Consumer Protection warns against unlicensed car dealers

A man has been found guilty at Perth Magistrates Court today after breaching the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, and has been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay costs of $2,197.

Hafedh Al Anzi of Ellenbrook had purchased and sold 26 motor vehicles between June 2016 and January 2018 without a licence.

Acting General Manager of the Automotive branch at Consumer Protection, Jason Shaw, said unlicensed dealers rob consumers of their ability of redress, warranty work, and protections on the quality of the vehicle if things go awry.

“Protections are in place for licensed dealers, so if a consumer knows the dealer is licensed there are certain protections that are afforded to vehicles,”

“Compared to if you were to buy a vehicle from a private dealer those warranty provisions don’t apply,”

Mr Shaw said this is an ongoing crime with complaints coming in on a regular basis, with those guilty facing maximum penalties of $50,000.

He thinks people should be more careful when buying big assets, like cars or houses so you know you’re covered. Mr Shaw recommends doing checks online to verify the dealers legitimacy.

“If you’re buying on forums such as Gumtree, Facebook, those sorts of online marketplaces, if there aren’t any licence details listed then generally that’s a private seller, so you have no consumer rights,” he explained.

Consumers can check whether a motor vehicle dealer is licensed by doing a search on the Consumer Protection website: www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au. Unlicensed dealers can be reported by emailing consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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