Buying from a licensed motor dealer
Buying from a licensed motor dealer can cost more than a private sale, but it is the safest way to buy a used car.
Motor dealer licences
All motor dealers in Queensland must have a licence to sell:
- used cars
- other used vehicles.
Check our online register to make sure your dealer is licensed.
When you buy a used car from a licensed dealer, you are protected by motor dealers legislation and you are entitled to:
- a statutory warranty
- a cooling-off period of 1 business day
- a guarantee of clear title on the vehicle
- access a claim fund, which may compensate you if you suffer financial loss because of the motor dealer's actions
- test drive the car.
If a motor dealer sells a vehicle privately, they must tell you they are a licensed dealer.
Licensed motor dealers and chattel auctioneers are required to give you a ‘class B’ statutory warranty when you buy a car that is 10 or more years old or has an odometer reading of 160,000km or more. The warranty period is for one month or 1,000km, whichever comes first.
Warranties and consumer guarantees for used cars
In certain circumstances, you are entitled to a statutory warranty at no extra cost when you buy a second-hand vehicle from a licenced motor dealer. The ACL also automatically gives you rights when you buy a car, these are your consumer guarantees.
Learn more about warranties and consumer guarantees for used cars.
Complain to the business
If you have a problem with a motor dealer, the first thing you should do is talk to them. Usually, people want to do the right thing and will be happy to fix any problems. You should write to the manager. Make sure you set out the problem and how you would like them to fix it.
Complain to the industry body
You might also be able to complain to the Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTAQ), the peak body for the Queensland’s automotive industry. You can only do this if your retailer is a MTAQ member.
Lodge a formal complaint
Sometimes the business won’t help. If this happens, you can make a formal complaint to us.
Lodge a QCAT claim
You might also be able to lodge a claim with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
QCAT has a jurisdictional limit of up to $100,000 for motor vehicle disputes.