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Motor vehicle warranties - secondhand vehicles

For a second hand motor vehicle the Motor Dealers Act provides a statutory warranty of 3 months or 5,000km from the date of sale (whichever occurs first). This applies to second hand vehicles that have travelled less than 160,000 km and are less than 10 years old. Some types of vehicles are excluded from this warranty; these would include commercial vehicles and luxury vehicles.

If warranty repairs are required on a vehicle and it is undriveable, it is the dealer's responsibility to get the vehicle back to the dealership for repairs or authorise repairs in the remote location. Of course the dealer would have no responsibility if the vehicle was abused.

Second-hand vehicles that do not have a statutory warranty (ie have travelled more the 160,000 kilometres or are more than 10 years old) must be roadworthy at the time of sale. The dealer is obliged to give consumers a Form 8 which states there is no warranty under the Motor Dealers Act and must also provide a Safety Inspection Report issued in accordance with the Traffic Act 1909 stating that the vehicle is roadworthy. This Report must not be issued more than 30 days before the date of sale unless the vehicle's registration was renewed within one month of the date of sale or in the case where the dealer supplies the Safety Inspection Report the period may be up to 90 days.

The Sale of Goods Act requires that goods sold are of a merchantable quality and purchasers of non-warrantable vehicles are protected by implied conditions that apply to all consumer contracts. These are:

  • Goods must be of merchantable quality 
  • Goods must be fit for the purpose supplied
  • Goods must be as described or match the sample.

Where consumers feel that a vehicle was not roadworthy at the time of sale, they should obtain an independent mechanical report to support this claim.

c/o NSW Office of Fair Trading

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