Pawnbroker charges and restrictions

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Do not accept motor cars or motorcycles as goods in pawn

It is illegal for a pawnbroker to accept in pawn a car or motorcycle.

‘Motor car’ is defined in the Motor Car Traders Act 1986, with reference to the definition of motor vehicle Road Safety Act 1986. The definition covers motorcycles.

‘Motor car’ is defined as a vehicle: 

  • used or intended to be used on a highway 
  • built to be propelled by a motor, which forms part of the vehicle.

This does not include: 

  • vehicles intended for use on a railway or tramway 
  • motorised wheelchairs, used solely for the conveyance of an injured or disabled person and capable of no more than 10 kilometres per hour 
  • tractors 
  • a motor vehicle with an engine that drives or operates an agricultural implement integral to the vehicle 
  • vehicles not intended for use on a highway.

Do not allow people aged under 16 years to pawn goods

It is illegal for a pawnbroker to accept goods in pawn from a person under the age of 16.

Pawnbroker charges

The charge must be calculated using the amount displayed on the notice of charges, unless the pawnbroker and person pawning the goods agree to a higher charge. They can only agree to a higher charge if:

  • the pawnbroker is likely to incur extra storage costs for the goods being pawned 
  • the agreement allows the person pawning the goods to make less frequent payments than specified in the notice.

For a higher charge to apply, the:

  • notice of charge given to the person pawning the goods must state why the higher charge applies 
  • owner of the goods must agree in writing to the higher charge 
  • pawnbroker must give a copy of this written agreement to the owner of the goods.

A pawnbroker must also display certain signs and provide notices containing specific details. For more information, view Signs, notices and pawn tickets.