All licence holders (including body corporate) are liable for the actions of their employees and agents. If a body corporate commits an offence, each director and person concerned in the management of the body corporate is taken to have also committed the offence unless they can show that:
- the offence took place without their knowledge or consent; or
- they used all due diligence to prevent the offence occurring.
The offences in the Motor Vehicle Traders Act 2011 apply to licensed motor vehicle traders, employees or agents.
A motor vehicle trader must not employ someone who is prevented, by a court order, from obtaining a motor vehicle trader licence or dealing in motor vehicles.
Misrepresentations and false statements
A motor vehicle trader must not:
- conceal or misrepresent the condition of a motor vehicle;
- claim that a motor vehicle is available for sale or exchange if it is not;
- make a false statement or representation about the age of the vehicle or date of manufacture in relation to:
- the year stated on the silver compliance plate (if fitted);
- the year stated on any green, yellow, magenta or blue compliance plate;
- make a false statement or representation about the year a motor vehicle complied with the Australian Design Rules;
- make a false statement or representation about the model of a motor vehicle;
- make a false statement or representation that an amount, if paid, would constitute a part of the deal for the supply of a motor vehicle without specifying the full cash price.
A motor vehicle trader must not make a false or misleading claim or description about a motor vehicle in an advertisement.
A motor vehicle trader must not advertise:
- an unlawful method of financing the vehicle;
- a discounted price or reduced cash price unless the original price is also stated;
- that a motor vehicle is available for sale or exchange if it is not;
- an undertaking as a warranty if it is not;
- a fuel consumption claim regarding a particular model of vehicle unless the information comes from the Green Vehicle Guide and the source of the information is included in the advertisement; or
- a claim which compares motor vehicles from different manufacturers unless the source of the information is specified in the advertisement.
Any advertisement must include the trader's licence number.
A motor vehicle trader must not make a false or misleading statement in relation to the condition or reading of a motor vehicle odometer.
If a motor vehicle trader has reasonable grounds to doubt the accuracy of the odometer reading of a used motor vehicle, the trader must:
- try to verify the accuracy of the reading before offering the motor vehicle for sale or exchange; and
- inform any prospective purchaser in writing of:
- the verified facts in relation to the reading; and
- the grounds on which the accuracy of the reading was questioned; and
- record the odometer reading on the documents transferring the ownership of the motor vehicle at the time of its sale or exchange.
If a motor vehicle trader knows that the odometer has been replaced or interfered with, they must inform any prospective purchaser in writing of the fact.
A motor vehicle trader must not enter into any contract for the sale, purchase, or exchange of a motor vehicle unless the contract is in writing and contains the following:
- the conditions of the sale, purchase or exchange;
- the total price, consideration, or both, to be paid or given for the vehicle;
- the changeover price to be paid by the purchaser of any trade-in of a vehicle and purchase of another vehicle;
- any undertaking made by the motor vehicle trader to the purchaser in any advertisement or during negotiations in respect of the motor vehicle, which is not included in any warranty relating to the vehicle;
- a statutory warranty in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Traders Act 2011 and any other warranty supplied;
- a copy of the Pre-sale Disclosure Statement (docx, 26.0 KB) if the vehicle sold or exchanged is a used vehicle.
Money owing or other interest in a vehicle
If a motor vehicle trader sells, or supplies on exchange, a used motor vehicle, they must pass the title to the vehicle free from all encumbrances and interests. Encumbrance basically means there is money owing on the vehicle.
Before a motor vehicle trader purchases a motor vehicle, accepts a motor vehicle for sale or exchange on consignment, or accepts a motor vehicle on a trade-in basis, the motor vehicle trader must:
- ask the vendor, owner or person exchanging the motor vehicle whether it is subject to any encumbrance; and
- search the Personal Properties Securities Register to determine whether there is an encumbrance registered against the motor vehicle.
If a motor vehicle trader is informed or becomes aware that the vehicle is encumbered they must:
- discharge the encumbrance on purchase, or on accepting the vehicle on a trade-in basis or for exchange; and
- not accept the vehicle for sale or exchange on consignment unless it is a condition of the consignment that the proceeds of the sale or exchange are used firstly to discharge the encumbrance.