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Fair Trading launches dodgy motor dealer hotline

Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading

The Honourable Peter Lawlor

02/09/2010

Fair Trading launches dodgy motor dealer hotline

Fair Trading has today launched a hotline for consumers to report unlicensed motor dealers who are not operating within the law.

Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor said the hotline was developed as phase two of the Operation Turner investigation, launched in March 2010, which targeted backyard motor dealers and odometer tamperers.

"It's time for the community to get together to eliminate these dodgy motor dealers," Mr Lawlor said.

"I encourage anyone considering buying a used car to call

3115 1726 to report any suspect safety certificate scams, unlicensed motor dealing or odometer concerns.

"The types of vehicles sold by unlicensed motor dealers are often of a lower quality and may be repairable write-off vehicles that have been significantly damaged in accidents, repaired and sold to unsuspecting consumers.

"Consumers spending thousands of dollars to purchase a vehicle deserve to deal with people who play by the rules."

Fair Trading issues licences for a range of occupations - from motor dealers to real estate agents - to ensure those working in the industry are professional and suited to the job. As a result, consumers are protected.

Working unlicensed in the motor trade industry is a serious breach of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act.

These backyard motor dealers do not pay licensing fees, have no overheads, and so have an unfair advantage over licensed motor dealers.

Mr Lawlor said that Operation Turner has so far prosecuted 10 people who were fined $51,000 for unlicensed motor dealing and odometer tampering.

"When purchasing a second hand car, Fair Trading encourages buyers to have it independently inspected by a mechanic," he said.

"It is important a Register of Encumbered Vehicles (REVS) check is carried out, and a Transport and Main Roads Vehicle Check (Vcheck).

"These checks help the buyer understand the vehicle's history and whether there is any outstanding money owing on the vehicle.

"The message is clear - if you're considering buying a second-hand car, then remember this number -3115 1726."

To make a complaint about anyone involved in safety certificate scams, unlicensed trading or odometer tampering call 07 3115 1726, or go to the website, www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au