Compensation claims - cars

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Anyone (except a motor car trader, a motor car manufacturer, finance broker or public statutory authority) who has suffered a loss after purchasing a car, can make a claim for compensation from the fund.

We may advise you to apply to the Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund for compensation, however, before taking this step we recommend you try to resolve the matter with the trader first.

The Motor Car Traders Committee oversees all claims. The maximum amount it will award is $40,000. There is no fee to make a claim.

Claims covered

Claims can be made on purchases of motor cars, motor bikes and commercial vehicles.

A claim can be made if a motor car trader does not:

  • comply with warranty provisions (this applies to motor cars but not to motorbikes or commercial vehicles)
  • transfer a clear title to the car
  • pay part or all of the purchase price to you (or somebody acting on your behalf) if you have sold them a car
  • pass on transfer, registration fees or stamp duty to VicRoads
  • provide a roadworthy certificate or other documents necessary for the motor car to be registered
  • pass on money paid as a premium or purchase price for an insurance policy or warranty
  • satisfy a court order or an order from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  • refund the purchase price or a deposit following cancellation of a contract
  • deliver the motor car after receiving payment of the purchase price.

A claim can also be made if a motor car trader engages in:

  • consignment selling
  • odometer tampering
  • disposal of a motor car given as a trade-in before your cooling-off period expires.

Claims not covered

The Motor Car Traders Claims Committee cannot pay a claim from the fund if the motor car trader:

  • tells you something about the condition of a motor car that later turns out to be untrue
  • was not licensed at the relevant time, unless you reasonably believed that they were.

If your situation is one that the fund cannot consider, you may still be able to take your case to a court or to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

You can also ask us to assist you to resolve your dispute with the motor car trader. To enquire about making a claim, view our How to contact us page.

How to claim

If you have been unable to resolve your complaint with the motor car trader and are eligible to make a claim, please complete the Application for compensation - Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund (Word, 120KB).

The Motor Car Traders Claims Committee does not conduct face-to-face meetings. You must provide all information in writing, so it is important you give as much information as possible about your claim when filling out the application form.

You should:

  • give a full description of events that led up to your claim, your dealings with the motor car trader and what attempts you have made to resolve the matter with them
  • attach copies of all documents that relate to your claim. Depending on your claim, these may include:
    • the contract of sale
    • invoices
    • the finance agreement
    • receipts and cheques (or cheque butts)
    • independent mechanical reports
    • quotes and invoices relating to repair work
    • Certificate of roadworthiness
    • correspondence between you and the motor car trader, or to you from finance companies or VicRoads
    • a warrant authorising the seizure by police of a motor car suspected of being stolen
    • any other relevant documents.

If you do not have a relevant document, you should tell the committee and explain the reason you do not have it.

You should retain a copy of each document provided to the committee for your records.

If you provide false or misleading information to the Motor Car Traders Claims Committee, you may be fined up to $5000.

After you lodge a claim

After you have lodged a claim, you will be sent a letter acknowledging receipt of it.

A copy of your claim and supporting documents will be sent to the licensed motor car trader. They will be asked to:

  • provide a written account of the dealings that have led to the claim, and attempts to resolve it
  • provide copies of all relevant documents
  • provide information they want the committee to take into account when determining the claim
  • respond to the committee by a certain date and time.

The committee may need to make further enquiries or seek further information from:

  • you
  • the motor car trader
  • other people or agencies, such as Victoria Police, VicRoads or finance companies.

After all information has been received and the necessary enquiries made, the committee will consider the claim and will decide whether to:

  • pay the claim or part of the claim, or
  • defer the claim for further consideration, to allow for further enquiries to be made, or
  • refuse to pay the claim.

When the committee has made its decision, it will notify both you and the motor car trader in writing.

If your claim or a component of it cannot be considered, the Motor Car Traders Claims Committee may refer it to the appropriate body or provide you with the contact details of another organisation who may help you resolve your complaint.

If a claim is paid, the committee will authorise payment from the fund and send you a cheque.

If you want any payment from your claim to be made to another person or company (for example, an agent, solicitor or finance company), please download and complete the Application for compensation - Motor Car Traders Guarantee Fund (Word, 120KB).

Appeal rights

Both you and the motor car trader have the right to appeal against a decision made by the Motor Car Traders Claims Committee.

Appeals can be made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and must be lodged within 28 days of the committee's decision.

For more information, contact VCAT on 1300 01 8228 (1300 01 VCAT) or visit the VCAT website. Calling this number costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you call from overseas, on a mobile or payphone.


For information on the privacy statement, view our Motor Car Traders Claims Committee page.