BORDER car dealers are getting most things right, only slipping up sometimes on the paperwork.
Consumer Affairs Victoria and NSW Fair Trading made an unannounced flying visit this week to check on dealers’ level of compliance with legislative requirements.
Dozens of inspections were carried out and no major issues found.
But about half of the dealers failed on administrative matters, such as delays in updating staff records and forms.
Twenty-three motor vehicle dealers were visited in Wodonga on Wednesday and 17 dealers in Albury on Thursday.
“On the NSW side a non-compliance rate of 65 per cent was detected, with inadequate or incorrect paperwork being the most common breach,” a NSW Fair Trading spokesman said.
“Fair Trading will return to Albury shortly to check that all dealers have made the required changes to comply with the Motor Dealers Act 1974 and the Motor Dealers Regulation 2010.”
Consumer Affairs Hume region manager Michael D’Elia said an example of a dealer requirement was carrying out police checks on their salespeople.
“Generally we found that most places had the police checks in place,” he said.
“But there is also a form they have to fill out with all the person’s details, and that’s supposed to be provided to Consumer Affairs.
“Some of them hadn’t filled out the appropriate form.”
Mr D’Elia referred also to the forms in the back window of every used car for sale at a dealership.
These had to state the previous owner’s name, how many kilometres the car had travelled when delivered to the lot and the price of the car.
“Some of those weren’t filled in with all of the details,” he said.
“It might have been that one of those was missing, or the odometer reading wasn’t accurate.”
Mr D’Elia said education was the overriding aim of the inspections.
“We go out, we talk to them and look at their books,” he said.
The rules businesses such as car dealerships had to operate under were for the protection of consumers — it greatly reduced the influence of the saying “let the buyer beware”.
“There were times in the past when vehicles were sold to the public where the history of the car was dodgy or the person didn’t know exactly what they were purchasing,” he said.
“What this is about is ensuring we have valid vehicles being sold through licenced motor car trader.”