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Caravan warranty transferable

I have been looking at a near new caravan. I see a lot of manufacturers limit the warranty to the original purchaser. So, for example, the van I am looking at has a 2-year warranty offered by the manufacturer and it is only one year old. If there is an issue with the caravan do, I still have a statutory warranty claim as the second owner?

Welcome to the Community @david_dickson,

One might wonder why a near new one is on the market as task 1. There would be many legitimate reasons and others not so obvious. Some history re ‘new’ buyers experiences.

Some caravan manufacturers seem to ignore rectification regardless of the state of their so-called warranty.

Noting Community members are not licensed to provide legal advice, just opinions, there is an old topic that is a bit long to wander through but reinforces ‘our’ differences of opinion of the transferability of warranties in various circumstances.

Caravans/RVs are apparently not treated like motor vehicles and I was unable to find an explicit reference to Caravans; maybe someone else has one? In lieu of a definitive statement from the ACCC a used caravan seems to be classed as a second hand good so the T&C may prevail.

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It will depend on the terms and conditions of the warranty provided by the manufacturer. While it relates to cars, the information here might be useful…

If a caravan manufacturer allows the transfer of the warranty, they might also condition that makes a valid transfer (an example might be the caravan hasn’t been in an accident). While for smaller consumer products, if one has the original proof of purchase document, one could use these to claim against a warranty as they often don’t have the original buyer’s information. Caravans are likely to be similar to cars where the original owners details are attached to the sale due to registration and insurances.

As indicated in the above link, I would be seeking the warranty T&Cs at the time the caravan was sold as new to see what they say about warranty transfers. If transfers are possible, see what us required to ensure that it can occur. I might also be worth contacting the manufacturer to confirm the information you have gathered.

It is also worth noting that a manufacturer warranty is different to an implied statutory warranty under the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC covers statutory warranties for second-hand good here (PDF file).

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If the manufacturer offers a voluntary warranty that only applies to original owner, then that is what it is. You as a subsequent owner would not be covered. If the warranty had no conditions about ownership, then you may be still covered. You would need to look very carefully at the manufacturer’s warranty T&Cs.

However, your statutory warranty rights under the ACL are independent of any voluntary warranty.
But the warranty is between you and the seller. And that depends on the sale type. Business retailer vs auction vs private sale, etc

The caravan and trailer industry is an unregulated one as can be seen in a few posts by others and getting a remedy is often hard.

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In addition to the prior replies note:
The situation may differ slightly depending on which state or territory you are purchasing in. You may find useful advice by looking to your Govt motor transport and consumer web resources.

EG QLD only:
The Qld Govt web resources recommended purchasing from a licensed motor vehicle dealer. The reasons include that it provides access to basic protections for assurance to title (ownership), legally safe - compliant with registration requirements, and provided the ability to refer issues (Office of Fair Trading QLD) arising from the purchase to QCAT ($100k limit).

Also note the advice provided in the link.

If you buy a caravan and later discover a problem, you should contact the seller who sold it to you. The seller is not allowed to refer you to the manufacturer. They must help you resolve the problem themselves. It does not matter if the problem is with a caravan part, component or item, the seller is still responsible for resolving the problem

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If purchased from a retailer (someone involved in trade or commerce for those goods) then under ACL you are covered as a consumer. If purchased at an auction or through a private sale/seller then your rights are severally curtailed. A warranty is an additional benefit that is attached to the standard ACL rights and it’s coverage can be limited to what the Warranty Terms and Conditions state, eg limited to original purchaser, limited to only using a particular service agent, limited to a certain number of kilometres and other conditions that are stated in those terms and conditions.

Quality and durability of a secondhand good may be brought into question when coverage of ACL could be reduced. There is a publication linked below that seeks to explain these differences in regards to ACL but broadly the fact it was sold as normal retail good requires that it does have coverage under ACL.

From WA Dept of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (State body responsible for ACL protections) in explanation of ACL rights being attached to secondhand goods states

Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), products you buy from an Australian seller are covered by ‘consumer guarantees’. These apply to:

  • new and second-hand products
  • sale items
  • items bought from an Australian seller online.

And from a Legal firm (LEgalVision) a statement of what their interpretation of ACL rights is

"If you are a business supplying or manufacturing goods, you have an obligation to ensure those goods are of a particular standard. The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) sets out certain statutory guarantees that you provide to consumers and which cannot be excluded. Consumer guarantees are often associated with the supply of new products. However, these guarantees also extend to second-hand products. Therefore, if you sell second-hand goods through your shop or online store, you need to be aware of consumer guarantees and how they apply to your business. This article will outline:

  • what consumer guarantees are;
  • the exceptions; and
  • how best to minimise your liability.

What Products Do the Consumer Guarantees Apply To?

Under the ACL, consumer guarantees automatically apply to:

  • goods or services which cost under $40,000;
  • goods or services which cost over $40,000 but have been bought for personal, domestic or household use or consumption (for example, expensive jewellery or a car); or
  • vehicles or trailers bought primarily to transport goods on public roads.

The consumer guarantees apply to second-hand goods in the same way as new goods (my bolding), as long as the goods fit within the above description. However, consumer guarantees will not apply to one-off private sales between individuals where the seller does not obtain an income from regular selling activities."

Guidance on the consumer guarantee as to acceptable quality and ‘durability’

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