Traders' responsibilities

Traders have a number of responsibilities under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003. These include keeping records of sales and displaying information about used vehicles.

Overview

Your responsibilities as a motor vehicle trader include:

  • displaying (or producing on demand) your certificate of registration
  • renewing your registration every year
  • keeping your contact details up-to-date on the Motor Vehicle Traders Register
  • displaying a Consumer Information Notice (CIN) on any used vehicles you're selling
  • keeping records of all contracts and sales documents
  • making payment for any used vehicles sold on consignment.

Show your certificate of registration

Motor vehicle traders must display their certificate of registration at their place of business, or be able to show a copy of it to anyone who asks.

Renew your registration every year

Check your certificate of registration for the date your registration expires. This certificate was sent to you when you first registered as a motor vehicle trader and we'll send you a new one every year after you renew.

We recommend that you set your own reminder at least 2 weeks before your expiry date. If you leave it to the last minute and something goes wrong, you might not be able to renew.

Keep your contact details up-to-date

Make sure you keep your contact details up-to-date on the Register so you get our reminder emails. These emails are sent automatically to the email address you list on the Register.

Add our email addresses (registrar@mvtr.govt.nz and registrar@motortraders.govt.nz) to your email contacts to make sure important emails from us don't end up in your spam or junk mail folders.

Maintain your registration

Consumer Information Notices for used vehicles

As a trader you must display a Consumer Information Notice (CIN) – often referred to as a window card – in any used motor vehicles that are for sale.

The Consumer Protection website has more information about the CIN, and a link to a blank notice.

Consumer Information Notice (CIN) - Consumer Protection website(external link)

If a security interest has been registered in a vehicle — that is, the vehicle has been used as security for a debt — you must show this on the CIN. You can find this information on the Personal Property Securities Register, a government register of security interests in personal property.

Personal Property Securities Register website(external link)

Notice Icon Violet2 ALERT

If you don't tell buyers about a security interest on the CIN, you may end up having to pay any money still owing on the vehicle yourself.

Personal Property Securities Act 1999 - Section 59

Give the buyer a copy of the CIN, and keep copies yourself

When you sell a used vehicle, you must:

  • give the buyer a copy of the CIN
  • have the buyer confirm in writing that they've been given this copy. This should happen just before the sale of the vehicle (or just after in the case of an auction).

You must keep a copy of the CIN, and the buyer's written confirmation that they received a copy of it, for a minimum of 6 years. For the buyer's confirmation the 6 years is taken from the date it was signed, not the date of the CIN.

See Keep records below for more information on how to store these copies.

Car market operators and CINs

If you're a car market operator, we expect you to take reasonable steps to make sure anyone selling a vehicle at your market attaches a CIN. This includes registered motor vehicle traders selling through car market operators.

You can supply sellers with a blank CIN to fill in, but you don't have to fill it out for them.

Keep records

You're required to keep copies of your sales documents. These must show:

  • the names of all the parties to the contract
  • the agreed price (or whatever the seller received for the vehicle, if it was a vehicle swap or similar), and
  • a description of the motor vehicle sold, including its:
    • VIN (or if no VIN recorded, the chassis number)
    • make
    • model
    • calendar year of manufacture, or model year as recorded on the NZTA Motor Vehicle Register.

The Motor Vehicle Register - New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)(external link)

These records:

  • may be kept in an electronic form, or as a copy of a written sales contract, as long as they can be retrieved easily and contain all the required information
  • can be inspected by the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders or the Police
  • must be kept for at least 6 years.

Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 — Section 21(external link)

Motor Vehicle Sales Regulations 2003(external link)

Make payment for used vehicles sold on behalf

Motor vehicle traders sometimes act as an agent for another person in the sale of a used motor vehicle. If you do this, you must pay that person all money received from the sale, minus any agreed commission or fee:

  • as soon as that person asks for it after the sale, or
  • if they don't ask you for it, within 5 working days after you receive the money.

You can't use this money to pay for any debts owed to you.

Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 — Section 19(external link)

Offences under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act and other Acts


It's important that you meet your obligations as a registered motor vehicle trader. If you don't, you might be committing an offence under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act, or another Act such as the Fair Trading Act.

Enforcement