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Guide to car statutory warranty by state and territory

Essential info for all car buyers, covering everything from eligibility to how to protect your vehicle purchase rights and much more.
By · May 13, 2024
Guide to car statutory warranty by state and territory

When buying a new car it’s important to make sure you’re covered in the event of any faults or defects. While most brand new cars come with a manufacturer's warranty, used cars (and many new cars) come with what’s called statutory warranty. Statutory warranty rules and coverage vary between states and territories making it a little tricky to decipher.

Don’t worry, in this article we’ve done the legwork and broken down all the info for you.

What is car statutory warranty?

Car statutory warranty is a no-cost warranty applied to both new and second-hand vehicles sold by licensed dealers and manufacturers.

This type of warranty is designed to protect consumers from faulty vehicles, although it’s worth noting that statutory warranty offers far less coverage than a comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty.

Car statutory warranty in QLD

In Queensland there are two types of statutory warranty: new and used.

New car statutory warranty

Generally speaking, a new-car statutory warranty will cover you for up to a year or 20,000km (whichever comes first). As a new car, this warranty will cover you for most faults and defects discovered on or within the car.

Statutory warranty for used vehicles

Used vehicles are also eligible for statutory warranty coverage. However, the level and length of coverage will vary depending on the age of the vehicle. Used car statutory warranty is split into two categories: Class A and Class B.

Class A statutory warranty

A 'class A' warranty is valid for 3 months or the first 5,000km, whichever comes first. A 'class A' statutory warranty applies when the vehicle:

  • Has an odometer reading of less than 160,000km
  • Is less than 10 years old

Class B statutory warranty

A ‘class B’ statutory warranty expires after one month or the first 1,000km, whichever occurs first. This warranty applies when the vehicle:

  • Has an odometer reading of 160,000km or more, Or
  • Was built more than 10 years before the day of its sale

What statutory warranty covers in Queensland

Your used car statutory warranty will cover defects where:

  • Your vehicle does not do what it’s supposed to do
  • The car part has worn out so much that it no longer works

As per the Queensland Government, a statutory warranty does not cover defects in:

  • Tyres or tyre tubes, batteries, fitted airbags or radiator hoses
  • Lights
  • Installed music systems
  • Aerial, spark plug, wiper rubber, distributor point, oil or oil filter, heater hose, fuel or air filter
  • Paintwork or upholstery
  • Accidental damage due to your own misuse or negligence
  • Anything that you fitted to the vehicle after the time of sale

Car statutory warranty in NSW (aka dealer guarantee)

Statutory warranties are also known as dealer guarantees in NSW. They cover you for the repair on any defects the vehicle has after you buy. For used vehicles, this statutory warranty or guarantee lasts for 3 months or 5,000 kms. It is only valid for cars under 10 years old with less than 160,000 kms on the clock.

Vehicle type

km travelled by vehicle

Age of vehicle

Dealer guarantee

Used vehicles

Less than 160,000 km at time of purchase

Less than 10 years old

3 months or 5000 km (whichever comes first)

Used motorcycles

Less than 30,000 km at time of purchase

Less than 5 years old

3 months or 3000 km (whichever comes first)

A dealer guarantee will usually cover faults and defects associated with:

  • Brakes
  • Engine defects and serious oil leakage
  • Heater, demister and fan
  • Radiator leaks, core damage and blockages
  • Serious structural rust in the subframe
  • Speedometer
  • Windscreen wipers and washers (not blades)

Car statutory warranty in Victoria

In Victoria, used cars come with a statutory warranty, provided they:

  • Are less than 10 years old
  • have travelled less than 160,000 kilometres

The statutory warranty lasts for three months or 5,000 kilometres after purchase, whichever comes first.

A statutory warranty does not cover defects that:

  • Relate to any item listed on a defect notice
  • Were incurred after delivery of the vehicle
  • Are caused by misuse or negligence post delivery

The following defects are also not covered:

  • Tyres
  • Batteries
  • Radios, cassette players, CD players, MP3 and MP4 players, and docks
  • DVD players and video display panels
  • Telephone and in-car telephone kits
  • Global positioning systems (GPS), satellite navigation systems and other computerised navigation systems
  • Power outlets, including cigarette lighter sockets
  • Cigarette lighters
  • Car aerials
  • Non-standard alarms
  • Clocks
  • Non-standard body hardware
  • Non-standard keyless entry systems and remote key pads
  • Tools other than jacks and wheel braces
  • Light globes, sealed beam lights and non-standard fog lights
  • Keyless entry systems and remote keypads that are not standard to the car

NOTE: Some vehicles are exempt from statutory warranties

  • Motorcycles
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Cars sold at a public auction

Car statutory warranty in WA

In WA the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act’s statutory warranty applies to cars sold for more than $4,000 through licensed dealers.

Age of Car

purchase price $4,000 or higher

Kilometres travelled at time of sale

Warranty Entitlement

Not more than 10 years

Less than 150,000

3 months or 5,000 km (whichever happens first)

Between 10 - 12 years

150,000 - 180,000

1 month or 1,500 km (whichever happens first)

More than 12 years

More than 180,000

No warranty

The following categories of second-hand cars are eligible for car statutory warranty.

  • Off-road passenger four-wheel drives
  • Station wagons and dual-cab utes
  • Vans with a seating capacity of up to eight (8) individuals
  • Campervans equipped with cooking and sleeping facilities
  • All types of passenger motorcycles

The statutory warranty does not apply to:

  • Commercial vehicles
  • Utes with a single row of seats
  • Trucks
  • Caravans
  • Off-road motorcycles
  • Multi-wheeled motorcycles
  • Buses

What’s covered by statutory warranty in WA

Image: WA Government

Car statutory warranty in South Australia

In South Australia, car statutory warranty applies to vehicles priced over $3,000. However if the car was first registered more than 15 years before the sale or has more than 200,000 kilometres on the clock - warranty does not apply.

The length of warranty coverage will vary depending on the sale cost of the vehicle:

  • Under $3,000 - no warranty applies. However, the vehicle must be roadworthy
  • $3,001 - $6,000 - 2 months of statutory warranty applies or 3000 kms post sale (whichever comes first)

Car statutory warranty in Tasmania

In Tasmania, car statutory warranty applies to vehicles sold by a licensed dealer or auctioneer.

The car must:

  • Be less than 7 years old
  • Have less than 120,000 km on the clock

The statutory warranty does not apply to:

  • Motorcycles
  • Caravans
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Cars being sold on consignment for a private seller
  • Cars that can’t be registered because of their design
  • Cars that are on the ‘written-off’ register

A statutory warranty does not cover defects:

  • In brake linings, pads, drums, discs, clutch pressure plates, spigot bearings, clutch release bearings or flywheel clutch plates, tyres or batteries
  • Subject to a manufacturer's recall
  • That are as a result of unauthorised repair after sale
  • That result from lack of maintenance or servicing post sale
  • Due to misuse, negligence, water immersion, accidental or deliberate damage post sale
  • Caused by unauthorised repairs, fittings or mods made post sale

Car statutory warranty in ACT

In the Australian Capital Territory, the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977 dictates that used vehicles under ten years old, and with less than 160,000 kilometres on the clock will be covered by statutory warranty.

This warranty lasts for a maximum of 3 months or 5,000 km (whichever comes first).

Car statutory warranty in the Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory cars less than 10 years old with less than 160,000 kms on the clock are covered by statutory warranty.

Warranty cover runs for 3 months post sale or 5,000km (whichever comes first).

Need to transport a car interstate?

If you're purchasing a vehicle from another state or territory, you will need to update the vehicle's registration. For a comprehensive guide on interstate car registration, see our detailed guide.

When you're ready to relocate a vehicle, you can get quotes online from reliable car transport services across Australia via Upmove.

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