Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

timfishy
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:32 pm

Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby timfishy » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:24 pm

Hi all,

My extended family member is having a dispute with the private seller of their used vehicle. I'm now in over my head helping them I think even though I'm usually pretty cluey about these things.

My family member is still using the vehicle occasionally but hasn't transferred the registration for a few months now while they try to sort it out. I've been going through the whole affair with them in detail to help.

They know it was sold as unroadworthy although a roadworthy certificate was provided with the sale. A mechanic has checked it over and said it isn't ok to register because the heater doesn't work and therefore the front demister. They have gone to the seller, original roadworthy mechanic and now vicroads as well trying to get them to pay for repairs.

I have 2 concerns. 1) We think the seller is responsible to pay for the repairs. Who's responsible for the costs as the seller claims they didn't know the problem meant it wasn't unroadworthy and it passed (you know "I don't know nuffin about cars"), and they say it was in the sale ad although my nephew doesn't remember seeing it in the ad? Is the next step small claims court?

2) Are they covered by at least 3rd party or registration? Should he be driving it? What risk is there? And is it likely the police would attempt to fine them with only toll records etc?

Thanks,
TF

Gravy
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Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby Gravy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:29 pm

Check the VicRoads website to see if the vehicle is registered. If not, definitely don't drive it. If it is registered, then it's probably more dodgy than illegal. Third party property insurance will apply only if your nephew purchased such. Even then, you may find that there is some requirement of the insurance company with regard to the registration status of the vehicle. I imagine there would be a roadworthy requirement.

The state of the vehicle at the time of sale is confusing - you say it was sold as unroadworthy, yet it came with a roadworthy certificate? Who does that? It's either roadworthy or it isn't, and if it came with a roadworthy certificate, then your nephew should have used that to transfer the rego into his name. I think you're perhaps drawing a pretty long bow to suggest that the seller is liable, especially if it was sold as unroadworthy (i.e. "as is"). Given the passage of "a few months", if you tried to sue me I would claim the defence of acquiescence.

timfishy
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:32 pm

Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby timfishy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:50 pm

Thanks for your response. So the roadworthy mechanic missed that the windscreen demister doesn't work which is a roadworthy requirement. It's nearly $1000 to fix apparently. My nephew just wants a roadworthy car
as that was the agreement.

Does that make sense?

The mechanic was very difficult when speaking with him apparently.

LEO
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Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby LEO » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:14 pm

My guess it's a B series ford.

1) Not the sellers fault, they provided a RWC with the car, so met the condition of providing a roadworthy car, so I don't think you would have any luck at court.

In theory you may have some comeback against the licensed vehicle tester, but it would be very hard to prove the fault was present at the inspection given the seller also claims it wasn't and that type of fault can just happen at anytime.

The also should have transferred the rego at the time and then chased the issue up, as they will have now have to fix the issue and pay for another RWC to transfer it.

2)They would be covered by registration unless the previous owner has cancelled it or informed Vicroads of the transfer.

As for insurance, best to check the policy or call them.

Hardy
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Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby Hardy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:57 am

When you buy a car that has a defect the vendor is liable to compensate you for the cost of repairs only when it was a term of the contract that the defect did not exist. So you need to point to the agreement between your mate and the seller which said the car was roadworthy, or said the heater worked. Just saying it has a roadworthy certificate can be unhelpful, because supplying a RWC simply means the vehicle has met the requirements for transfer of ownership. The RWC is not a guarantee to the buyer that the vehicle will remain roadworthy after the RWC was issued. So if you had a RWC you should have scooted off to vicroads and paid the transfer fee and duty etc. Because you didn't do that you now need to obtain your own RWC, which probably means you need to get the heater fixed. Sometimes the RWC could be fraudulent, in that it fails to identify faults that must have existed at the time of inspection, such as bald tyres or missing seatbelt. You can drive the car daily if it has rego. But a car that is sold without a RWC is not allowed to have the plates on, so either it had plates removed or it had a RWC, or it was sold irregularly.

timfishy
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:32 pm

Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby timfishy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:27 am

Thank you for the advice, it is helpful. I checked the receipt and it says "as is". That being the case the scenario you outline where it came with a certificate but no guarantee is the one we are facing.

Gravy
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Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby Gravy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:55 am

timfishy wrote:So the roadworthy mechanic missed that the windscreen demister doesn't work...
An alternative explanation is that the vehicle was indeed roadworthy at the time of testing and the demister has ceased working since then (i.e. while in your nephew's possession). The fact that the vehicle was supplied with a roadworthy certificate at the time of sale tends to support this argument, rather than suggest that the mechanic was dodgy. Leaving it this long has not helped is claims.

I'm not suggesting you're telling porky pies, I'm just trying to get you to see it from an observer's perspective. To convince a decision maker that your version is true, you would likely have to provide evidence that the demister did not work at the time of testing.

allde
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Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby allde » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:02 pm

Gravy wrote:
timfishy wrote:So the roadworthy mechanic missed that the windscreen demister doesn't work...
An alternative explanation is that the vehicle was indeed roadworthy at the time of testing and the demister has ceased working since then (i.e. while in your nephew's possession). The fact that the vehicle was supplied with a roadworthy certificate at the time of sale tends to support this argument, rather than suggest that the mechanic was dodgy.


They used to be a bit lenient if you were getting for yourself, asking you to sort it out when you could, but I can't see a Road Worthy tester doing a dodgy for a sale, that would leave them wide open for getting sued and losing their Road Worthy testers licence.

timfishy
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:32 pm

Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby timfishy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:18 pm

Thanks for your replies.

So I have a few more details on this after speaking with another mechanic. My nephew followed the vicroads advice to get an independent roadworthy as the next step which is on their website for "if you disagree with a roadworthy" and he found other problems that he wouldn't pass as well.

The demister is apparently not working because the heater box was disconnected and the hoses joined to themselves (obviously not a repair but something dodgy that the owner or their friends did). The cost is because the heater box is so deep in the dash. My nephew tells me the seller says that they knew this and put that the heater wasn't working in the ad but my nephew doesn't remember seeing that. It looks like the roadworthy person didn't try the heater or check it!

So basically the roadworthy mechanic has overlooked the problem and the seller knew but says it wasn't up to him to decide what is roadworthy as he fixed the faults that were listed. So I guess "dodgy" in this case means missing the busted heater, the engine mount/s being worn and brake fluid that is beyond spec/too much water.

I'm still cautious to suggest to the family to go to court because I know what the receipt says...as is, and what I have read otherwise suggests "buyer beware" for just about everything. I agree that he should have registered it straight away and then sort it out later. Vicroads don't do s*&t about this sort of thing.

At this stage I don't think he's got a hope of getting anything back but better to know that then end up spending money on court.

Hardy
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Re: Dodgy roadworthy and registration status?

Postby Hardy » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:12 pm

I guess you could sue the vendor and claim that the rwc and the words "as is" are compatible if you consider the "as is' applies to all aspects of the vehcile that are not the subject of a rwc. The provision of an rwc with the sale, and the fact that the plates remained on the car, indicate that the car had passed a roadworthy. So you could sue the vendor for falsley representing that the car was roadworthy when it was not.
Good luck with that. You'll need to bring at least one rwc mechanic to court with you as a witness.


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