21st June 2023

Checklist for car purchase : buy new or second-hand?

Are you looking for a more spacious car to accommodate your growing family? Or perhaps you’re after a particular model, and want to get a good deal? Whatever the reason you want to buy a car, it is also a time to ask yourself that age-old question: should I buy a new or second-hand car? Here are a few important points to keep in mind when deciding on your purchase.

While the second-hand market may sometimes arouse suspicion and anxiety, one should still distinguish between buying from an individual and buying from a professional car dealer. Buying from an individual generally comes out cheaper, but you have to be careful and ideally know something about cars in order to make sure you’re not scammed.

You can also get a good deal with a second-hand car sold by a professional car dealer. The vehicles they sell undergo mechanical checks and generally come with a guarantee. In any case, going for the second-hand option enables you to move up in both range and equipment.

What do you need to consider when purchasing a second-hand car?

You will need all the documents necessary to conclude the sale, and they must be valid. If you are purchasing a car from an individual they are:

  • the sales contract and proof of payment
  • the roadworthiness certificate
  • a valid insurance certificate
  • a European certificate of conformity, if present, or if the car was registered for the first time after 1 February 2016
  • a copy of the car registration document
  • proof of identity from the seller, who must be the car owner or have a mandate to sell the car

To ensure the car has been properly maintained, you may also ask for the service manual showing when the car was serviced, as well as the invoices for any repairs made in the past.

If you buy a second-hand car from a dealer, you will also get a guarantee of at least 12 months, as well as a billing document that enables identification of the vehicle (identification number, make and type, the sales price excluding VAT and including VAT), the seller and the buyer (full name, address and signature) and VAT-related data.

Then, check the car inside and outside. The vehicle must not have any visible defects, the headlights, tail lights and indicators must all be working. The bonnet, doors and boot should open and close normally. Also check that the windscreen and the rear window are intact and free from stone chips. It is better to check every detail, such as the tyre tread or if there is corrosion damage.

Finally, don’t forget the most important thing: test the car! In addition, it doesn’t matter if you have bought it from an individual or a dealership, you can have it tested with the Luxembourg Automobile Club (ACL), which will then give you a report on its condition. Still in doubt? In that case, let it go, you’ll find your gem in the end!

Now, if you prefer to avoid the headache and buy a new car in perfect condition and breathe that new car smell every kilometre, Autofestival offers special conditions on many car models. But don’t hesitate to negotiate a lower price or ask for a test drive!

Register your second-hand car

Have you taken the plunge and bought the car of your choice? Congratulations! If it is a second-hand car previously registered in Luxembourg, you just need to contact the Société Nationale de Circulation Automobile (SNCA) to tell them whether or not you wish to take over the car’s current registration number. Then, you need to provide:

  • the billing document or sales contract
  • the duly completed registration application form (available on www.snca.lu)
  • a valid insurance certificate from an approved Luxemburgish insurance company
  • a chancery stamp (Droit de Chancellerie) worth 50 euros
  • a valid roadworthiness certificate
  • a copy of the identity document of the seller (if it is an individual)
  • a European certificate of conformity (obligatory for cars registered for the first time in Luxembourg after 1 February 2016) and a photo of the manufacturer’s plate
  • the Luxembourg registration certificate (grey and yellow registration cards)
  • and the deregistration certificate from the former owner

The former owner must have deregistrated the vehicle, so don’t forget to ask for a copy of the deregistration certificate!

Your partner for your car purchase

Buying a car is always a major financial expense. Therefore, Spuerkeess supports you in all your plans through the Personal loan, which can finance both your new car as well as other projects.

Is this all too complicated for you? With Lease Plus, the only thing you have to think about is filling up! You drive the new car of your choice and pay a monthly rent. Administrative management, insurance, maintenance, tyres and assistance are all included.

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