Cooling-off rights when buying second-hand vehicles

The cooling-off provision applies to second-hand vehicles bought from a dealer and includes demonstration vehicles.

Consumers have two clear business days to consider the purchase of a second-hand vehicle from a second-hand vehicle dealer. Saturdays are considered to be business days. 

A purchaser may rescind the sales contract by giving the dealer written notice before the expiry of the cooling-off period.

Deposits and refunds

A dealer can ask for a deposit of up to a maximum of 10% of the contract price. If the purchaser decides to rescind the contract, the dealer will be required to refund the money paid by the purchaser by the end of the next clear business day after receiving the cooling-off notice. The dealer may keep an amount equal to 2% of the contract price or $100 (whichever is less).

It is an offence for a dealer to demand that a purchaser make a payment other than the deposit before the expiry of the cooling-off period.

Waiving cooling-off rights

The purchaser is entitled to waive their right to cool off by signing a waiver form. The right to waive will accommodate purchasers who want or need to take a vehicle immediately and who are happy to forgo their cooling-off rights.

The waiver form must be witnessed by a person other than the dealer or a salesperson who is involved in any way in the sale of the vehicle.

It is an offence for a dealer to induce a purchaser to waive their cooling-off rights.

When cooling off periods don't apply

Cooling-off periods do not apply to purchases made by other licensed dealers or to the purchase of vehicles:

  • that are new
  • through auction sales
  • from private sellers.

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Page last updated 27 May 2022

Provided by:
Department for Infrastructure and Transport
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