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Prosecutions erve as reminder to industry

Prosecutions of unregistered vehicle traders serve as reminder to industry


The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders at MBIE has successfully prosecuted four people in just over a month for operating motor vehicle trading businesses without being registered.

Under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 individuals can legally sell six vehicles in a 12 month period without being registered as a motor vehicle trader.

Karla Flood, Manager of the Registry Integrity and Enforcement team at MBIE, says compliance is our first objective, but the four recent prosecutions are a reminder to the motor vehicle trade that enforcement action will be taken for those that don’t abide by the rules.

A 52 year old man was convicted and fined $5,400 in the North Shore District Court on 7 March for selling 10 vehicles without being registered as a motor vehicle trader. Six days later, a 21 year old man was found guilty of the same offence and fined the same amount at Auckland District Court for selling 12 motor vehicles.

On 21 March, a 32 year old man was found guilty at Gisborne District Court for selling 13 vehicles, he received 80 hours of community work. On 2 April 2014, a 24 year old man was convicted and fined $8,000 at Auckland District Court for selling 10 vehicles without being registered.

“Buying a car is a significant purchase for people and it is vital that consumers have confidence in the industry. Unregistered motor vehicle traders are not subject to the checks that apply to those who are registered and consumers may have less protection when something goes wrong,” says Karla.

The number of unregistered motor vehicle traders is on the rise, largely due to a change in trader behaviour towards online markets. The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders works with Trade Me, New Zealand Customs and Land Transport New Zealand, to help identify unregistered traders.

The Registrar’s aim is to assist the traders to register so they are compliant with the legislation and only if this does not succeed does enforcement action take place.

Since July 2012, the Registrar has investigated 422 unregistered motor vehicle traders. Of those, 339 investigations have been finalised, 74 remain under investigation with the view of achieving compliance and 9 cases are currently before the courts. Since August 2013, there has been an increase of 379 new registered motor vehicle traders and the Registrar has obtained convictions for 17 unregistered vehicle traders.

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