News Next article

What are your obligations as a seller of motor vehicles?

Everything you need to know about selling as a motor vehicle trader on Trade Me

By Trade Me 5 February 2021

Motor vehicle trader obligations

We recently wrote a post about what makes you a Motor Vehicle Trader in NZ.

To follow on from that post we thought it would be good to delve into what your obligations are as a Motor Vehicle Trader. 

Trade Me cares about doing our best to make sure our site is a great place to buy and sell, which means we want our members to be as informed as possible.

To recap on our previous post, the motor vehicle industry in NZ is governed by the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 (MVSA).

If you are deemed to be a Motor Vehicle Trader (MVT) under this Act, you will also have obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (CGA) and the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA).

If you fail to meet these obligations you could incur liability and may end up at the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.

What are these obligations?


Firstly, if you are a MVT then you must be registered. If Trade Me determines that you are a MVT but you are unregistered, your account will be suspended until you register.

The Consumer Information Notice

A Consumer Information Notice (CIN) provides information about a used motor vehicle’s history.

If you are a MVT then you are obliged to physically display a CIN on any used motor vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is sold in a car yard, on the side of the road or on a website like Trade Me.

If you are selling your car online then you must provide a link to the CIN or a clear image of the CIN on the listing.

Warrant of Fitness

On any vehicles you want to sell, the New Zealand Transport Agency requires you to have a warrant of fitness (WOF) issued that has at least 1 month remaining when the buyer takes possession.

Statutory Write Offs from Australia

Trade Me is concerned that there is an unknown number of vehicles on New Zealand roads that have been through the statutory write-off process in Australia and then on-sold without the buyers being aware of the history of the vehicle.

The consequences are compromised vehicle safety and pricing inaccuracies.

As part of our banned and restricted list, we require motor vehicle traders to disclose if they’re selling a vehicle that has previously been written off in Australia. 

We suggest MVT use the following wording:

"This vehicle was imported from Australia as a statutory write off. Buyers should ensure they fully understand the history of the vehicle before purchase."

More detail here.

Consumer Guarantees Act

Under the CGA you have an obligation to ensure that all vehicles you want to sell are of acceptable quality and are also fit for the purpose for which they are advertised.

Fair Trading Act

The FTA requires that you don’t engage in conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive, whether generally, or in relation to the goods.

This means that vehicles must be described accurately.

Two final points to emphasise:

  1. A MVT cannot do ‘private’ sales on Trade Me.
  2. If you are a MVT then you’re “in trade” and this needs to be made clear on your Trade Me membership by adding the “in trade” status to your account. 

Cheers for taking the time to read this – happy car-selling!


Trade Me
Trade Me

Written by one of Trade Me motoring experts - giving you advice on used cars, new cars, boats, motorbikes, dirt bikes, caravans, trucks, trailers and more.