Facebook motor vehicle seller convicted and fined

Published: 24 May 2023

Jessie Gettins was sentenced at the Auckland District Court to a $13,000 fine after being found guilty of one charge of carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading without being registered, in breach of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 (MVSA).

The conviction comes following an investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Ms Gettins had previously been before the Courts for similar offending in 2016, having been found guilty of unregistered motor vehicle trading and fined $18,000. Ms Gettins was also a registered motor vehicle trader at one stage so was well aware of the requirements. 

Duncan Connor, the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders said, “Ms Gettins sold 11 vehicles in 12 months. Individuals can sell up to 6 vehicles in 12 months without being required to register as a motor vehicle trader.”

Registered motor vehicle traders have been assessed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders as being suitable to be registered, and they must comply with obligations under the MVSA, Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, and Fair Trading Act 1986. These obligations offer greater protection to consumers when purchasing a car.

Mr Connor says Facebook Marketplace is a common platform for unregistered persons who sell motor vehicles.

“Consumers should take precautions when purchasing vehicles from people online. Precautions may include organising a pre-purchase check and inspection on the vehicle to identify any money owing or mechanical issues.”

Consumers can check whether the person they are purchasing from is a registered motor vehicle trader by accessing the public register at the link below.

Motor Vehicle Traders Register(external link)

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz