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.
Compensation is only awarded when, for example:
- the court has awarded payment but the dealer has been declared bankrupt
- a company has gone into liquidation and you have an outstanding warranty claim
- a dealer is deceased.
Before you begin
Contact Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to get advice before making a claim. CBS can help you negotiate with the trader and can call a compulsory conciliation conference to try and resolve the dispute.
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
You'll need to provide evidence such as:
- emails and phone snapshots of text messages.
There is an application fee of $150. This can be refunded (partly or in full) depending on the success of the claim.
What happens next
Each claim is considered on a case by case basis. The process may take up to four months 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.