Buying from a car dealer

When you buy a new or used car from a car dealer, you are protected by the Consumer Sales Act. This means that the car dealer is not permitted to give you less favourable conditions than those enshrined in this law. Even though you are protected by this law, there are some other things that are good to bear in mind.

Survey the market before you buy a car

Look around to get an idea of the reasonable cost of different cars. Read adverts on the internet and in newspapers, and look at more than one car.

Offer your car in part exchange where your brand of car is sold

If you are offering your old car in part exchange when buying a new one from a car dealer, it is a good idea to do this at a car dealer that specialises in your brand of car – they often pay you a higher price for the exchange. If the car you want to sell is quite old, it could be better to sell it privately as car dealers tend to pay less for older cars.

Goods declaration when you buy a used car

When you buy a used car from a car dealer, you should check that a goods declaration has been made easily visible for the used cars. If the car you want to buy costs more than SEK 30,000, the goods declaration must contain information about the condition of the car. It should also include information about tax, warranties and – if you have requested it – estimated repair costs. If the car costs less than SEK 30,000, it is sufficient if it provides information about the safety of the car. If you decide to buy the car, ensure that you receive a copy of the goods declaration.

Warranty when buying a car

When you buy a car, it is beneficial if you are given a warranty. The warranty means that the seller takes responsibility for the functionality of the car or for a particular feature during a specified period of time. The warranty means that the burden of proof rests upon the seller and not on you. If anything goes wrong with the car during the period of the warranty, the seller has to prove that the fault is not covered by the terms of the warranty if they are to be exempted from responsibility.

Warranty provided with the car

If you buy a new car, it will often come with a warranty issued by the manufacturer in collaboration with the dealership. Warranties that are valid for between two and ten years apply to the car and can be used by subsequent owners during this period.

The contract of purchase

The Swedish Consumer Agency has joined together with Sweden’s Motor Industry Association to develop a standard contract. Never agree to worse conditions of sale. When you buy a car from a car dealer, the Consumer Sales Act applies and this is binding to the benefit of the consumer. Agreements that provide you with fewer rights or worse conditions than those stated in the Consumer Sales Act are invalid.


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.

Sign the order

When you buy a car from a car dealer, both you and the seller must sign the order. The order becomes binding only when signed by a person with sufficient authority. This person is not usually the actual seller but is another employee of the car dealership.

Cancel before or after delivery 

In line with industry practice, a contract for the purchase of a car must be made in writing. You may cancel the transaction before the contract of purchase becomes binding, and this will not cost you anything. If you cancel the car purchase after the contract has become binding, you will be liable to pay compensation to the seller. Once the car has been delivered, you are no longer entitled to make a cancellation unless this has been agreed with the seller.

Compensation to the seller in the event of a cancellation

The amount of compensation that you will owe the seller if you cancel the purchase after the contract has become binding will begin to rise after only one week. It is, therefore, important that you act quickly if you want to cancel the purchase. The rate at which the level of compensation increases and the percentages that are applicable are stated in the terms and conditions for the industry.

Cover purchase if the seller changes their mind

If the seller changes their mind about the sale after you and the person invested with sufficient authority from the car dealer have signed the contract, you can demand that the purchase is completed. If the seller fails to supply the car, you might sometimes have the opportunity to make a cover purchase. This means that you can buy an equivalent car elsewhere and demand compensation from the original seller if the car you buy is more expensive. Save the receipts for your expenses in case you need to take the dispute to The National Board for Consumer Disputes.

Delivery check

When you collect your car, it is a good idea to conduct a delivery check before you drive it away from the dealership. This applies to the purchase of both new and used cars.