Before making a claim to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal it's a good idea to read Consumer Protection’s information about how to resolve a problem with a motor vehicle, including their ‘Your consumer rights when buying a motor vehicle’ booklet.
If you make a claim to the tribunal – costs might be awarded against you if the tribunal thinks your claim is trivial or a claim is troublemaking.
If you’re sure that you have a legitimate claim against a trader, you need to write to or email the trader and set out clearly what you want and why you believe you are entitled to ask them to provide it. Keep a copy of your letter to the trader.
If you don't get a satisfactory reply from the trader within a reasonable time you can then make a claim to the tribunal.
How to make a claim
It costs $50 to make a claim to the tribunal.
You must provide the following information:
A clearly written, completed and signed Application Form
The name and the address of the motor vehicle trader, also known as the respondent in the application. If the respondent is a registered company or sole trader, you must provide its complete name. Check this information by going to motortraders.govt.nz/cms(external link)
Details of your complaint, including
Why you were attracted to the vehicle (eg by advertisement or otherwise)
Any statements made about the vehicle at the time of sale
The performance of the vehicle during the test drive
Any reports received or advice given at the time of sale
Details of any problems that have occurred from the point of sale onwards, with careful consideration being given to the driving of the vehicle. It is important that the dates and odometer readings at which those problems occurred are clearly stated
A detailed chronology of events, listing the dates and details of all matters relevant to your claim
Evidence to support your claim. As applicant, it is your responsibility to prove your claim. That will involve you providing sufficient information to prove the things that you allege. The evidence you provide should include, where relevant:
Advertisements for the vehicle (including website listings
Text message or email correspondence with the trader
The Consumer information notice (“window card”)
The Vehicle offer and sale agreement
Invoices and GST receipts for any repairs performed on the vehicle
Written quotations for repairs
Mechanical or technical reports which identify the alleged faults with the vehicle
Colour photographs of any vehicle parts in dispute.
The names of all witnesses you intend to call in support of your application.
A statement of what outcome you would like;
If you want to reject the vehicle, please send us a copy of the rejection letter you sent to the trader telling the trader you were rejecting the vehicle, giving the trader your reasons for doing so;
The Tribunal’s filing fee of $50.00.
If you cannot supply some of the information above then please write the reason for not being able to.
Ways to pay the fee
You can pay the filing fee online using File and Pay.
To file the documentation, you must email, post or deliver a copy to the Tribunal or your local court. You must include a copy of the File and Pay online receipt as proof of payment.