Backyard dealer ordered to pay $15,260 fine and costs
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An unlicensed motor vehicle dealer has been fined $6,000 by the Midland Magistrates Court and ordered to pay costs of $9,260.
After pleading not guilty, the Bassendean man was found guilty at trial to the charge of buying and selling numerous vehicles between January 2012 and May 2013 without having a licence as required by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act. The vehicles, advertised on Gumtree and in the Quokka publication, were sold from his Bassendean home and his former workplace in South Guildford.
Magistrate Roth reduced the amount of the fine based on the man’s financial circumstances and also granted him a spent conviction.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the Department will continue to take a tough stand against backyard car dealing.
“Unlicensed motor vehicle dealers are taking away business from licensed dealers who do the right thing by paying their licensing fees and honouring their obligations with regard to warranties and other protections for consumers contained in the Act,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Unlicensed dealers do not offer warranties for their vehicles which put consumers at great risk. In this case, two buyers had mechanical problems a short time after the purchase of the vehicles, highlighting the dangers of dealing with these illegal operators.
“Buyers who purchase vehicles from unlicensed dealers will usually find it difficult to get any redress if there are any problems after the sale and are jeopardising their consumer rights.
“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.
“I urge consumers not to deal with unlicensed motor vehicle dealers and to contact Consumer Protection with any information about illegal operators so we can investigate.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
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