Frequently asked questions
In which format must the vehicle sale agreement be concluded?
The law does not prescribe a mandatory format requirement for sales agreement, however, it is advisable to conclude the sales agreement in writing or in electronic format with digital signature in order to ensure that all circumstances and conditions are clearly established. This will help to prevent and solve potential disputes.
Does the seller have to provide warranty for the vehicle?
Warranty is an additional benefit provided by the seller to the buyer, by which a certain time period is defined during which the seller shall remove or compensate potential defects of the vehicle. Provision of such warranty is not mandatory.
However, all the provisions of Law of Obligations Act are applied to the sales agreement and pursuant to these the seller is liable for any lack of conformity of a thing which exists at the time when the risk of accidental loss of or damage to the thing passes to the purchaser (which usually is the moment of delivery of the vehicle) even if the lack of conformity becomes apparent after that time.
In the event of consumer sale (if the vehicle is sold to a consumer by a seller that has concluded the agreement as part of its economic or professional activities), the seller is liable for any lack of conformity of a thing which becomes apparent within two years as of the date of delivery of the thing to the purchaser and it is also presumed that any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months as of the date of delivery of a thing to the purchaser already existed before the delivery of the thing.
Is it possible to check the history and background of the vehicle from somewhere?
For any vehicles registered in Estonia a background check can be performed at the website of Estonian Road Administartion: https://eteenindus.mnt.ee/public/soidukTaustakontroll.jsf
Possible accident history of vehicles originating from Estonia can be checked from the website of Estonian Traffic Insurance Fund: www.lkf.ee
The data of the vehicle can also be checked based on the VIN code of the vehicle at the dealership of a respective vehicle brand. VIN code can be found on the vehicle and its registration documents.
VIN code (vehicle identification number) is a 17-character notation consisting of letters and numbers, which has been assigned by the manufacturer to designate a specific vehicle. VIN code must be installed on the vehicle by the manufacturer and it must be clearly visible and without any signs of manipulation. VIN code must be pressed or stamped onto the vehicle and it can also be sometimes found under the front windshield. Always check the VIN code of the vehicle and compare it to the code found at the documents of the vehicle.
Can I do something if it appears that the vehicle has defects?
If the seller has provided a warranty for the vehicle then a warranty claim must be submitted to the seller. If no separate warranty has been provided then the seller is liable for the non-conformity to the agreement conditions pursuant to Law of Obligations Act. The first step is to communicate with the seller and inform the seller of the defects.
Depending on the situation the buyer may be entitled to request either the repair of the defects, lowering of purchase price, or compensation of damages or withdraw from the agreement.