Here at Händler Protect, one of the daily conversations with our dealer partners is around the legal requirements of retailing a vehicle and what is expected by the dealer towards the customer regarding a warranty.
Below we have provided official legal requirements plus some tips.
Having backgrounds in selling vehicles both within a franchise and independent set-up, our staff have provided their thoughts, along with daily experiences of dealing with our dealers’ vehicle owners.
You’d be surprised but some dealers believe that a three-month warranty will satisfy their responsibility for warranting a retailed vehicle when in fact it’s six months.
Underestimating customer service relating to warranty issues
We have had many dealers who decided to ‘warrant’ their own vehicles in-house, believing that there will be a saving and thinking it is just about replacing or fixing a failed part.
In our opinion, representing more than 1,000 active dealers per month and having warrantied more than 100,000 vehicles and authorising thousands in claims, it’s not as simple as replacing/fixing a part, it is the time spent dealing with the customer, sourcing parts, investigating failures, arranging turnaround times, car hire, etc.
This all adds up to many emails and calls per submitted claim, not to mention misunderstandings around warranties and what is actually covered or not.
Our records show some submitted claims relating to general service items, replacement tyres, crash repairs and write-offs.
Even though to us in the motor trade these are obviously non-covered claims, these inquiries still must be dealt with professionally and quickly.
Benefits of having a warranty partner
Think of a warranty company as an extension of your dealership.
In any large dealership that has multiple departments, a dedicated warranty executive manages the warranty issue on behalf of the customer and the salesperson is not notified or involved.
At Händler Protect, we try to offer the same service. We never direct the customer back to the dealer/salesperson.
We try to manage the warranty issue directly with the customer and the repairing garage. This acts as a first-line support service to the dealers and their customers.
We recommend that every vehicle is sold with an extended warranty and that every repair is carried out under that warranty with the customer’s agreement.
By offering the vehicle with a warranty and completing any repair under the warranty, the ‘customer’s statutory rights are not being used and therefore the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act are not being relied on’.
Summary of a dealer’s requirements when retailing a vehicle
Fit for purpose
The buyer must be able to use the vehicle for the purposes that they would normally expect from a vehicle, including any purpose that was discussed with the selling dealer before they bought it, or which the dealer advertised or discussed during the sales conversations, for example, off-road, towing, city use, etc.
Wear and tear
A motor dealer is not liable for fair wear and tear, where the vehicle broke down or the fault emerged through normal use, nor are they liable if they drew the customer’s attention to the full extent of any fault or defect before the customer bought the car.
First 30 days
To reject a vehicle within the first 30 days, the fault that now renders the vehicle not of satisfactory quality, not fit for a particular purpose or not as described must be proved by the customer that this had developed prior to the point-of-sale date.
After 30 days – up to the end of the first six months
Selling dealers have the right to repair the vehicle only once. However, the customer can reject the vehicle if that repair is unsuccessful, unless otherwise agreed between the customer and dealer.
After six months
If a fault develops after six months, the onus is on the customer to prove that the fault was present when the vehicle was first purchased.