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Backyard dealers raise industry ire

MTA’s Stephen Moir is concerned about the increase in kerbside car dealers.

The State’s leading motor industry body has voiced their frustration over a concerning increase in illegal “backyard” car dealers who they believe are jeopardising the car industry in Albany.

The Motor Trade Association of WA say local car dealers are being severely affected by the rise of privately owned cars for sale on local road verges.

MTA chief executive Stephen Moir said it was apparent from the consistency of phone numbers on the cars, that the same individuals were behind the illegal dealing and the number had reached “epidemic proportions”.

Mr Moir described illegal car dealers as “cockroaches”, who sell between 15 to 20 cars a year.

He said local MTA members had expressed to him they were not against private sales but the unlicensed dealing was undermining business.

Under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, an individual cannot sell more than four vehicles a year before they are deemed to be a dealer.

“No doubt at all there has been a substantial increase in Albany,” Mr Moir said.

The MTA have taken up the issue with the City, writing to them and requesting action be taken, but have been disappointed with the response.

Albany City Motors managing director John Cannon said the longer illegal kerbside sales continued, the car industry in Albany would be jeopardised.

“I think it needs to be made clear that people can sell their cars privately but it needs to be on their own residence,” he said.

Amity Motors partner Russell Williams said the issue had not been addressed.

“From a dealers’ perspective I pay my taxes, I have a licence (to sell) and it’s very, very annoying,” he said.

Albany Toyota dealer principal Andrew Burton said he was concerned about a noticeable increase in multiple cars being for sale and said this “car market” was undermining responsible vehicle dealers.

City of Albany manager ranger and emergency services Tony Ward said observations from City staff and feedback from the public did not suggest the sale of vehicles on public land was a major issue, with only seven complaints since 2012.

“The City has no power to intervene when it comes to vehicles for sale on private land, except where it can be proven that local laws or the City’s local planning scheme has been contravened,” he said.

The City can issue warnings or infringements if vehicles are for sale on City of Albany land.