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Motor Vehicle Dealers welcome new law

Motor Vehicle Dealers welcome new law

The Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute welcomes the passage of the Motor Vehicle Sales Bill through Parliament.

“The new law will greatly improve protection for car buyers while also making the vehicle sales trade fairer for dealers,” MVDI Chief Executive Steve Downes said today.

The Motor Vehicle Sales Act had its third reading in Parliament today and will come into effect at a date to be determined by an Order in Council. Dealers won’t be licensed any more but most people involved in the motor vehicle retail trade - including car auctioneers, finance houses and lease operators - will have to register as a Trader with the Ministry of Economic Development. Anyone convicted of dishonesty crimes in the previous five years won’t be able to register as a Trader.

“The new law has simpler complaints and disputes procedures for people dissatisfied with their purchase of a vehicle. They will be guaranteed clear title of their vehicle when they buy from a registered dealer,” Mr Downes said. “Many people currently selling vehicles are not covered by the existing law. Now, under this new law they will have to register as Traders, which will give buyers much greater protection,” Mr Downes said.

However, Mr Downes warned that a significant number of cars would continue to be sold by unregistered illegal dealers, such as people who illegally import a number of cars each year and then claim they are making private sales.
“There are a few issues that MVDI believes need to be quickly addressed. Car buyers will continue to be ripped off with impunity by a small number of unscrupulous people who are effectively dealers but are not included in the new law,” he said.

“The definition of who is actually a car dealer needs to be tightened up and provisions of the law about funding for complaints procedures are not satisfactory.”

Mr Downes said the new law would radically change MVDI as an organisation. It had been freed of its licensing and law enforcement roles and could concentrate on improving the performance and status of responsible dealers who are members.

“We won’t tolerate shonky dealers and now have the right to kick them out of our organisation. We want the car buying public to quickly realise that they can trust dealers who are MVDI members,” he said.

“This has been a long process, involving years of consultation between the industry and Government to get broad agreement on the shape of the new law. This is an important piece of legislation because it will reduce the uncertainty in the industry and provide substantial benefits,” he said.

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