Proactive compliance – Motor vehicle dealers

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Motor industry

The proactive compliance program is education based and designed to help motor vehicle dealers meet the requirements set out by the legislation plus identify and rectify areas of risk.

Proactive compliance visits

Consumer Protection staff randomly visit licensed motor vehicle dealers to check compliance with their relevant law.

The visits aim to provide education and advice on what the law means on a practical level, and any information about changes.   If the visits pick up obvious disregard for the law, this may result in cancellation of a licence/registration.

The proactive compliance checklist below will assist you to prepare for a visit.

If you would like more information please contact the Consumer Protection contact centre team on 1300 304 054 or by email.

Preparing yourself

How the visit is conducted

A proactive compliance visit includes a:

  • meeting with the person in charge of the dealership
  • reconciliation of your current employees (yard managers, salespersons ) to ensure the accuracy of the Department’s database in relation to your staffing profile and licensed  persons
  • review of completed sales documentation
  • Inspection of used vehicles offered
  • examination of the business trust account and trust accounting procedures
  • discussion about complaints (if any) lodged against the business

What you will need:

The site visits are impromptu, however you can ensure the visit is conducted with the minimum of disruption to your business by regularly reviewing the checklist and knowing where key documents are stored e.g.

  • the dealer’s licence and certificate of authorised premises is on display
  • your trust account bank statements and reconciliations for the previous three (3) months where applicable
  • your trust account receipt book
  • a sample of  advertisements recently placed
  • consignment documents including current and completed consignment contracts, trust account bank records for the last three (3) month period and trust account reconciliation documentation.
  • current list of consignment vehicles in stock
  • all used vehicles offered for sale at the time of the inspection have relevant forms displayed

A sample of settled sales documentation and consignment files (if applicable) will be reviewed during the visit.


Proactive visit checklist

Proactive compliance checklist – Motor Vehicle Dealers

Download this checklist to help you prepare for a proactive compliance visit.

Download motor vehicle dealer's checklist

Motor vehilce dealers proactive compliance checklist
Compliance action Done
Is your licensed business name and dealer licence number displayed on a sign, of reasonable dimension, at all your dealership premises?  
Are all of your dealership locations authorised?  
Is your Certificate of Authorised Premises displayed in a clearly visible position inside the authorised  premises?  
Do all salespersons or yard managers hold current licences?  
For a firm or body corporate: Have any/all changes to the composition of the firm or body corporate been approved by the Commissioner 14 days prior to the change?  
Does your dealer business name and licence number appear on all published advertisements?  
Do all second-hand vehicle advertisements show the:
  • registration number (a stock number may identify unlicensed vehicles);
  • year of manufacture;
  • cash price; and
  • address of the registered dealer premises where the vehicle is offered for sale?

Check any advertisements do not have potential to mislead consumers? You can access more information here Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2010?

Generally speaking, it is an offence to publish or cause to be published, advertisements that may be false, misleading or deceptive, among other things.

Do you have the appropriate licence for the class or description of dealership?  
Are your dealer registers completed using the correct form for all second-hand vehicle transactions at the dealership?  
Are all your second-hand vehicles, for which you are the ‘trade owner’, kept or parked at the dealership?  
Do all your second-hand vehicles display the correct notice and information and do the notices meet dealer warranty obligations for used cars or motorcycles?  
Are all vehicle particulars notices:
  • fully complete with prescribed information; and
  • kept for two years or more?
CONSIGNMENT SELLING (ignore if not applicable)
Are your consignment agreements between the dealer and consignor (excluding auctions) provided in writing and signed by all relevant parties; and  
Do the agreements contain the prescribed particulars, terms and conditions?  
When applying liquidated damages:
Are you able to show/explain your process where an agreement for the sale of a motor vehicle is validly terminated by you (the dealer)?
Are you able to justify the amount being charged to the consumer?  
NOTE: DMIRS compliance officers visit Motor Dealer premises and will issue vehicle defect notices, where applicable.  


More information about fines is available on Infringements, forms and publications - Motor vehicle dealers page. 



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