New car cooling-off period

What does cooling off mean?

Cooling-off periods apply to cars and motorbikes bought from licensed motor car traders.

You have three business days (excluding weekends and public holidays) after you sign a contract to change your mind. This is your cooling-off period. However, if you choose to accept delivery of the vehicle during this three-day period, you will automatically lose your right to cool off.

Licensed motor car traders are required to include a prescribed information box in the contract of sale for each vehicle they sell, that sets out information about the cooling-off process.

A licensed motor car trader is not obliged to order a vehicle from the manufacturer before the cooling-off period expires. You should therefore clarify with the licensed motor car trader when you can expect to receive it. 

Changing your mind

If you change your mind and terminate the sale agreement, you must do so in writing within the cooling-off period, and the licensed motor car trader may keep $400 or two per cent of the purchase price (whichever is greater). 

If you change your mind about a sale that takes place off-site, for example, if the licensed motor car trader brings the vehicle to your home or place of work, the seller may keep $100 or one per cent of the purchase price (whichever is greater).

Commercial vehicles

There is no cooling-off period if the car is purchased in the name of a company or body corporate, or if it is classified as a commercial vehicle.

Last updated: 14/02/2017

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