The Motor Trade Association (MTA) is concerned that councils may be turning a blind eye to the increasing number of organised roadside car sales
The MTA says roadside car sales can provide a venue for illegal sellers and cars riddled with problems.
Following a recent prosecution instigated by the local MTA branch on unlicensed sellers operating outside Memorial Park in Palmerston North, the local council announced it would look at introducing a more stringent permit system.
Web and Communications Manager, Ana Zandi says while a permit system is good in theory, it won’t stop ‘wheeler dealers’ selling off problem vehicles, and most areas seem to have at least one location that’s well known to local people.
“We’re not denying people who are legitimately selling their own vehicles privately outside their homes, however, we are concerned that some traders are masquerading as private sellers to avoid their financial and legal liabilities and, thereby, also reducing the buyer's legal rights.”
Zandi adds that the whole concept of roadside selling poses another issue - it doesn’t support the local business community who are meeting their obligations in paying taxes and rates, and complying with relevant local bylaws.
“Local businesses employ local people and invest in our communities, so it’s unclear why local councils endorse street trading. If local body officials endorse roadside selling, it may invite other types of businesses to follow suit and start up shop on the side of the road – where do you draw the line?” she says.
MTA’s Mediation Centre receives a high number of calls from people who have been caught out after buying a vehicle from these roadside sales venues.
“In most cases, the buyer has little scope for redress and is left with a problem vehicle. While some buyers may think they are getting a bargain, the vehicle could actually have significant faults, be a previously wrecked vehicle, have a ‘wound back’ odometer, or may even be a stolen vehicle.”
“Consumers need to be wary about buying vehicles in this way, its high risk, and there’s no ‘come back’ if something goes wrong.”
Zandi says registered traders offer buyers security and reduce the risk if anything goes wrong, roadside sellers don’t.
Check out registered car dealers in your area.