The Consumer Information Notice (CIN) provides consumers with information about the vehicle and the seller so that they can make better informed purchasing decisions. This is a standard format notice that must include certain information.

What is the consumer information standard for used motor vehicles?

Consumer Information Standards (Used Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2008 (Regulations) set out who must comply with the requirements, what types of vehicles are covered and the information that must be disclosed.

What types of vehicles do the rules apply to?

Only used motor vehicles are covered by the consumer information standard. An used motor vehicle is a motor vehicle that has, at any time before being offered or displayed for sale, been registered or used for a purpose not connected with its manufacture or sale. A motor vehicle that has been used as a demonstration model is also considered an used motor vehicle.

The definition of motor vehicle is set out in the Motor Vehicle Sales Act. Generally, the definition covers any road vehicle of the kind ordinarily acquired by consumers for personal, domestic or household use.

Who do the rules apply to?

Motor vehicle traders selling used motor vehicles, including traders selling used motor vehicles through a car market operator or online.

A motor vehicle trader is any person in the business of motor vehicle trading (whether or not they also have another business). This includes importers, wholesalers, car auctioneers and car consultants.

The rules do not apply to the sales of used motor vehicles from one motor vehicle trader to another, or from a motor vehicle trader to a licensed car wrecker.

Private sellers of used motor vehicles are not required to comply.

What are the rules?

You must ensure all used motor vehicles must have an accurate and complete CIN when displayed for sale.

The CIN must be:

  • attached to the vehicle in a prominent place
  • easily readable from outside of the vehicle
  • on A4 white paper or card
  • completed clearly and legibly with the correct information

You may use a name, logo, mark or design associated with your business, or any trade association you belong to, on the top margin of the CIN as long as it does not detract from the contents of the CIN.

The CIN is not a marketing tool and it does not allow for listing information about extras such as alloy wheels or a Bluetooth compatible stereo. If you want to provide additional information about the vehicle, you could do this on a separate sheet or card.

If the vehicle is being sold online, the CIN does not have to be printed but the CIN (or a link to the CIN) should be on the same webpage as the vehicle is listed for sale.

The CIN should include:

  • the motor vehicle trader's name and address
  • the motor vehicle trader's registration number
  • the auctioneer's name, if being sold at auction
  • price, including GST, and any other registration and licensing costs (or "For sale by auction", or "For sale by competitive tender" if applicable)
  • notification if there is a security interest registered against the vehicle
  • vehicle make and model*
  • vehicle year*
  • engine capacity*
  • actual distance travelled, or a note that the odometer reading is, or may be, inaccurate – see our fact sheet for the wording you must use
  • whether the vehicle has a radio capable of receiving stations located between 88 and 108 Mhz (FM) without the use of a band expander
  • vehicle identification or chassis number*
  • whether the vehicle has a current warrant or certificate of fitness and the expiry date
  • whether the vehicle has a current licence and the expiry date
  • registration plate number*
  • the year the vehicle was first registered in New Zealand*
  • fuel type*
  • whether the vehicle is subject to road user charges and if there are any outstanding charges for the vehicle.

For imported motor vehicles, the CIN should also include:

  • the year the vehicle was first registered overseas*
  • the country where the vehicle was last registered before being imported
  • whether the vehicle was recorded as damaged at the time of being imported.

*as recorded on the Motor Vehicle Register

What must I do with the CIN?

When a consumer agrees to buy the vehicle, you must give them a copy of the CIN for the vehicle immediately before the sale and you must obtain a written acknowledgement that they have received a copy. You should also sign the CIN to record you have supplied a copy.

You must keep a copy of the CIN and the buyer's acknowledgement for every vehicle you sell for at least 6 years after the sale. You must also make the copies available for inspection by the motor vehicle traders registrar, or a person acting on their behalf, at all reasonable times.

Car market operators

Car market operators must take reasonable steps to ensure a used motor vehicle trader, offering or displaying a used motor vehicle for sale through the car market operator, completes and attaches a CIN. This may include providing the CIN form to be completed and instructions on how it is to be completed and displayed. Failure of the operator to do this is a breach of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act.

Complying with the standard

It is your responsibility to ensure used vehicles you display for sale have an accurate and complete CIN.

If you sell or display a used motor vehicle for sale without a CIN, you will have breached the Fair Trading Act. It is an offence under section 28 of that Act for motor vehicle traders to supply, offer to supply or advertise to supply any used motor vehicle if you do not comply with these Regulations.

You can access the Regulations (which contain a sample CIN), the Fair Trading Act and the Motor Vehicle Sales Act online at the government's legislation website. The information on this website is free.

We enforce the Fair Trading Act, and may issue you with an infringement notice requiring you to pay a fine of up to $1,000. Alternatively we may take a prosecution against you in Court if you breach the Act. Companies can be fined up to $30,000 for each breach of the Act. Individuals can be fined up to $10,000.

You can go to the Standards New Zealand website to buy the standard.

Read more about used motor vehicles PDF (630 KB)