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Advertising 

Licensed motor dealers are required to disclose specific information when advertising whether they are using text, still pictures, moving pictures, signs, symbols, visual images, audio messages or websites.

Disclosure 

Licensed motor dealers must publish their licence holder name, and the words licence number (or similar abbreviation) followed by their licence number in promotional material so that consumers know who they are dealing with. The requirement covers any advertising that promotes a specific place or places of business for which the licence is granted.

This includes any advertising where the licensee’s specific place of business is identified. For example, signage must be visable; if a mobile mechanic, advertisement must be on the side of the vehicle; if a licensee advertises on TV and mentions their places of business, they would be required to display their licence details in the advertisement. This requirement does not apply where only products are advertised, such as when a franchisor advertises its brand or products on behalf of all franchisees.

A licensed motor dealer is required to meet a number of other obligations when advertising for the sale of vehicles. These obligations are as follows:

  • A dealer is not permitted to advertise that a minimum trade in allowance will be given in relation to the sale of a motor vehicle.
  • A dealer is not permitted to advertise that the price of a second hand or demonstrator vehicle is reduced by a specified amount unless the price it was reduced from is also stated.
  • A dealer is not permitted to advertise that a new vehicle is reduced in price unless the manufacturers' recommended price is also stated.
  • The term 'on road costs' is prohibited, the ad must state either:
    • cash price plus statutory charges and dealer delivery charges of (the amount) or
    • total amount (drive away).

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Gifts and prizes 

The Motor Traders Association Code of Ethics, Part 4, 42, g. states that an MTA licensed dealer member will not offer in an advertisement free gifts or substantially discounted goods (for example domestic white goods or holiday trips) not directly related to the supply of motor vehicles which are intended to or could act as an inducement to a prospective purchaser of motor vehicles except where those gifts of a manufacture’s national promotion.

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Finance 

There is no obligation to use the dealer’s finance or insurance. Before a dealer offers you finance, compare the rates banks, credit unions and finance companies are offering - it could end up saving a great deal of money. If the vehicle insurance is added to the loan, be aware that interest will be paid on the insurance costs as well. You have a cooling off period of 1 day from the signing off a contract.

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Minimum trade-ins 

A licensed motor dealer cannot publish or be responsible for any advertisement that specifies or implies:

  • that a minimum trade-in allowance will be made in relation to a motor vehicle offered for sale by the dealer
  • that the price of a second-hand or demonstrator motor vehicle offered for sale by the dealer has been reduced by a specified amount or proportion, or from a specified amount, unless the advertisement also specifies the cash price of the motor vehicle or
  • that the price of a new motor vehicle offered for sale by the dealer has been reduced by a specified amount or proportion, or from a specified amount, unless the advertisement also specifies that the reduction is related to the manufacturers recommended price.

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Recalls 

From time to time a manufacturer may advertise a recall on a particular vehicle if there is an inherent defect in the vehicle. This recall is usually performed by contacting the known owners of the vehicle and also advertising in major newspapers around Australia.

It should be noted that Federal Treasury can provide information regarding vehicle recall notices. Visit www.recalls.gov.au for the latest information.

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