Buying a car second hand from a garage

Do you know if you have any consumer rights with regards buying a car second hand from a garage.
We bought a car yesterday from a garage as a run around to keep the mileage down on our other cars.
I checked the header tank at the garage and water was clean, brought it 10 miles home and on checking the header tank here there is black oil in the water indicating the head gasket is away.
Do I have any option to reject the car under consumer law in France as you do in the UK does anyone know.

I was not sure whether to put this in here or in the legal section.

This was the first Google hit on “voiture occasion vices cachés” - hope that it is some use. Other Google hits are available :slight_smile:

Thanks, Google translate is my friend but it does not automatically work on a search page unfortunately.
My better half really likes the car but the covering up of the gasket failure is annoying.

It will be interesting to see how you get on with this, please report back.

Yes, you should be protected. The first step is to notify the vendor of the problem. I’d do this in writing, by post, using Lettre Recommandé avec accusé de réception.
That way, you will have absolute proof that you notified them of the problem, which may prove useful if it comes to fisticuffs (metaphorically speaking).


You should be OK, three years ago, we made a very expensive mistake buying from a private seller; the next time, when we bought from a car showroom, a biggish problem was fixed for free without question.

I never thought I’d actually say this, but you could use Chrome.

Hmmm, if actually “covered up” by a professional seller I’d think that was skirting around the edges of illegality.

Chrome does not translate a search page automatically.
I’m a retired mechanic and garage owner amongst other things, I know the tricks of the trade.

I may be wrong but I think I remember hearing / reading that they have to give you a 3 month warranty for things like this?

I’m not sure what you mean by this, are you talking about the Google search results page - in which case Chrome should offer you a choice of languages in which to view the page - look top right of the screen for the translate button image.

Click it and you should get something like


Allowing you to translate the search results. If you click the row of dots you can also make it translate French automatically.

Each result also has a “Translate this page” link which normally works for me in Chrome but not in Firefox for some reason.

Do you have add blockers or other privacy extensions which might be preventing Chrome’s auto-translate from working? I don’t for Chrome (as I only use it for a single work-related website which does not function in Firefox) but do in Firefox which might explain why the latter does not work for me.

Vise cachet.


I think you mean vice caché :blush:


You have 2 years from when the hidden defect is discovered to return the property to the seller.
The advert stated.
Very clean vehicle, very well maintained, always in the garage. The maintenance is done and up to date (oil change + filter replacement) Distribution kit with up-to-date water pump The 4 tires are in good condition, brake discs and pads therefore in excellent condition. No cost to plan.

I knew it didn’t look right after typing,apologies.

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Have you contacted the Garage which sold you the car ???

Yes they have been contacted by registered letter and email.

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Buying another car, to keep the mileage down on our others

Please let us know how they respond.

Will do Brian.