There are a number of options available to you in terms of where you can buy a car or motor cycle. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Buying a vehicle from a licensed motor vehicle dealership provides many advantages. Unlike buying privately, the dealer has an obligation to guarantee that there is no money owing on the vehicle. In certain conditions the dealer is also obliged by law to provide a warranty.
Also, the dealer often allows you to trade in your old vehicle. However, you may get more if you sell it privately.
Unlike buying at auction, you can test drive the vehicle to make sure it has the power and features you require. Most licensed car dealers can also offer you finance or insurance but you don't have to accept it. Shop around and check out the rates offered by banks, credit unions and finance companies.
The benefit of buying a car at auction is that you could pick up a real bargain. The cars come from situations that include deceased estates and repossessed vehicles. Generally, you can’t take the car for a test drive, although you can arrange an independent vehicle inspection at your own cost but not on the day of the auction.
A car bought via auction will not be covered by a statutory warranty or consumer guarantees if the auctioneer is selling the car on behalf of the owner. If the car is owned by the auctioneer it will be covered by consumer guarantees.
For more information, visit the Consumer guarantees page on the Fair Trading website.
Auction houses are responsible for ensuring the cars they sell have no money owing on them. Most auction houses require a 10% deposit or $500 at the fall of the hammer.
Where motor vehicles are sold with number plates attached to private purchasers they have to have a Safety Inspection report (pink slip) issued by an Authorised Inspection Station (AIS). The inspection report must:
However, a vehicle with number plates can still be sold at an auction without a pink slip under the following circumstances:
The Form 11 must state that the vehicle is not subject to the dealer guarantees under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 and displayed either on the vehicle, adjacent to the auctioneer or at each entrance to the auction. Consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law may continue to apply depending on whether the vehicle sold at auction is owned by the dealer.
Generally, it is good business practice for the Form 11 to be displayed when a vehicle is offered or displayed for sale at an auction, no matter the circumstances.
Buying a vehicle privately involves relying on your own judgement and knowledge. You can arrange for a vehicle inspection at your own cost but there are no statutory warranties. Also, making sure the vehicle does not have a secured interest such as the owner owing money on the car or not owning the car outright is the responsibility of the buyer. Doing a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check will help you ascertain this. If you find out there is money owing on a car after you have bought it, you can seek court orders for compensation.
Always ask the seller for, and note down, the information listed below:
Also ensure the information shown in the paperwork matches what is on the actual vehicle.
Car markets bring buyers and sellers together in the one place without the need to drive all over town. However, you are still buying ‘privately’ and therefore need to rely on your own judgement and knowledge as there are no warranties. Markets are often temporary situations and have become an outlet for backyard operators to dispose of substandard vehicles, or even possibly stolen vehicles.
When buying online you are either buying from a dealer or buying privately so follow the guidelines that apply to those purchases. When you purchase goods online from overseas or another state, NSW consumer protection laws may not apply and may only offer you limited protection. For more information on buying online visit our website.
Under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 (the Act), licensed dealers are permitted to sell vehicles on consignment. This is where the dealer is not the owner of the vehicle and the owners have left the vehicle with the dealer to sell on their behalf. This provides dealers with the opportunity to sell vehicles supplied by both the public (consignor) and other dealers at little cost to the dealer (consignee).
Dealers are still required to comply with the requirements of the Act in relation to the sale of these vehicles. This includes having prescribed notices attached to the vehicles, providing statutory warranty (vehicles less than 10 years and 160,000kms) or a certificate of roadworthiness for other vehicles not covered by warranty.
The dealer must:
Consumers should ensure:
There are no safeguards with this type of car sale. There are no guarantees of title and no warranties supplied. You could be stuck with a vehicle that has been poorly repaired or even written-off. No matter how good the bargain looks, steer clear.
If the vehicle is not registered you need to take it to an authorised inspection station. They will conduct a roadworthiness check and identify the vehicle for the purpose of registration for the RMS and provide you with a blue slip. To find your nearest authorised inspection station, call 1300 137 302 or visit the Find an inspection station page on the RMS website. You will also need a ‘green slip’ (Compulsory Third Insurance). More information is available from the RMS Renew your registration web page, the RMS Customer Service line on 13 22 13 or from your local registry or service centre.
Fair Trading may be able to assist you if you can’t settle a serious dispute with a licensed dealer. Even when there is no dealer guarantee, you have other legal fair trading rights.
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