Definitions - motor car traders

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Motor car

The term ‘motor car’ has a broad legal meaning.

Specifically, a motor car is a vehicle used (or intended to be used) on a roadway and built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of that vehicle. For more details, refer to section 3 of the Road Safety Act 1986.

Motor car trader

Motor car traders are individuals, partnerships or companies who buy, sell or exchange motor cars.

When you need a motor car trader's licence

Generally, if you deal in four or more cars per year, you need a licence. In some circumstances, you need a licence if you deal in fewer than four cars.

What the law says

Under the Motor Car Traders Act 1986, individuals, partnerships or companies who ‘carry on a business of trading in motor cars’ require a licence. To ‘carry on a business of trading in motor cars’ includes buying, selling or exchanging motor cars.

If you buy, sell or exchange (or offer to buy, sell or exchange), four or more motor cars in any 12-month period, you are deemed to need a licence unless you can prove that in that period you neither:

  • carried on the business of trading in motor cars
  • portrayed yourself as doing so.

If you are carrying on the business of trading in motor cars but buy, sell or exchange fewer than four in a 12-month period, you may still require a motor car traders licence.

If you don’t hold a motor car trader’s licence, while carrying on a business of trading in motor cars, you may be subject to a criminal penalty.

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