Unregistered Motor Vehicle Trader convicted and fined

Published: 14 December 2022

Kahn David Ratcliffe, an unregistered motor vehicle trader, was convicted last week for breaching the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 (MVSA).

Duncan Connor, the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders said, “Ratcliffe sold 44 vehicles in a 12-month period – more than 7 times the limit for unregistered individuals. Individuals are able to sell up to 6 vehicles in a 12-month period without registering as a motor vehicle trader.”

The conviction comes following an investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where Ratcliffe was charged on 1 count of trading motor vehicles whilst being unregistered. Ratcliffe pleaded guilty and was subsequently sentenced to an $8,000 fine and ordered to pay $130 court costs and $400 solicitor’s costs.  

Consumers are not protected when purchasing from an unregistered motor vehicle trader and could face significant financial losses if there are issues with the vehicle.

Mr Connor says Facebook Marketplace is a common platform for unregistered motor vehicle traders to sell their vehicles.

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

Consumers can check whether the person they are purchasing from is a registered motor vehicle trader by accessing the public register on the government Motor Traders website.

Motortraders.govt.nz(external link)

Registered motor vehicle traders have been assessed by MBIE as being suitable to be registered, and must comply with obligations under the MVSA, Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, and Fair Trading Act 1986.

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz