Office of Fair Trading – Used Cars

Fortunately for both buying and selling used cars in Qld, the Office of Fair Trading acts as an advocate for consumer laws. This benefits both the buying public and the reputation of motor dealers.

Who Are The Office of Fair Trading?

Most states have a government department set up to act as the guardian of consumer law in their state. Qld is no exception.

They are setup to administer various industries that require licensing. Motor traders are just one of many including gambling licenses, liquor licenses, real estate, other property, securities, tattoo and a host of others.

For motor dealers, whether they be buying or selling vehicles, are required to be licensed to carry out this business.

Unfortunately for those of us that play by the rules set by the Office of Fair Trading, there are many unscrupulous people who are not licensed that operate outside of the law.

When selling your car to a professional in this industry, always ask for their licence number to operate in Qld. Mine is 3619318 and you can check this and other license holder on the Office of Fair Trading website.

There are 3 main benefits of buying or selling through a licensed motor dealer.

Statutory Warranty

Statutory warranties cover cars that are under 10 years old and/or have travelled less than 5,000kms.

If you buy privately, it is completely buyer beware as no warranties or consumer guarantees exist.

All the details of what a statutory warranty does and does not cover is on their website. But be mindful cars have literally hundreds of parts, and not all are warranted equally.

For example, there are some items that are completely unwarranted. These include the likes of spark plug leads, upholstery, tyres, batteries and a heap of other items considered to be part of the vehicle in as-purchased condition and subject to your maintenance schedule.

A good simple rule of thumb to distinguish what is covered by a warranty and what is considered to be a maintenance item is this: if it breaks and makes the car no longer functional (apart from non-warranted items), then the fixing of the car is the responsibility of the dealer. If the part(s) are worn, then it is not.

Cooling Off Period

The law allows you to change your mind on a contract and/or the giving of a deposit to buy a vehicle within 24 hours – or until 5pm the next business day.

This was designed to stop pressure selling tactics.

After this period though, a dealer has the right to keep your deposit if you back out.

Which is fair enough. The whole purpose of paying a deposit (usually 10% at least of a car’s value) is to hold it for you and be withdrawn from advertising.

If you pull out, you lose your deposit.

What I have done sometimes in this case as a gesture of goodwill, is if you buy another car from me, your deposit is put as a downpayment towards it.

Guarantee of Title

A dealer is obliged by law to guarantee title.

What a lot of people don’t realise, is that if you buy a car privately, and unbeknownst to you the seller has outstanding finance over the car, the car can be repossessed if repayments aren’t being kept up.

No matter who owns the car, the car is the security against the loan.

Call me on 0411 362 229 if you want a fair price for your used car in Brisbane today.