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Backyarder caught out

13 June 2017

A Surfers Paradise man was fined $8,000 by the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday (12 June 2017) for selling motor vehicles without a licence.

Michael Abla pleaded guilty to four counts of unlicensed motor dealing and was fined $8,000.

The court heard, between June and December 2016, Mr Abla sold four cars to unsuspecting consumers via websites such as Gumtree, eBay and Car Sales. Mr Abla alternated between multiple phone numbers and email accounts in his dealings with consumers.

In sentencing, the court considered Mr Abla’s intent to deceive consumers but took into account his intention to get a motor dealer licence. The court warned Mr Abla of the serious consequences if he were to appear in court again on similar charges.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said, for the protection of consumers, motor dealers had to be licensed and follow specific rules.

“A consumer who purchases a vehicle from an unlicensed motor dealer may face problems seeking assistance if issues or concerns arise after the purchase,” Mr Bauer said.

“A second-hand car purchased from a licensed motor dealer comes with built in consumer protections including a cooling-off period, statutory warranty and access to a claim fund if the motor dealer does something wrong.”

Licensed motor dealers and consumers are encouraged to report unlawful practices in the motor industry by making a complaint at or by calling 13QGOV (13 74 68).

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Last updated
13 June 2017
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