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South Australia to investigate backyard car dealers

South Australia’s consumer watchdog, Consumer and Business Services (CBS), will crack down on unlicensed backyard car dealers over the next four months.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S COMMISSIONER for consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, says CBS investigators and compliance officers will use information collected from various sources to detect and deal with unlicensed and dodgy dealers. Commissioner Soulio says the CBS will inspect properties of people selling more than four used cars in a year with unlicensed traders to face fines of up to $100,000.

“Buying a used car from an unlicensed dealer can be fraught with risks – there is no cooling-off period, no warranty and no guarantee that the car is free of problems. Vehicles are an expensive purchase and we want to ensure both consumers and  licensed traders are protected. We don’t want to see the actions of dodgy dealers tarnish the reputation of the vehicle sales industry.”

Motor Trade Association (MTA) chief executive officer Paul Unerkov welcomed the move to crack down on “backyard” dealers. “Members of the MTA not only meet their legal requirements, they also adhere to our strict code of conduct giving consumers even more confidence in purchasing a second-hand vehicle,” he said.

The operation, Commissioner Soulio says, will include investigators conducting unannounced inspections and face-to-face interviews with the identified unlicensed “backyard dealers”. The investigation runs from September to December 2014.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober