AN Orange man is the victim of bureaucratic bungling after he bought a car and discovered it had been written off.
Rick Demmery purchased the ute from a dealership in 2011. His warranty stated the car had never been written off and the dealership had completed a Registry of Encumbered Vehicles (REVS) check, which showed no record of the car having been written off.
However, in December, he attempted to sell the car in Orange and discovered the car had been written off in NSW in 2008.
Mr Demmery lodged a complaint with the Department of Fair Trading, but was devastated by the response.
He had been caught in the middle of a legislation change, which meant that at the time of the purchase the car was not listed on REVS because it had been previously registered in Victoria and somewhere between 2007 and 2009 the registration changed to NSW.
Alternatively the vehicle’s insurer did not tell Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) the car had been written off or the RMS had not passed the information on to REVS.
Since then a legislation change came into effect that meant the RMS must record all written-off vehicles on the Personal Properties Security Register (PPS).
“My friends showed me that the front of the ute is different to the back of it and that’s what started my suspicions,” he said.
“It was a domino effect that led me to where I am now, with a car that has been severely devalued.”
He hopes his story will serve as a warning to others to make sure they do their research before they buy a used vehicle.
However, the Department of Fair Trading said what happened to Mr Demmery could not happen again because the legislation change meant all written-off cars were on the same register.
The department said Mr Demmery could sell his car and was not obligated to tell a prospective buyer the car’s history.
“As long as he has a valid pink slip he’s entitled to sell the car,” a department spokesperson said.
“The onus is on the potential buyer to do the PPS register check to see if the car had been previously written off.”