The Australian Consumer Law gives you the right to ask for repair, replacement or a refund if your car is faulty or unsafe. You also have these rights if the car is not fit for its intended purpose and does not match the description, sample or demonstration model. These rights are called ‘consumer guarantees’ and apply to vehicles purchased from car dealerships, online businesses and auction sites (where the auctioneer does not act as an agent for the seller).
Buyer beware! There are no consumer guarantees on cars sold privately.
In addition to consumer guarantees, under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, car dealerships are required to provide a warranty on used passenger cars with a purchase price of $4,000 or more, provided the car is not more than 12 years old, nor travelled more than 180,000kms.
Under this warranty, a dealer must repair all defects which make or are likely to make the car unroadworthy. The length of the warranty varies, depending on the age of the car and kilometres travelled.
Buyer beware! There are no warranties on cars sold privately.
Most car dealerships will offer to sell you an extended warranty. For the period of the warranty, the car dealership will be obliged to fix mechanical failure. Failure due to fair wear and tear will generally not be covered.
Before purchasing an extended warranty, make sure that you understand what it does and does not cover. Many have exclusions that make them of questionable value. The cost of the warranty may exceed the benefits. Warranties and guarantees already provided by law may provide adequate protection. It is important to remember that extended warranties are optional.
Complaints regarding warranties and guarantees can be made to the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry regulation and Safety. Contact them on 1300 304 054 or visit their website at: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection.