Sellers should be registered as a motor vehicle trader if they:
- are in the business of selling cars
- sell more than six, or import more than three, vehicles in a 12-month period.
Some dealers may pretend to be private sellers so they can get rid of lemons or avoid their responsibilities if there’s a fault later on. It’s not easy to tell. To protect yourself, learn as much as you can about the seller beforehand. Look for multiple listings on Trade Me or spare parts or vehicles around the seller’s home when you view the car.
You can also search the seller’s name on the Motor Vehicles Trader Register to see if they are listed as a registered trader
Motor vehicle trader search(external link) — Trading Standards
Be wary if someone says they are selling on behalf of a family member. This is a common ploy a dealer may use to explain why their name isn’t on the vehicle’s paperwork.
Read more about solving problems with a private vehicle seller