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Unregistered Motor Vehicle seller convicted and fined – MBIE

An unregistered motor vehicle seller has been fined after they were convicted of breaching the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 (MVSA).

45-year-old Sidharth Puri from Auckland was convicted after the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) brought three charges of trading motor vehicles whilst being unregistered.

MBIE’s investigation found that Mr Puri sold 33 motor vehicles while unregistered over a three-year period from 1 January 2021 to 31 August 2023, including continuing to sell vehicles despite being notified that he was banned.

Mr Puri pled guilty to all charges at the Auckland District Court on Friday 8 December and was ordered to pay a fine of $12,000.

In considering the sentencing, Her Honour Judge Bell factored in the risk that unregistered motor vehicle traders pose to the public and the economic benefit Mr Puri enjoyed by not becoming registered.

The aggravating factor was that Mr Puri was notified that he was banned from registering and operating as a motor vehicle trader on 14 August 2023, and proceeded to sell motor vehicles while banned on 31 August 2023.

Commenting on the sentencing, the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders, Duncan Connor said:

“The Motor Vehicle Sales Act has certain provisions to protect the public when they are purchasing a motor vehicle, with greater protection offered to consumers when purchasing a car from a registered motor trader.

“Unregistered motor vehicle traders are prohibited from selling more than six vehicles in a 12-month period. In exceeding this limit, Mr Puri broke the law.

“MBIE will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those that deliberately breach the MVSA and I would strongly encourage anyone considering purchasing a car to check whether the person or company they are purchasing from is a registered motor vehicle trader on the online register.”

Consumers can check whether the person they are purchasing from is a registered motor vehicle trader by accessing the public register at https://www.motortraders.govt.nz/.


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