Buying a car from a private individual
If you buy your car privately, you have a lower level of protection than if you buy a car from a dealer. Therefore, you should survey the market carefully and, when you have found a car to buy, find out about the seller.
Things to think about
- Survey the market and look at different car models.
- Contact The Swedish Transport Agency and check that the seller legally owns the car and that there are no debts connected to the car.
- Take the car for a test drive before you buy it.
- Inspect the car carefully and check that all the important features work properly.
- Conduct a delivery check.
- Sign a contract of purchase.
If you buy a car from a private individual, the purchase is covered by the Consumer Sales Act, which provides you with a lower level of protection. As a buyer, you have a greater responsibility to inspect the car and, because warranties are seldom provided with private sales, it is additionally important that you inspect the car carefully.
Survey the market and choose the right car
Read adverts on the internet and in newspapers in order to get an idea of the reasonable cost of different cars.
Find out about the seller
If you buy a car privately, you should check that the person selling the car is the car’s legal owner and that there are no debts connected to the car. You can do this by contacting The Swedish Transport Agency. If there are any unpaid debts connected to the car, it may be seized by the Swedish Enforcement Authority even if you, as buyer of the car, are not responsible for the debts. If the matter has been referred to the Swedish Enforcement Authority, you should contact them to find out about the size of the debt.
The contract of purchase
If you buy a used car privately, you are covered by the rules of the Consumer Sales Act. The Consumer Sales Act is dispositive, which means that the rules of the law only apply if no other agreements have been made. It is, therefore, important that everything that you and the seller agree upon is written into the contract. You should write two copies of the contract so that both you and the seller have one each.
No right of withdrawal
If you and the seller have not included the right of withdrawal in the written agreement, you cannot withdraw from the purchase when you have bought a car from a private individual.
It is unusual to receive a warranty when you buy a car from a private seller. If the car is of a recent model, however, the car may still be covered by a warranty. If the car does not come with any warranty, the rules of the Consumer Sales Act apply.
Insurance and notification
When you have bought a car, you are responsible for ensuring that the car is insured. You must also ensure that both you and the seller notify The Swedish Transport Agency that the car has a new owner.
Test drive the car
Take the car for a test drive before you buy it. If you are not very knowledgeable about cars, it is a good idea to have a knowledgeable person with you. Take the car for a long enough test drive so that the engine has a chance to warm up. This ensures that all the car’s systems have time to activate, which makes it easier to detect any faults.
In order to be able to buy a car, you may need to borrow money. Make sure that you can afford to both make repayments and pay interest charges. If you do not keep up with your payments, the creditor may take your car. You can borrow up to 80 percent of the cost of the car; you will have to pay a down payment of the remaining 20 percent with your own money. You can pay for this in cash or by offering your old car in part exchange. The requirement for the down payment is partly to reduce the desire for consumption and partly to provide a security that you will be able to afford to repay the loan.
When you collect your car, it is a good idea to conduct a delivery check before you drive it away from the seller.
Delivery check checklist
- Check the brakes, steering, lights, windscreen wipers and other moving parts. Ask the seller to come with you when you test drive the car.
- Check that there is no damage to the paintwork. If you don’t discover it until after you’ve completed the purchase, it can be difficult to prove that any damage occurred before the car was delivered.
- Check that the car is supplied complete with all the details and features specified in the proof of purchase.
- Make a note of any discrepancies you find on your copy of the proof of purchase and ask the seller to sign it.
- Check that all documents belonging to the car are supplied, such as contracts, instruction manual, proof of registration and any warranty documents.
Report the change of ownership
If you decide to buy the car, both you and the present owner of the car must notify The Swedish Transport Agency that there has been a change of ownership of the car.