Warranties on used cars

Skip listen and sharing tools

What is a used car statutory warranty?

A licensed motor car trader must provide a statutory warranty if the car: 

  • is less than 10 years old, and 
  • has travelled less than 160,000 kilometres. 

Note: the car's age is determined by the date stamped on its build plate, usually found on the firewall between the engine and passenger compartments.

How long a statutory warranty lasts

A statutory warranty lasts for three months or 5000 kilometres after purchase, whichever occurs first.

The trader must repair any faults covered during the warranty period in order to ensure the car is in a reasonable condition for its age.

Note: even after the statutory warranty expires, you still have rights under the Australian Consumer Law that you can rely on if there is a problem with your car. However, the level of protection will depend on things such as the car's age and condition. For more information, view our Consumer guarantees page

Transfer of statutory warranty

A licensed motor car trader provides a statutory warranty only as part of the contract. Therefore, if you sell your car privately before the three months or 5,000 kilometres have passed, the warranty does not transfer to the new owner. 

Defect notices

The trader is obliged to list any faults not covered by the statutory warranty on a defect notice. These faults could be costly to repair so read this notice carefully. For more information, view our Buying a used car from a licensed motor car trader page.

Items not covered by statutory warranty

A statutory warranty does not cover defects relating to:

  • any item listed on a defect notice with a reasonable estimate of how much it will cost to repair
  • accidental damage that occurred after delivery of the vehicle
  • damage caused by misuse or negligence by a driver after delivery of the vehicle.

A statutory warranty also does not cover defects occurring in:

  • tyres
  • batteries
  • radios, cassette players, CD players, MP3 and MP4 players, and docks
  • DVD players and video display panels
  • telephone and in-car telephone kits
  • global positioning systems (GPS), satellite navigation systems and other computerised navigation systems
  • power outlets, including cigarette lighter sockets
  • cigarette lighters
  • car aerials
  • non-standard alarms
  • clocks
  • non-standard body hardware
  • non-standard keyless entry systems and remote key pads
  • tools other than jacks and wheel braces
  • light globes, sealed beam lights and non-standard fog lights
  • keyless entry systems and remote key pads that are not standard to the car.

Vehicles exempt from statutory warranties

A statutory warranty does not apply to:

  • motorcycles
  • commercial vehicles
  • cars sold at a public auction.

Parts and repairs

If your car needs repairs while under statutory warranty, contact the trader from whom you bought it. If you arrange repairs before doing so, your statutory warranty may become void and you may have to bear the costs.

Second-hand parts can be used as long as they are suitable and serviceable. The time it takes to repair your car is added to the warranty period.

If your car cannot be driven due to a warranty defect, the trader must pay any towing costs. However, the trader or mechanic is not obliged to provide a replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired. If a courtesy vehicle is provided, check it is insured adequately.

Problems with a warranty 

If you have a problem regarding a car under warranty (for example, if you believe the trader is not honouring the warranty), there are steps you can take. For more information, see our Resolve your problem or complaint page