Unlicensed motor dealer sentenced to 6 months imprisonment

  • A Brisbane man has been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment after being caught selling vehicles illegally despite being permanently disqualified.
  • The Office of Fair Trading is reminding Queenslanders to check if a dealer is licensed and registered online before purchasing a vehicle.

John Gary Ivanoff pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court (4 August 2023) to one count of carrying out the business of a motor dealer while unlicensed. He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

In 2009, Mr Invanoff was disqualified from holding a licence or registration certificate. This means it is unlawful for him to advertise or display for sale, attempt to sell or negotiate the sale of used motor vehicles.

Through investigations by the Office of Fair Trading, it was found that between January and December 2021, Mr Ivanoff purchased 25 vehicles from online auctions, sold four vehicles through online auctions and advertised vehicles for sale through an online marketplace using multiple aliases.

In sentencing Magistrate Peter Cooke noted a history of criminal dishonesty and could see no alternative to imprisonment.

The OFT wants Queenslanders to know that if they buy a used car through a licensed dealer they have more consumer protections - such as a statutory warranty, a cooling-off period, a guarantee of clear title on the vehicle and access to a claim fund in certain circumstances.

More information on the legal obligations for motor vehicle dealers is available on the OFT website or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

If you believe you have purchased a vehicle from someone who was acting as motor dealer without a licence you can report it to the OFT online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Quotes attributable to the Fair Trading Commissioner Victoria Thomson:

“Buying a car is a significant purchase – and we don’t want Queenslanders being ripped of their consumer rights and potentially buying unsafe vehicles,” Ms Thomson said.

“If you are operating as a motor dealer and you’re not licensed, the OFT will find out and take action.

“While people are allowed to buy or sell their vehicle privately, if you choose to buy through a licensed dealer, you will have certain protections under the law.

“This includes warranties, consumer guarantees and in some circumstances, you may be able to access a claim fund for compensation.

“If you are looking to buy from a motor dealer you can use the OFT’s free licence check search to make sure you are buying from a licensed dealer.”