In most cases, when you buy a second-hand vehicle from a licensed motor dealer, you are entitled to a mandatory statutory warranty at no extra cost.
This warranty protects you from financial loss if the vehicle is faulty.
There are two types of statutory warranty:
- Class A warranty: when the odometer reading is fewer than 160 000 kilometres, and the car was manufactured less than 10 years before the sale date, the warranty is three months or 5000 kilometres, whichever happens first
- Class B warranty: when the odometer reading is 160 000 kilometres or more, or the car was manufactured 10 years or more before the sale date, the warranty is one month or 1000 kilometres, whichever happens first.
A defect is a part of the vehicle that does not do what it is supposed to do, or has deteriorated to the extent that you cannot rely on it to work. A statutory warranty covers most defects.
However, it does not cover any defect in a vehicle's:
- tyres or tyre tubes, batteries, fitted airbags or radiator hoses
- lights (other than a warning light or a turn indicator light used as a hazard light)
- installed radio, tape recorder or CD player
- air conditioning system (for a Class B warranted vehicle)
- aerial, spark plug, wiper rubber, distributor point, oil or oil filer, heater hose, fuel or air filter
- paintwork or upholstery that should have been apparent before the buyer took delivery of the vehicle
- accessories that were not fitted to the vehicle when it was sold.
Statutory warranty also does not cover any defect from accidental damage due to your misuse or negligence.
The following vehicles do not have a statutory warranty:
- commercial vehicles
- vehicles being sold on consignment for a private seller
- an unregistered motor vehicle that cannot be registered in Queensland because of its design or because it is on the ´written-off vehicles´ register.
Vehicles with no statutory warranty must be clearly identified and advertised.
Auctioneers and motor dealers must place notices on the windshield or price tag, place signs at the main entrance to the premises or give them to you.
If you feel you are entitled to repairs under your warranty, you can not simply have your vehicle repaired and send the bill to the warrantor.
You must take your vehicle back to the dealer and give written notice of the defect to the warrantor. The warrantor must respond within 5 days with instructions for getting your vehicle repairs done. Once the warrantor accepts that the defects are covered by statutory warranty, they have 14 days to complete the repairs.
If your vehicle is more than 200 km from the warrantor when you give notice, you can take it to the nearest qualified repairer nominated by the warrantor. The warrantor may decide to use another repairer, but they will have to pay for any delivery costs.
If the car dealership you bought from has been sold, the warranty on your vehicle continues to remain the responsibility of the original licensee. The new owner of the dealership is not responsible.
For every day your car is undergoing a statutory warranty repair, another day is added to your warranty period.
Before the warranty expires, have a full mechanical inspection done by an independent and qualified mechanic, so any problems can be identified and corrected within the warranty period.
Try to resolve any problems you have directly with the dealer. Under the Code of Conduct, licensed dealers must establish a complaint handling process. It is a good idea to put your concerns in writing.
If you suffer a financial loss because of action that a motor dealer or auctioneer takes, or does not take, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. See claims for financial loss.
Real life story
Read a real life story about statutory warranties on used car puchases.
Last reviewed 22/11/2011