$5,000 fine for illegal motor vehicle dealer (Mandy Jane Duncan)

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ConsumerMotor industry

An unlicensed motor vehicle dealer has been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay costs of $706 after pleading guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court on 5 February 2016.

Mandy Jane Duncan, formerly of Dianella but now residing in Queensland, had sold 41 vehicles between November 2013 and June 2014 without a licence, in breach of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act. Ms Duncan sold the vehicles by placing 106 advertisements on the Gumtree website.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said backyard car dealing was a threat to the motor vehicle industry and needs to be stamped out.

“Selling more than four vehicles in a year is generally regarded as operating a business, rather than simply disposing of your own vehicles.  In this instance, Ms Duncan had claimed it was a hobby of fixing up cars and selling them,” Mr Hillyard said.

“Consumers should avoid buying vehicles from unlicensed dealers as they are compromising their consumer rights and other protections contained in the Act.

“Unlicensed dealers do not offer warranties for their vehicles which put consumers at great risk. Buyers who purchase vehicles from illegal operators will usually find it difficult to get any redress if there are any problems after the sale.

“The other major concern is that the vehicles being sold could be sub-standard in quality and pose a safety risk in the event of mechanical failure while on the road.

“The number of recent successful prosecutions for unlicensed dealing by Consumer Protection highlights our commitment to stamp out this illegal practice.

“I urge consumers not to deal with unlicensed motor vehicle dealers and to contact Consumer Protection with any information about their activities.”

Consumers can check whether a car dealer is licensed by doing a search on the Consumer Protection website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/cp/licencesearch. Unlicensed car dealers can be reported by emailing consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

END OF RELEASE

Media contact (Consumer Protection)

Consumer Protection
Media release
08 Feb 2016

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