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Old 19.11.2016, 20:19
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Sell car in private

Hello everyone,

While selling a car in private there is any precaution or special attention to have in Switzerland? I have a person that look's like car dealer and would like to visit me, pay cash and take the car immediately. Is this usual in Switzerland?

Sorry, but this is the first time that I sell a car in Switzerland and would like to avoid any kind of problem, if someone already has a previous experience that can help.. would be very appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 20.11.2016, 00:02
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Re: Sell car in private

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Hello everyone,

While selling a car in private there is any precaution or special attention to have in Switzerland? I have a person that look's like car dealer and would like to visit me, pay cash and take the car immediately. Is this usual in Switzerland?

Sorry, but this is the first time that I sell a car in Switzerland and would like to avoid any kind of problem, if someone already has a previous experience that can help.. would be very appreciated.

Thank you
Only ever accept cash, is about the only rule & keep hold of your plates so you can cancel your insurance.
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Old 20.11.2016, 08:42
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Re: Sell car in private

Keep the grey paper on you if they take a test drive alone.
Be prepared for a low ball offer.
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Old 20.11.2016, 08:42
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Re: Sell car in private

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Only ever accept cash, is about the only rule & keep hold of your plates so you can cancel your insurance.
Thank you!!

Regarding the cash.. that is because of the scams? Even with a document stating that I have received XX.XXX CHF?

Thank you
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Old 20.11.2016, 16:31
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Re: Sell car in private

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Thank you!!

Regarding the cash.. that is because of the scams? Even with a document stating that I have received XX.XXX CHF?

Thank you
Let's say you two sign a contract. You hand over key and papers; you consider the deal closed and well. When you phone the other guy to enquire about the misisng payment nobody answers, or he says he has no idea what you're talking about. Later on you find that the guy has sold the car forward, possibly after exporting it. Your insurance rightfully refuses to pay because you handed him keys and car, thus it's not theft.

Now what are you gonna do, pay many thousands for a lawyer to get you a few thousands in purchase price? Only to find out years(!) later that there's nothing left for the courts to lay their hands on?

Cash for car plus papers plus keys. Nothing else. Even (or rather, especially) if the car is in six-figures territory.

Never let a stranger test-drive alone. Never leave the grey card in the car (yes, you may have to pay a negligible fine for not having it with you if checked by the police - just say it's too risky, show the photocopy and you'll probably get off the hook for free anyway).
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Old 20.11.2016, 17:25
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Re: Sell car in private

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Thank you!!

Regarding the cash.. that is because of the scams? Even with a document stating that I have received XX.XXX CHF?

Thank you
Having bought 6 cars & 2 motorcycles in Switzerland & sold them all, thats 14 transactions. Every transaction was in CASH, which is how it works in CH.

When buying from a dealer I always got an invoice however when selling privately or to a dealer there was never any paperwork of any sort. Dealers certainly did not want a document saying the price they paid in cash, the figure was something they would make up in their accounts at a later date
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Old 20.11.2016, 17:45
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Re: Sell car in private

No paperwork when selling? That's risky - you're liable for defects for a couple of years after the sale by default, if you didnt waive that through a contract
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Old 20.11.2016, 19:03
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Re: Sell car in private

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No paperwork when selling? That's risky - you're liable for defects for a couple of years after the sale by default, if you didnt waive that through a contract
That's never going to happen with a used car from a private seller.

1) The seller won't confirm you ever bought the car from him.
or
2) He may offer a full refund of the 1 chf you paid for the car.
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Old 20.11.2016, 19:11
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Re: Sell car in private

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1) The seller won't confirm you ever bought the car from him.
What's there to confirm? You owned the car before. Now he owns the car. Put one and one together and you've got a sale.

Plus he'd probably have your emails, sms, screenshots of your sale ad that he can point to...

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2) He may offer a full refund of the 1 chf you paid for the car.
Noone would believe that you sold for 1 chf. A court would probably take the other party's word for it then or assess the car based on its condition.
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Old 20.11.2016, 19:34
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Re: Sell car in private

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No paperwork when selling? That's risky - you're liable for defects for a couple of years after the sale by default, if you didnt waive that through a contract
What liability for defects?

Tom
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Old 20.11.2016, 19:53
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Re: Sell car in private

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What liability for defects?
Art. 205 OR: buyer has a right to withdraw from the sale or demand a reduction in price for defects.

Do you really want to be forced to buy your car back after a couple of years when the buyer put some hundred thousand km's on it and it broke?

Or how about the prospect of paying for repairs of all defects (that you didn't mention to him in writing) that a garage found, to which he drives the car immediately after the sale?
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Old 20.11.2016, 20:07
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Re: Sell car in private

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Art. 205 OR: buyer has a right to withdraw from the sale or demand a reduction in price for defects.

Do you really want to be forced to buy your car back after a couple of years when the buyer put some hundred thousand km's on it and it broke?

Or how about the prospect of paying for repairs of all defects (that you didn't mention to him in writing) that a garage found, to which he drives the car immediately after the sale?
As I understand it car has to run for at least 30 days. I.e. one has 30 days to figure out if the car is OK! Or is this not so?
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Old 20.11.2016, 20:18
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Re: Sell car in private

Art. 200 B. Seller's obligations / III. Warranty of quality and fitness / 3. Defects known to the buyer
3. Defects known to the buyer
1The seller is not liable for defects known to the buyer at the time of purchase.
2He is not liable for defects that any normally attentive buyer should have discovered unless he assured the buyer that they do not exist.

Art. 201 B. Seller's obligations / III. Warranty of quality and fitness / 4. Notice of defects / a. In general
4. Notice of defects
a. In general
1The buyer must inspect the condition of the purchased object as soon as feasible in the normal course of business and, if he discovers defects for which the seller is liable under warranty, must notify him without delay.
2Should he fail to do so, the purchased object is deemed accepted except in the case of defects that would not be revealed by the customary inspection.
3Where such defects come to light subsequently, the seller must be notified immediately, failing which the object will be deemed accepted even in respect of such defects.
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Old 20.11.2016, 20:22
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Re: Sell car in private

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Art. 200 B. Seller's obligations / III. Warranty of quality and fitness / 3. Defects known to the buyer
3. Defects known to the buyer
1The seller is not liable for defects known to the buyer at the time of purchase.
2He is not liable for defects that any normally attentive buyer should have discovered unless he assured the buyer that they do not exist.

Art. 201 B. Seller's obligations / III. Warranty of quality and fitness / 4. Notice of defects / a. In general
4. Notice of defects
a. In general
1The buyer must inspect the condition of the purchased object as soon as feasible in the normal course of business and, if he discovers defects for which the seller is liable under warranty, must notify him without delay.
2Should he fail to do so, the purchased object is deemed accepted except in the case of defects that would not be revealed by the customary inspection.
3Where such defects come to light subsequently, the seller must be notified immediately, failing which the object will be deemed accepted even in respect of such defects.
Oh! good thing I always write "Sold as is" on my receipts!
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Old 20.11.2016, 20:30
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Re: Sell car in private

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As I understand it car has to run for at least 30 days. I.e. one has 30 days to figure out if the car is OK! Or is this not so?
No such thing exists in the laws! The laws specify a term of 2 years by default.

But it's ok to write 30 days in a contract if you want - contract would take precedence. That's why it's important to have one.

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Art. 200 B. Seller's obligations / III. Warranty of quality and fitness / 3. Defects known to the buyer
3. Defects known to the buyer
1The seller is not liable for defects known to the buyer at the time of purchase.
You'd carry the burden of proof on this one. If it wasn't mentioned in writing (e.g. in contract, or your car ad), you won't prove that you made it known to the buyer

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2He is not liable for defects that any normally attentive buyer should have discovered unless he assured the buyer that they do not exist.
A normally attentive private buyer would be limited to just assessing the car visually and test driving it. If it looks and drives ok, he'll buy it. If the garage later finds that it needs a lot of work to be done on it, that can easily become the seller's headache by default if you don't have a written contract.

Just make a written contract that explicitly specifies all your expectations about the sale, always. Or at least use some reasonable template from the internet if you're lazy to write something up yourself. You won't see any used car dealers selling you the car without making you sign something and there's a good reason for this

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Oh! good thing I always write "Sold as is" on my receipts!
It's a good start, but not really bulletproof. There are better wordings to use in a contract that waive even more liability from you.

Last edited by ivank; 20.11.2016 at 21:08.
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Old 21.11.2016, 07:45
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Re: Sell car in private

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No such thing exists in the laws! The laws specify a term of 2 years by default.
You Wank, this doesn't apply to private sales !

A private seller can in no way be held responsible to guarantee something free from defects for 2 years
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Old 21.11.2016, 08:05
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Re: Sell car in private

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You Wank, this doesn't apply to private sales !

A private seller can in no way be held responsible to guarantee something free from defects for 2 years
The law is the Code of Obligations, and you are wrong. Unless the seller reduces, or excludes the warranty the default two year applies. Even for a private seller.
Only distinction between a private and a B2C-seller: a private seller can specify any term between 0 and what ever. A B2C can only have either 0, 2 years, or a longer period. (In case of a used product 1 year or more is also allowed).

Art. 197
III. Warranty of quality and fitness
1. Object of the warranty
a. In general
1The seller is liable to the buyer for any breach of warranty of quality and for any defects that would materially or legally negate or substantially reduce the value of the object or its fitness for the designated purpose.
2He is liable even if he was not aware of the defects.

Art. 199
2. Exclusion of warranty
Any agreement to exclude or limit the warranty obligation is void if the seller has fraudulently concealed the failure to comply with warranty from the buyer.

Art. 200
3. Defects known to the buyer
1The seller is not liable for defects known to the buyer at the time of purchase.
2He is not liable for defects that any normally attentive buyer should have discovered unless he assured the buyer that they do not exist.

Art. 203
5. Intentional deceit
Where the seller has wilfully misled the buyer, liability for breach of warranty is not limited by any failure on the buyer's part to give prompt notice of defects.

Art.210
9. Time limits
1An action for breach of warranty of quality and fitness becomes time-barred two years after delivery of the object to the buyer, even if he does not discover the defects until later, unless the seller has assumed liability under warranty for a longer period.
[...]
4An agreement to reduce the limitation period is null and void if:
a. the limitation period is reduced to less than two years, or less than one year in the case of second-hand goods;
b. the object is intended to be used by the buyer or his or her family; and
c. the seller is acting in the course of his or her professional or commercial activities.
5The defence of defective goods remains available to the buyer provided he has notified the seller within the limitation period.
6The seller may not invoke the limitation period if it is proved that he wilfully misled the buyer. The foregoing does not apply to the 30-year period under paragraph 3.
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Old 21.11.2016, 08:08
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Re: Sell car in private

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You Wank, this doesn't apply to private sales !
Don't be so sure.
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Old 21.11.2016, 09:22
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Re: Sell car in private

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The law is the Code of Obligations, and you are wrong. Unless the seller reduces, or excludes the warranty the default two year applies. Even for a private seller.
Only distinction between a private and a B2C-seller: a private seller can specify any term between 0 and what ever. A B2C can only have either 0, 2 years, or a longer period. (In case of a used product 1 year or more is also allowed).

Art. 197
III. Warranty of quality and fitness
1. Object of the warranty
a. In general
1The seller is liable to the buyer for any breach of warranty of quality and for any defects that would materially or legally negate or substantially reduce the value of the object or its fitness for the designated purpose.
2He is liable even if he was not aware of the defects.

Art. 199
2. Exclusion of warranty
Any agreement to exclude or limit the warranty obligation is void if the seller has fraudulently concealed the failure to comply with warranty from the buyer.

Art. 200
3. Defects known to the buyer
1The seller is not liable for defects known to the buyer at the time of purchase.
2He is not liable for defects that any normally attentive buyer should have discovered unless he assured the buyer that they do not exist.

Art. 203
5. Intentional deceit
Where the seller has wilfully misled the buyer, liability for breach of warranty is not limited by any failure on the buyer's part to give prompt notice of defects.

Art.210
9. Time limits
1An action for breach of warranty of quality and fitness becomes time-barred two years after delivery of the object to the buyer, even if he does not discover the defects until later, unless the seller has assumed liability under warranty for a longer period.
[...]
4An agreement to reduce the limitation period is null and void if:
a. the limitation period is reduced to less than two years, or less than one year in the case of second-hand goods;
b. the object is intended to be used by the buyer or his or her family; and
c. the seller is acting in the course of his or her professional or commercial activities.
5The defence of defective goods remains available to the buyer provided he has notified the seller within the limitation period.
6The seller may not invoke the limitation period if it is proved that he wilfully misled the buyer. The foregoing does not apply to the 30-year period under paragraph 3.

I stand corrected.

I've never heard of a warrantly on second hand goods that are outside the manufactureres original warranty. I've also never read of anybody making a successful prosecution for lack of warranty on second hand goods, but obviously it must exist.
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Old 21.11.2016, 10:56
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Re: Sell car in private

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What's there to confirm? You owned the car before. Now he owns the car. Put one and one together and you've got a sale.

Plus he'd probably have your emails, sms, screenshots of your sale ad that he can point to...


Noone would believe that you sold for 1 chf. A court would probably take the other party's word for it then or assess the car based on its condition.
He could have bought the car via a third party, All of the cars I bought were not sold by the registered keeper.

Any advertisement would state the car was a private sale & sold as it is, so no further contract required.
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