Second-hand vehicle dealers' responsibilities

People who buy, sell, or offer for sale four or more vehicles in a 12 month period are considered second-hand vehicle dealers. They must be licensed and they need follow the legal requirements for this type of business.

Close associates are considered dealers if (between them) they buy, sell or offer for sale six or more second-hand vehicles in 12 months.

Registration of premises

The address where vehicles are sold needs to be registered with Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

You can register an address when you:

  • apply for a second hand vehicle dealers licence
  • change the address or add extra locations to an existing licence.

Compensation fund

The Second-hand Vehicles Compensation Fund protects consumers from dealers who don't act legally. All dealers must pay into the fund when they renew their licence.

Negative licensing

A dealer can’t employee salespeople who have been:

  • convicted of a serious - indictable - offence of dishonesty
  • convicted of a summary offence of dishonesty in the last 10 years
  • suspended or disqualified from an occupation, trade or business in Australia.

These requirements apply to any conviction or licence restriction after 29 November 2010, even if the dealer had employed the person before that date.

Check Offences and convictions for more detail.

Backyard selling

A vehicle is 'sold' if the registration is transferred to another person.

People who buy or sell four or more vehicles in 12 months for private use will need to prove that they are not a dealer and don't need to be licensed.

Defects and repairs

By law, dealers must repair defects on the vehicle even if defects appear after the sale.

Accessories originally fitted, produced or approved by the manufacturer are covered under the warranty and Australian Consumer Law.

Altering an odometer

An odometer on a second hand vehicle can only be changed if CBS has given written approval.

Alter or replace an odometer

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Page last updated 1 February 2019

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Attorney-General's Department
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