Authorities are warning of a ''worrying increase'' in
unregistered motor vehicle traders after a Dunedin man was
fined $4500 yesterday.
Daniel Stuart Procter (20) appeared in the Dunedin District
Court charged with operating a motor vehicle trading business
without being registered, offending under the Motor Vehicle
Sales Act (2003).
Prosecuting counsel Steve Symon, of Auckland, said Procter
sold 11 vehicles between April 13 last year and February 7
this year when he was not registered as a motor vehicle
trader. Without being registered, an individual could sell up
to six vehicles a year.
The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders ''has seen a worrying
increase in the number of unregistered motor vehicle
traders'', the summary of facts noted.
A change in trading behaviour towards online markets ''has
caused considerable problems for monitoring compliance''.
A seller, for example, could list a vehicle online but then
arrange to meet an interested buyer privately, sell the
vehicle and remove the listing.
''The process can then be repeated over and over again,
without the authorities being alerted,'' the summary said.
The registrar found the New Zealand Transport Agency records
of change of ownership were the most reliable evidence of
vehicle sales by an individual or company.
As at May 29, there were 2645 registered motor vehicle
''Unregistered motor vehicle traders undermine those who are
registered and bring all motor vehicle traders into
Those found carrying on a business of motor vehicle trading
without being registered could face a fine not exceeding
$50,000 for individuals or $200,000 for a company.
A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman
told the Otago Daily Times the registrar was taking
enforcement action in relation to several unregistered
The registrar works with organisations such as Trade Me, New
Zealand Customs and Land Transport New Zealand to help
identify unregistered traders. ''The registrar's aim is to
assist the traders to register so they are compliant with the
A Motor Trade Association spokesman said it welcomed
enforcement of the rules governing unregistered motor vehicle
''There are very few prosecutions and when it happens ... the
fines are hardly heavy enough to act as a deterrent,'' the
MTA spokesman said.
''The guy will make this back within a few trades.''
There were ''a lot of'' unregistered traders selling
vehicles, including roadside and online selling, he said.
''If someone is selling vehicles professionally, there's no
good reason not to get registered.
''From a consumer point of view, if a dealer isn't
registered, the buyer has no comeback or protection if
something goes wrong.
''This applies as much to trades by the roadside as it does
to buying on the web.''
Judge Michael Crosbie noted Procter said he had not made any
profit and had lost $10,000 along the way. He said he had
swapped one car for another to get to work and back and had
not seen he was doing any wrong.
Procter accepted a $4500 fine was not unreasonable, the judge
said. From a starting point of not less than $6000, the judge
allowed a 25% credit for Procter's remorse and prompt guilty
plea. Procter, who admitted the offending, is also to pay
$500 towards prosecution costs, and court costs $130.
The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders has investigated 293
unregistered motor vehicle traders since July 1, 2012.206
investigations finalised; 77 remain under investigation with
the view of achieving compliance; 10 before the courts.
Of the 206 completed investigations:
• 134 were closed, compliance achieved;
• 61 were closed, no offence committed;
• 11 issued with written warnings, being monitored.
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
- Additional reporting: Court Reporter