Backyard trading of motor vehicles ends in fine for Thornlie man (Samuel Pihl)

This announcement is for: 
ConsumerMotor industry
  • $7,908.30 fine and costs for buying and selling motor vehicles without a dealer’s licence
  • 21 vehicles bought and 24 sold during almost a year
  • Public urged to report unlicensed motor vehicle dealers

The Armadale Courthouse has imposed a $7,500 fine on a backyard dealer who operated without a motor vehicle dealer’s licence between July 2021 and April 2022.

Samuel Pihl of Thornlie pleaded guilty to carrying on a business as a dealer without having a dealer’s licence as required by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act. He was also ordered to pay costs of $408.30 when convicted on 16 May 2023.

Mr Pihl bought 21 vehicles and sold 24 of them within a 12 month period. The average turnover of the vehicles was 25 days.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake appealed to the public to report illegal backyard motor vehicle traders.

“Operators who don’t have a licence are undermining the industry by creating an uneven playing field and it undermines the integrity of the industry by taking away market share from those licensed dealers who conduct lawful business,” Ms Blake said.

“It also threatens consumer rights such as those covering warranties and jeopardises their safety,” Ms Blake said.

“We want to put a stop to this illegal practice in the interests of not just consumers, but also in fairness to those licensed businesses that bear the cost of doing the right thing.

“If you come across an unlicensed dealer, report them to Consumer Protection immediately so we can investigate.

“We hope this conviction will deter Mr Pihl and other unlicensed operators from doing the wrong thing in future.”

Consumers can check whether a motor vehicle dealer is licensed by doing a search on the Consumer Protection website. Unlicensed dealers can be reported by emailing or by calling 1300 30 40 54.




Media Contact: Jasmine Sidhu, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 /  

Consumer Protection
Media release
30 May 2023

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