Claims against a second-hand vehicle dealer

The Second-hand Vehicle Dealers' Compensation Fund allows people to make a claim against a dealer, if there is no reasonable way of recovering the money they are owed.

Who can apply

You can make a claim if you:

  • bought a second-hand vehicle from a licensed dealer and there is a warranty claim
  • left the vehicle with the dealer on consignment
  • sold a vehicle to a licensed dealer but have not been paid
  • bought a vehicle but decided to cancel the purchase during the cooling off period.

You can't make a claim if you:

  • are a dealer
  • bought a second-hand vehicle at auction
  • knowingly bought the vehicle from an unlicensed dealer.

What you'll need

There is an application fee of $150. This can be refunded (partly or in full) depending on the success of the claim.

You will need to provide evidence such as:

  • advertisements
  • contracts
  • emails and phone snapshot of text messages.

Documents should be certified at your local police station or with a justice of the peace.

How to apply

Apply online

What happens next

Each claim is considered on a case by case basis. The process may take six to ten weeks, depending on a number of factors.

The Commissioner for Consumer Affairs determines the outcome of a claim. However, if you or the dealer disagree with the decision, an appeal can be made to the Magistrates Court.

If you decide to appeal the decision, you will need to seek independent legal advice.

Find free legal advice near you.

Contact Consumer and Business Services


131 882

In person

91 Grenfell Street


GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 1 November 2017

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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