Find out about what offences there are under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003, and what the penalties are for them.

Offences under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act

An offence is something you can be charged with in court. If you're convicted of an offence, a court can give you a penalty, meaning it orders you to do something (like pay money).

The Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 is an Act made by Parliament to list rules for motor vehicle trading. The Act lists the offences that people can be charged with, including:

  • trading in motor vehicles without being registered
  • trading in motor vehicles while banned
  • tampering with odometers
  • failure to display a Consumer Information Notice (CIN) on a used vehicle
  • failure to pay money, or provide details of the transaction, for a vehicle sold on consignment
  • falsifying records of contract for sale
  • not providing a certificate of registration upon request
  • providing false or misleading information on a statutory declaration
  • failing to notify the Registrar of changes to your information
  • failing to notify the Registrar that you are disqualified from registration
  • failing to notify the Registrar of a new company director or management (Chief Executive or equivalent).

Full details of the offences and penalties are listed in the Motor Vehicle Sales Act.

Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 — Subpart 3—Offences(external link)

The Consumer Protection has more information about this Act.

Motor Vehicle Sales Act — Consumer Protection website(external link)

If you think an offence has been committed, let the appropriate agency know.

Getting help or making a complaint

Offences under the Fair Trading Act

A motor vehicle trader may be liable under the Fair Trading Act if false or misleading information is contained in the Consumer Information Notice (CIN). There's more information about this on the Consumer Protection website.

Fair Trading Act — Consumer Protection website(external link)

If there's no CIN, or if the information on it is incorrect or misleading, you can report this to the Commerce Commission.

Getting help or making a complaint


If a motor vehicle trader commits an offence under the MVSA, a penalty may apply.

The maximum penalty for the most serious offences is set at $200,000 for a company, and $50,000 for an individual. There are also lesser penalties, depending on which section of the MVSA has been breached.

In some cases the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders can issue an infringement notice. This carries an instant fine of $500.

A list of penalties can be found in Sections 116-119 of the MVSA.

Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 — Sections 116-119(external link)

Trader bans

Some activities can result in a trader being banned from motor vehicle trading. These include:

  • odometer tampering
  • being convicted of a crime involving dishonesty
  • prohibition from being a director or concerned in management of a company
  • having been adjudged bankrupt
  • failing to comply with orders made by the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.

Section 68 of the MVSA provides all reasons that determine why a trader can be banned.

Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 — Section 68(external link)

If the Registrar finds that a trader has committed banned activities, enforcement action will be taken against them. If the trader is banned as a result of the enforcement action, their name will be recorded in the banned persons list. This list is publicly available, from this website.

Banned persons list