the event of discovery of a hidden defect (tampered with speedometer, defective gearbox motor, badly repaired accident, corrosion, etc.)

If, according to a principle arising directly from Article 16 of Community Regulation 44/2011, you can initiate an action in warranty against hidden defects against the German seller before the French courts, the court seised will apply German law or French law according to very specific criteria.

But the laws are different …

And French law is more favorable to consumers

For example, the action for hidden defect is prescribed within two years from the discovery of the defect, the whole being locked up within 5 years after the sale, that is to say that you cannot not initiate proceedings once this period has expired.

Whereas, if German law is applicable, you will only have two years from the sale to act in court, regardless of the date of discovery of the defects!

Another example :

If French law is applicable, you can take action against your seller but also against the previous seller or the manufacturer, which will be essential if your own seller is insolvent.
While German law will not allow you this recourse action.
Another difference is that German law will grant you smaller amounts.

Therefore, before buying a vehicle in Germany, or in the event of a problem with a vehicle that you have already purchased, it is important to know the legal criteria for choosing.

In principle, the dispute concerning the vehicle purchased from a German seller is subject to German law.

As an exception, and for the greater benefit of the consumer:

• Purchasing from a professional, French law will apply if the acts necessary for the conclusion of the contract have been performed in France, or if France has the closest links to the sale. This could in particular be the case if the sale was made from a French site linking to a seller’s site, or if the seller operates in France and therefore directs his activity there.
• Buying from a private individual, French law will be retained if France has the closest links with the sale.
In summary, it is important to remember:
• Buying in Germany presents less guarantee than buying in France.
• In the event of a problem with a vehicle purchased in Germany, it is necessary to act very quickly, and with the assistance of a lawyer experienced in this issue.
SIRET ET ASSOCIES will provide you with its expertise to help you manage the situation effectively.



The firm SIRET ET ASSOCIES, practicing the Highway Code and the Courts for more than 40 years, will be able to advise you.


Bordeaux lawyer purchase sale vehicle

remise des documents administratifs

Contact téléphone 02 51 05 38 23 et Mail :



SELARL SIRET & Associés – RCS LA ROCHE SUR YON 390 567 519 – Numéro d’Identification Intracommunautaire FR 90390567519

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Avocat vice caché automobile
Avocat vice apparent
Avocat vice difficilement perceptible sans démontage
Avocat vice de fabrication
Avocat vice de conception
Avocat carrosserie structure
Avocat oxydation carrosserie
Avocat corrosion perforante carrosserie
Avocat Déformation de longeron
Avocat défaut d’étanchéité de toit
Avocat défaut de la pompe à huile
Avocat défaut de la pompe d’injection
Avocat défaut du système de freinage
Avocat défectuosité du moteur
Avocat rupture d’une bielle Fuite des injecteurs
Avocat défaillance de la fixation des soupapes
Avocat manque de fiabilité
Avocat défaut de direction
Avocat consommation excessive d’eau


Avocat problèmes de vices cachés
Avocat tromperie professionnel automobile
Obligation de sécurité de résultats du garagiste
Obligation de moyens du contrôleur technique
Professionnel de la vente et de la réparation automobile
Présomption de vice antérieur à la vente
Vice en germe lors de la vente
Dépôt vente Mandataire Mécanicien
Avocat vibrations excessives
Avocat courroie de distribution,
Avocat défaut du volant moteur
Avocat kilométrage trop important
Avocat corrosion du plancher et de la coque
Avocat moteur émettant des fumées importantes
Avocat tromperie, falsification du compteur kilométrique
Avocat droit automobile
Avocat litiges garagiste
Avocat consommation excessive d’huile


Clause de non garantie
Remboursement des prix
Remboursement des frais et des honoraires
Expert judiciaire ou amiable
Protection juridique Vendée
Assurance de protection juridique
Véhicule de collection en état de rouler
Usure anormale du véhicule
Avocat boîte de vitesses
Obligation d’information de l’acheteur
Vices difficilement perceptibles sans démontage
Pourparlers, prolongation du délai de deux ans
Prescription quinquennale
Réitération de panne auto moto
Frais d’Immobilisation automobile
Frais de gardiennage auto
Valeur de remplacement véhicule
Véhicule de remplacement ou véhicule de location
Litiges sur facture d’entretien