Change text size:   Increase font size   Reduce font size  |   Print page:   Print this page
  |   Contact us   
Standard fact sheet.
Large print fact sheet.

Motor dealer advertisements 

Guidelines for media advertising staff

Publishers of advertisements from motor dealers about motor vehicles have certain obligations under the law. The Australian Consumer Law, the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013, the Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014 applies to published advertising of new, second-hand and demonstrator motor vehicles for both print and online advertising.

Advertising checklist

Check that advertisements include the following:

  • licensee’s name (individual, company or business name)
  • the words licence number (or similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number
  • business telephone number
  • the registration number of the advertised motor vehicle.

Licence details 

Licensed motor dealers’ advertisements must include their licence name, and the words licence number (or similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number in promotional material so that consumers know who they are dealing with. The requirement covers any advertising that promotes a specific place or places of business for which the licence is granted.

This includes any advertising where the licensee’s specific place of business is identified. For example, if a licensee advertises on TV and mentions their places of business, they would be required to display their licence details in the advertisement. This requirement does not apply where only products are advertised, such as when a franchisor advertises its brand or products on behalf of all franchisees.

Advertising charges

Advertisements must disclose the purchase price of motor vehicles (other than second-hand motor vehicles) and the cost of any dealer’s charges. Advertisements must also disclose any statutory charges but do not have to specify their dollar amount.

Dealer charges refer to amounts other than the purchase price or statutory charges, that are payable to the dealer before or on delivery of the vehicle. Statutory charges include: any tax or fee payable on registration or renewal of registration, any duty charged or any premium and duty payable in respect of insurance issued or deemed to be issued under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999.

Advertisements must not use the expression ‘on road costs’ or any other similar expression to describe statutory charges.

Price-related advertising

The advertised price is an important factor in advertising and should not be misleading or deceptive.

Advertisements must specify the cash price of the vehicle when:

  • the advertisement specifies or implies that the price of a second-hand or demonstrator vehicle has been reduced or
  • a reduction is related to the manufacturer’s recommended retail price.


Note: The Australian Consumer Law requires that suppliers making pricing representations must not state a price that is only a part of the cost (ie a component) unless the single price is also clearly stated.

Advertising of odometer reading

If an odometer reading is listed on an advertisement, it must be an accurate representation of the true distance travelled by the vehicle.

Advertising of damaged vehicles

Where damaged vehicles are offered for sale, advertisements must include a disclosure statement advising that the vehicle has been damaged and whether or not the damage has been repaired (other than a second-hand motor vehicle). This message must be in writing the same size and prominence as that of the price.

False and misleading advertisements

Advertisements should not make statements or representations that are not true or likely to mislead or deceive. For example:

  • when the term ‘drive away’ (or similar) is being used, the consumer should not expect to pay any more than the advertised price and
  • statements and/or pictures in advertisements should not mislead consumers as to the type or quality of the vehicle being offered.

Filler advertisement

Below is a filler advertisement to be used if and when the space is available. It alerts car buyers to check advertisement details. 

NSW Fair Trading requires motor dealer advertisements to include:

  • licensee’s name (individual, company or business name) and phone number
  • the words licence number (or similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number
  • registration number of second-hand vehicles (where a price is specified)
  • dollar amount of dealer’s charges for new cars
  • statement that government and statutory charges apply (if not included in the price).

These guidelines have been produced in co-operation with the Australian Publishers’ Bureau. Publishers can help put a stop to misleading advertising before it reaches consumers. This benefits the community and helps to improve the general quality and credibility of advertising.

Get a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can access PDF versions of our information.