Skip links and keyboard navigation

Motor industry breaches and penalties

Unlicensed work

Unlicensed motor dealing work is against the law.

OffenceMaximum penalty

Working unlicensed, or employing an unlicensed person

$52,220

Selling, hiring out or lending a licence

$26,110

Buying, borrowing or hiring a licence

$26,110

Dealing with licences

Serious offences

We will cancel your licence if you’re convicted of a serious offence. You will have 14 days to return your licence to us.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $13,055.

Change of details

You must advise us in writing within 14 days about any changes to:

  • personal details
  • circumstances relating to your licence.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $13,055.

You must also advise us within 14 days if you have:

  • changed principal place of business
  • opened or closed a place of business.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $26,110.

Showing a licence on request

OffenceMaximum penalty

Not showing an inspector your licence, or a copy of any staff member’s licence, on their request

$26,110

Not showing a client or other party (except an inspector) your licence, or a copy of any other staff member's licence, on their request

$13,055

Substitute licensee

You must follow the rules when appointing a substitute licensee. If you do not, you risk being fined.

Offence Maximum penalty

Not having the consent and evidence of appointment at the office

$13,055

Not lodging extension of appointment substitute licence for more than 30 days

$26,110

Acting as licensee when a substitute appointed

$26,110

Person in charge

Offence Maximum penalty

Not having a licensee to be in charge of place of business

$26,110

Being a person in charge at more than one place of business

$26,110

Transaction register

Offence Maximum penalty

Failing to keep transaction register

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Failing enter transactions in register within 24 hours

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Documentation

You must make sure that you:

  • complete all of your documents correctly
  • give copies to consumers when the law says you need to.

For example, you must:

  • be appointed in writing to act as an agent
  • give a copy of the appointment to the client
  • If you do not, you risk a maximum fine of $26,110.

Cooling-off period and statutory warranty

Offence Maximum penalty

Not identifying a consignment sale as not subject to a cooling-off period

$13,055

Failing to keep copy of statement or make available on request

$13,055

Failing to give prospective buyer statement about cooling-off period and statutory warranty in approved form

$26,110

Failing to give original of statement to buyer before signing contract

$26,110

Harassing or coercing a buyer during cooling-off period

$26,110 or 2 years imprisonment

Failing to return trade-in or deposit when buyer cancels contract in cooling-off period

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Not identifying particular vehicles as being offered for sale without statutory warranty

$13,055

Not recording particulars of extension of warranty period

$13,055

Not recording particulars of extension of warranty period, as prescribed

$13,055

Not repairing defects

$13,055

Failing to repair defects within 14 days

$13,055

Dealer and seller statements

Offence Maximum penalty

Not giving statement to buyer of vehicle

$26,110

Not keeping a copy of seller statement

$26,110

Not making a copy of seller statement available to inspector on request

$26,110

Written-off vehicles

OffenceMaximum penalty

Not telling the buyer that a vehicle is a written-off vehicle

$26,110

Not asking the buyer to sign an acknowledgement, that identifies the used vehicle as a written-off vehicle or statutory write-off

$26,110

Not giving (after sale of a repairable/statutory write-off vehicle) written acknowledgement to the buyer (and making a copy available to an inspector)

$26,110

Clear title

OffenceMaximum penalty

Not guaranteeing clear title for a motor vehicle

$26,110

Receipt

Offence Maximum penalty

Not promptly issuing a motor dealer receipt

$1,306

Not keeping duplicate copy of motor dealer receipt

$1,306

Disclosure

Beneficial interest

You must advise the seller of a vehicle if you have a beneficial interest in the sale.

OffenceMaximum penalty

Obtaining (from the owner of a used motor vehicle) an option to purchase the vehicle in which the dealer has a beneficial interest.

$26,110 or 3 years imprisonment

Being beneficially interested in a sale, other than an option to purchase, and not obtaining the client's written agreement in the approved form

$26,110 or 3 years imprisonment

Being beneficially interested in a sale, other than an option to purchase, and charging commission on that sale

$26,110 or 3 years imprisonment

Being beneficially interested in a sale, other than an option to purchase, and not acting fairly and honestly when completing the sale

$26,110 or 3 years imprisonment

Private sales

Offence Maximum penalty

Not disclosing to a potential buyer or seller of a vehicle if you are a licensed motor dealer or registered salesperson (even if buying or selling privately)

$52,220

Odometer tampering

Odometer tampering is an offence. You must not wind back an odometer.

You must not tamper with an odometer with the intention to misrepresent the distance the vehicle has travelled. Misrepresentation includes a reading showing that the vehicle has travelled, either:

  • less than a specified distance
  • more than a specified distance.

The maximum fine for tampering with an odometer is $26,110 or 2 years imprisonment.

You can be charged with this offence even if you are not a motor dealer.

Trust account offences

It is in an offence to steal or misuse trust monies. You risk a fine and imprisonment if you break the law.

Offence Maximum penalty

Wrongful conversion and false accounts

$130,550 or 5 years imprisonment

Unauthorised use of trust account

$26,110 or 3 years imprisonment

Trust monies are not banked immediately (to trust account)

$26,110or 3 years imprisonment

Non-trust monies are banked to a trust account

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Licensee does not account to client

$26,110 or 3 years imprisonment

Audit reports

Offence Maximum penalty

Licensee doesn’t appoint an auditor

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Licensee doesn’t lodge audit report within time limit

$26,110 or 2 years imprisonment

Licensee doesn’t lodge audit on ceasing to be licensee or within 2 months of carrying on business

$26,110 or 2 years imprisonment

Auditors

Offence Maximum penalty

Auditor does not file advice of irregularities to Chief Executive

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Auditor fails to notify Chief Executive when denied access to other records

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Auditor fails to supply report to licensee

$26,110 or 1 year imprisonment

Inspector's powers

Inspectors have the legal authority to make sure that you don’t break the law. You must follow their lawful directions, or you risk a fine.

Offence Maximum penalty

Failure to comply with warrant, produce documents or provide information to an inspector

$26,110

Failure to give name and address to an inspector

$6,527

Enforceable undertaking

An enforceable undertaking is:

  • a written promise by a business not to keep breaking the law
  • an alternative to court action.

Find out more about enforceable undertakings

Last updated
1 July 2018
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.