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Record penalty imposed for unregistered motor vehicle trader

2 July 2014

The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has successfully prosecuted a Waiheke Island man for selling eight vehicles within a 12 month period whilst unregistered.

On 26 June 2014 the 61 year old was convicted and fined a record $30,000 at the Auckland District Court. The fine is the heaviest penalty ever imposed for unregistered motor vehicle trading since the Motor Vehicle Sales Act was introduced in 2003.

Manager of the Registries Integrity and Enforcement Team, Karla Flood, says the heavy penalty reflects the fact that this was the man’s fifth conviction since 2006 for the same offence.

“This defendant continued to sell motor vehicles for several years, despite several previous convictions for selling motor vehicles without being registered. This prosecution is a reminder to the motor vehicle trade that enforcement action will be taken for those that don’t abide by the rules,” she said.

Under the Motor Vehicles Sales Act 2003 individuals can legally sell six vehicles in a 12 month period without being registered as a Motor Vehicle Trader.

“The number of unregistered motor vehicle traders is on the rise, largely due to a change in trader behaviour towards online markets.

Unregistered motor vehicle traders are not subject to the checks that apply to those who are registered and consumers may have less protection when something goes wrong. This penalty sends out the message that this kind of reckless behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders works with organisations such as Trade Me, New Zealand Customs and Land Transport New Zealand to help identify unregistered traders. The Registrar's aim is to assist the traders to register so they are compliant with the legislation and only if this does not succeed does enforcement action take place.

The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders has investigated 228 unregistered motor vehicle traders since 1 July 2013. Of those 185 investigations have been finalised, 23 remain under investigation with the view of achieving compliance, and 20 cases are currently before the courts.

Of the 185 completed investigations:

  • 114 were closed as compliance was achieved;
  • 68 were closed as no offence was identified;
  • 3 traders were issued with written warnings and are being monitored

 

Since 1 July 2013, 19 convictions were obtained.

 

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