In used car sales transactions, there are several recurring issues that come before the court (Photo: ShutterStock)
Buying a car by a private person is not a common thing.
This is a big deal, and buyers want to ensure that they are making a good purchase, that the vehicle they want to purchase is in good condition and that the whole deal is worthwhile.
The sellers, on the other hand, want to sell their vehicle for the highest price.
As a result of the gap between the existing interests between the parties, a discrepancy can arise between the information provided regarding the vehicle and its real condition.
In used car sales transactions, there are a number of recurring issues that come before the court, the most common of which is the non-disclosure of the essential information that reflects the past of the vehicle, such as non-disclosure of accidents, significant recurring faults, the replacement of the vehicle's engine, whether the previous owner was a private person or a rental or leasing vehicle, whether the vehicle was used by an individual driver or a company, how many hands the vehicle passed through and how many kilometers it traveled.
"There are ways to deal with each of the issues, and with careful behavior on the part of the buyer, they can also be avoided," says attorney and mediator Hanit Al-Ezra, who has been involved for many years in representing and providing legal advice in car transactions. "Both buyers and sellers have a duty of care in car sales transactions .
The ruling imposes an extended liability on the seller in the duty of disclosure, but at the same time also recognizes the duty of caution of the buyer."
How common are these issues and how can they be dealt with?
"These are very common issues, but it is important to know that buyers have many protections, and in the automotive industry the duty of disclosure has been given a solid status within the framework of the Used Car Sales Law (Right to Information and Due Disclosure 2008).
In accordance with this law, the seller engaged in the sale of used vehicles has an increased duty of disclosure by providing a specific form in which proper disclosure of the condition of the vehicle and all essential information is required," explains Attorney El-Ezra.
According to her, the consumer protection law applicable to a transaction made between a dealer and a consumer has also expanded the duty of disclosure applicable to the seller, imposes a duty of disclosure already at the advertising stage of the vehicle and requires the buyer to reflect its true condition.
"The Consumer Protection Authority increases enforcement and imposes financial sanctions for violating fair trade and misleading the buyer," explains Attorney Elezzara.
The ruling states: "Buyer beware"
Despite the existing protections in favor of the buyer, it is important to know the problematic issues in buying a used car.
"The more careful we are, we can avoid an inappropriate purchase. The ruling calls this 'buyer beware,' meaning he must take actions that will help reduce the risk," says attorney Elezra. These are the golden recommendations before buying a used car: Car license: The buyer must ask the
produce Updated vehicle license. This way you will be able to see the updated details on the vehicle: originality of the vehicle, leasing/rental, updated mileage, previous owner, hand, whether there is work on the vehicle, whether there is a lien, whether the vehicle has been tested and whether the test is valid.
: The buyer must take the vehicle for inspection at a licensing institute authorized by the Ministry of Transportation, and the buyer is also the one to choose the inspection institute
: A clearinghouse report must be issued on the vehicle in order to check the insurance history. If the vehicle has a loss according to the law, or if it has been in accidents and its owners
have claimed the insurance, this is the place where the information will appear
It is possible to find out if an engine has been replaced. It should be noted that the licensing institutes usually perform a compatibility check only by performing a test and not by inspecting the vehicle before the purchase.
: it is advisable to come with a friend, acquaintance or professional from the automotive industry for the purpose of the purchase.
: it is recommended to take a test drive in the vehicle.
: Check whether the vehicle data matches the numbers in the sales agreement, such as the number of kilometers listed.
: It is important to ask the seller for the vehicle's maintenance history, through which you can see the manner of maintenance, whether timely maintenance was performed, whether the odometer was falsified, etc.
: You must purchase a vehicle with a valid test, otherwise it will not be possible to transfer ownership.
: It is advisable to ask the seller for a written reference regarding the price list of the vehicle according to the specific model.
Attorney and mediator Hanit El-Ezra, specializes in representation in the automotive industry (photo: Public Relations)
The common issue: concealment of information, non-disclosure
One of the main claims that arise in lawsuits to courts in used car sales transactions is non-disclosure, when the buyer discovers only after the purchase that he was not given essential information about the vehicle, had he known it the transaction would not have been completed.
"In legal language, it can be argued that entering into a contract due to a mistake and due to deception, as part of the negotiation procedures between the parties, leads to the cancellation of the agreement," says Attorney El-Ezra
. all the relevant details for disclosure according to the law," she explains. "Who were the previous owners of the vehicle, the number of previous owners, injuries caused to the vehicle, the number of kilometers the vehicle traveled, and any other essential information.
Non-disclosure can include many areas: non-disclosure about damage to the vehicle, previous accidents the vehicle has been in, a vehicle that has lost its license plate, engine replacement, previous owners, the originality of the vehicle,
"In the case of non-disclosure, you can of course sue the seller, but it is always better to avoid the situation in advance - to take every vehicle for a comprehensive inspection that will provide up-to-date information about its condition. Even before signing the agreement with the seller, the buyer is required to sign a due diligence form detailing the condition of the vehicle , which includes a vulnerability history. If it is later discovered that a critical detail was omitted from the disclosure form, this will stand in the buyer's favor in future legal proceedings."
How common is it for a seller to tell a buyer that a car has been in an accident?
"This is a common phenomenon, and a worse situation than this is the failure to discover that the vehicle was previously defective. That is, a vehicle that has been in a serious accident that sometimes makes it unprofitable to repair. This issue raises many problems: questions regarding the safety of the vehicle, it is possible that continuous and new faults will be discovered in the future, and The fact that the value of the car drops by almost half."
Here too, explains Attorney El-Ezra, "there are ways to deal with the phenomenon even before the purchase and avoid a situation of late discovery.
A clearinghouse report can be produced on the vehicle at a nominal cost, where it will be noted whether the vehicle has lost its license in the past. Furthermore, if you are purchasing a vehicle from a private person, it is essential to have a written contract that reflects the condition of the vehicle, including an explicit statement that the vehicle is not in a state of loss of license
. If you buy the vehicle from a car dealership, it is important to remember that the seller must provide the buyer with a due diligence form before the purchase.
Failure to deliver the form imposes a punitive sanction and of course it tips the scales in favor of the buyer to the extent that he is forced to sue the seller in court."
Knowledge and personal responsibility can solve most problems
Bottom line, in order to avoid making an unprofitable used car transaction and future lawsuits, it is important to know the laws that protect the buyer in car sales transactions, but also to take personal responsibility.
Don't forget that both buyers and sellers have a duty of care.
An active and alert buyer who takes all these steps can reduce exposure to risk and make the right purchase for him.
In addition, if in the future he gets into a legal dispute, he will then have the upper hand.
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