Cars and Rights

Cars and your Rights
If you buy a second hand car from a dealer you have the right under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act plus several other laws including the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act. These laws will ensure you are not misled about the car you are buying and that the car is of acceptable quality.

If you buy privately, you are not so well protected. You can check that the car has a current warrant of fitness and you can contact Autocheck to see if there is any money owing on it, but if the motor blows up while you are driving home, you will have little recourse.

Licensed Dealers
If you buy a car from a licensed dealer, you can stand on the guarantee they give that you will have good title to the car. This means that you can sell the car and you don't have to worry that there are any debts hanging over it. They also have to provide you with their name and business address, the cash price of the vehicle, the number of previous owners, the year in which the vehicle was first registered, (or if the vehicle was first registered overseas, the word “ex-overseas”), the odometer reading. (If there are reasonable grounds to believe the odometer reading is incorrect this must be stated.)

Unlicensed Dealers
If you buy from an unlicensed dealer you will have no protection under the Act.

The Act will also give you minimum warranties under the Act if you buy from a motor vehicle dealer and this will depend on when the car was registered and the odometer reading. If you run into problems then you should first discuss it with the dealer. If the dealer won't help you have two options:

  1. You can take a case to the Specialist Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.
  2. You can go to the normal Disputes Tribunal with your claim.

If you get behind on your payments for your car hire purchase the car can be repossessed.