Automotive service and repair workshops across the country are dealing with the costly and inconvenient issue of uncollected vehicles, while outdated regulations hinder their ability to effectively resolve the situation.  

In most Australian states and territories, the current uncollected goods laws are archaic and do not serve to protect the interests of those parties most regularly affected and disadvantaged by these laws, which is automotive workshops says the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA). The organisation regularly receives queries from business owners who are justifiably frustrated with their inability to either remove/dispose of an uncollected vehicle from their property or sell the vehicle to recoup unpaid expenses for parts and labour.  

To help AAAA learn more it is currently seeking industry feedback from workshops via a short (2 min) uncollected vehicle survey. 

Uncollected Vehicles Survey

In most Australian state’s values for uncollected goods and the timeframes to legally dispose of goods are out of touch with what automotive workshops require.

In Queensland the situation for workshop owners is particularly untenable.  The Uncollected Goods Act was introduced in 1967 and lists the retention period for holding and disposing of uncollected goods as six months, plus the time on top of this to obtain a court order. For a small workshop to have to manage an additional vehicle that has not been collected for six months is unacceptable.

“Although this may not seem like a large industry issue, the stories we hear from members and the broader industry are both regular and troubling. State laws need to be updated to better support businesses bearing the brunt of uncollected vehicles,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.  

The good news is there has been positive movement on uncollected goods acts in recent times. From 1st July 2020, NSW will implement amendments that shorten retention periods of uncollected goods based on much higher item value ranges, that better reflects vehicle values. 

Following in NSW’s footsteps, both Western Australia and Tasmania are in the process of reviewing their respective uncollected goods acts. The AAAA has written a submission to the Western Australian Government on behalf of members with their preferred outcomes, which are closer in line with updated NSW regulations.

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