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Car transfer under the Civil Code – stolen car

How does the Civil Code regulate the transfer of a car and what does it mean for you if it is a stolen car? This is the focus of our article.

4 minutes of reading

There are several potential risks in car transfers. It is important to recognise that when buying a used car, we are kind of buying a rabbit in the bag every time. But the problem is when the hare is also stolen.

What can you do if a car is sold to you by a thief or a middleman? In this case, of course, the law primarily protects the victim, i.e. the person from whom the car was stolen. Therefore, the law gives the original owner the possibility to claim the return of the item if he proves that he has lost the item involuntarily (i.e. by arbitrary taking, theft or loss). Therefore, you must subsequently return the purchased car to its owner. At the same time, you can claim compensation from the seller. The protection of the original owner applies even if the buyer was a bona fide purchaser (for example, if the selling counterparty appears solid, has all the documents in order and there is no reason to think that the car was actually acquired by fraudulent means). However, there is a limit of three years, after which the original owner cannot successfully bring a claim.

So after three years from the purchase, the buyer can rest easy. However, as a precautionary measure, it is always advisable to insist on the production of all documents, including the VIN number of the body, which can at least be used to compare the car with the database of reported thefts. The best prevention of problems, however, is always a good quality car sale contract prepared by a solicitor. Thus, it is necessary to warn against free samples, which (judging from our experience) often create problems rather than solve them.

The exceptions to the above rule are public auctions or purchases from a person to whom the owner has entrusted the car (for example, loaned it). In that case, you do not have to return the stolen car and the victim would have to recover compensation from the seller.

We often see that it is difficult to find justice for all in this matter. Either the original owner is affected, who one day does not find his car outside his house, and when he finally tracks it down, he finds that someone has already sold it in good faith to an unsuspecting family. He will therefore have to sue for damages and will not get the car back. Or the family in question, which has saved for a long time for a suitable car, is damaged. They will lose it and have no choice but to sue for compensation.

Purchase contract for movable property

We will draw up a contract for the purchase of movable property for you, or check the existing one. We will handle everything quickly and flawlessly, for a predetermined price. We can do it within 3 days and within the whole country. You do not worry about anything and you can pay only after the service is provided.

Tip: “I bought a used car, but after a few months it stopped working and is useless to me. What to do?” A question we get quite often. Don’t be intimidated by the sovereignty of car dealerships and find out what you are entitled to. In this article, we won’t forget about those who bought a car new and we’ll take a look at what’s involved in cancelling the purchase contract in their case as well.

Another trap can be when the seller guarantees a loan or credit with his car. This is because such a thing usually cannot be officially detected. If the seller is guided by dishonest intentions and wants to conceal this fact from you, you may again face a bailiff claiming the car in the future.

Inthis case, a well prepared purchase contract in which the seller declares that there is no such obligation on the vehicle will provide youwith a certain defence. If it were a lie, you would not recover the car, but you would have valuable evidence for future litigation. This is because the seller would be committing fraud.

And what legal documents do you use when selling a car? A good quality contract of sale prepared or at least checked by a solicitor is always essential. This will protect your rights and minimise legal risks. Be warned of free templates, which often leave many legal issues open. Another necessary document is a power of attorney to sell the car. It should include identification of the principal and the agent, a specification of what the agent is authorized to do under the power of attorney, and a specification of the vehicle. You can limit the power of attorney to represent a person to transfer a car to a specific time period and location, but it always expires when the act is performed, in this case, the moment the vehicle is transferred.

More on this topic in the continuation of this blog.

Tip: When you buy a second-hand car, you can save money compared to buying a new car. At the same time, there is often the stress of checking and verifying the actual condition of the vehicle. Few people also keep an eye on the legal status, which matters just as much or more.

Are you solving a similar problem?

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Purchase contract for movable property

We will draw up a contract for the purchase of movable property for you, or check the existing one. We will handle everything quickly and flawlessly, for a predetermined price. We can do it within 3 days and within the whole country. You do not worry about anything and you can pay only after the service is provided.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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