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Guarantees and warranties for second-hand vehicles

Statutory warranties

Under a statutory warranty, you guarantee that the vehicle is free from defects:

  • at the time of sale
  • for the warranty period.

During the statutory warranty period, you must fix defects covered by the warranty.

Warranty form

You must give the buyer a notification form before they sign the sale contract. This form will give them details about:

They will need to sign the form to confirm they have read and understood their rights.

Cooling-off period and statutory warranty (motor dealer or chattel auctioneer to buyer) form (PDF, 172KB)

Warranty period

Statutory warranty applies when:

  • the odometer reading is less than 160,000km
    and
  • the date of manufacture is less than 10 years before the sale date.

The warranty expires after 3 months or the first 5000km.

Exemptions

The following vehicles do not have a statutory warranty:

  • Vehicles that are out of the warranty period
  • Motorcycles
  • Caravans
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Vehicles being sold on consignment for a private seller
  • Vehicles that can’t be registered because of their design
  • Vehicles that are on the ‘written-off’ register

Commercial vehicles can be:

  • built mainly for carrying or hauling goods
  • designed to carry more than 9 persons
  • a utility with a nominal load carrying capacity of more than 1 tonne.

You must tell a buyer if a vehicle does not come with a statutory warranty.

You can do this by:

  • clearly stating it in any advertisements for the vehicle
  • putting a notice on the windshield or price tag
  • placing signs at the main entrance to the dealership.

Defects

A statutory warranty will cover most defects. The vehicle has a defect if a part:

  • does not do what it is supposed to do
  • has worn out so much that it no longer works.

A statutory warranty does not cover defects in:

  • tyres or tyre tubes, batteries, fitted airbags or radiator hoses
  • lights (other than a warning light or a turn indicator light used as a hazard light)
  • an installed radio, tape recorder or CD player
  • an aerial, spark plug, wiper rubber, distributor point, oil or oil filer, heater hose, fuel or air filter
  • paintwork or upholstery.

Statutory warranty also doesn’t cover:

  • accidental damage due to the buyer’s own misuse or negligence
  • anything that the buyer fitted to the vehicle after the time of sale.

Repairs under warranty

A buyer must notify you of a defect. You have 5 business days to decide if you will fix the defect under the warranty. You will need to contact them in writing before the end of the 5th day.

If you don’t reply in time, you cannot refuse to fix the defect (regardless of what caused it).

The buyer will have to deliver the vehicle to either:

  • your premises
  • an authorised repairer of your choice.

You must repair the defect within 14 days, unless you have an acceptable reason.

Excessive distance

The authorised repairer should be less than 200km from your place of business. You can only use a more distant repairer if the buyer agrees to use them.

If the vehicle is more than 200km from your place of business, you may choose to:

  • nominate the nearest qualified repairer
  • pay delivery costs to use your preferred repairer.

Warranty extensions

You must extend the warranty by 1 day for each day the vehicle is with you for repair or being repaired.

You must record the extension details, including:

  • the date the buyer brought the vehicle in
  • the date you returned the vehicle.

Disputes

If you do not repair a defect, the buyer can take you to court. This can be:

The court will make a binding decision.

New vehicle warranty

You must still give a statutory warranty to the buyer even if the vehicle is still covered by a new vehicle warranty. However, you and the buyer can agree to have the manufacturer do repairs if they're required.

Auctions

If you sell a used vehicle by auction, you must still give a statutory warranty unless the vehicle is exempt.

Find out about statutory warranty at auction

Consumer guarantees

A consumer guarantee is a promise that you make to any consumer that buys goods or services. This includes vehicles and trailers.

Consumer guarantees apply in addition to any other warranty, including statutory warranty and manufacturer's warranty.

Find out more about consumer guarantees

The consumer guarantees on a vehicle will apply:

  • for a reasonable amount of time after you buy the vehicle
  • even if the vehicle didn’t come with a statutory warranty
  • regardless of any other warranties from the business
  • even if other types of warranty have run out.

The amount of time that is reasonable:

  • varies from vehicle to vehicle
  • will depend on the price and quality of the specific vehicle
  • is not defined by when other warranties run out.

What the consumer guarantees promise

You must guarantee that a vehicle you sell:

  • is of acceptable quality
  • matches any description or demonstration model
  • is fit to use in normal road conditions (or normal conditions for that vehicle, such as an off-road vehicle)
  • is legally available for you to sell
  • comes with the right for the buyer to own and use it
  • has a clear title
  • will have spare parts and repairs available for a reasonable time
  • will live up to any other promise that you make about its quality, condition, performance or characteristics.

You cannot refuse to honour a consumer guarantee. Nor can the buyer sign them away.

Consumer guarantees will not cover:

  • accidental damage due to the buyer’s misuse or negligence
  • anything the buyer fitted to the vehicle after the time of sale.

How they work

A buyer can seek a remedy if a vehicle doesn’t meet a consumer guarantee.

Find out more about remedies

Under consumer guarantees, a failure may be corrected by:

  • returning the vehicle for a refund or a replacement
  • getting repairs to the vehicle
  • compensating the consumer, such as for a drop in value.