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Selling or scrapping your car? Here are the license requirements.

If you are looking to sell or scrap your car at the end of the cars life, you should ensure that your dealer is licensed to buy your car. There are two types of licenses to explore, the motor car traders license and registered second hand dealer.

When to look out for a motor traders license

An auto wrecker or recycler who buys, sells or exchanges motor cars from or to the public (or offers to do so) must have a motor car trader’s license, unless the vehicle:

  • is incomplete and can never return to the road, or
  • is exempt – see more on Consumer Vic webpage.

The buy will also need a motor car trader’s licence if they:

  • plan to buy, sell or exchange written-off or damaged vehicles that can be repaired or restored (unless they are exempt transactions)
  • engage in infrequent vehicle trading.

If a vehicle no longer fits the legal definition of a ‘motor car’, you do not need a motor car trader’s licence. Examples include:

  • incomplete or damaged vehicles that cannot be returned to the road
  • vehicles beyond restoration or repair (such as burnt-out or water-damaged vehicles).

If you require a motor car trader’s licence, you have the same obligations as any motor car trader under the Motor Car Traders Act 1986.

When to look out for a registered second-hand dealer

If you are looking to sell your car for scrap only the wrecker or recycler needs to be a registered second-hand dealer and does not need to have a motor car trader’s licence if they only:

  • buy exempt, written-off, incomplete or damaged vehicles that can never be returned to the road, including for scrap metal, or
  • buy and sell car parts.

For more information about second-hand dealer registration, view more on Consumer Vic webpage.

Incomplete vehicles and parts

Wreckers and recyclers may buy cars that are incomplete or not in working order for:

  • scrap metal
  • on-selling to wreckers/metal recyclers for scrap metal
  • selling parts to consumers or repairers
  • restoring the vehicle for sale to the public
  • selling to the public unrestored.

Vehicle parts may include panels, wheels, engine parts, windscreens, mirrors and dashboards, among others.

A complete vehicle is one that:

  • looks, to any reasonable person, like a motor vehicle
  • includes an engine
  • is capable of being returned to the road.

The vehicle (including the engine) does not have to be in working order.

If you deal in incomplete vehicles and parts, you may not need a motor car trader’s licence, but may need to register as a second-hand dealer.



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Scrappys Car Removal is based in Melbourne's West. We service most suburbs throughout Melbourne's western metro area. We do not charge for travel. We are happy to consider any vehicle and any location.

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