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$20k penalty for operating unlicensed

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$20k penalty for operating unlicensed

Red card, penalty, whistle

Business operators are being urged to check the relevant licensing requirements in their state or territory, after a used car salesman was slapped with a $20,000 fine.

Ronald Joseph Buttigieg pleaded guilty in a South Australian court to selling cars without a licence, despite the state’s rules that all second-hand vehicle dealers much be licensed to do so.

Mr Buttigieg advertised some of the cars for sale from a vacant block of land along a major highway. In total, he sold two cars and offered another 10 for sale within a 12-month period.


His partner, Louise Sampson, was also involved, selling four cars and buying another within 12 months.

The court determined that such activity went beyond that of “a simple ‘backyard’ dealer” and amounted to a commercial operation.

Mr Buttigieg received a $20,000 penalty, in part recognising an earlier conviction, again for operating a business without a licence. Ms Sampson was given a 12-month good behaviour bond.

According to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, the licensing system is in place to protect consumers from poor business practices.



Buying from an unlicensed dealer just simply isn’t worth the risk,” he said.

“When you buy from a licensed second-hand vehicle dealer, your rights as a consumer are enshrined by law and you are entitled to certain protections.”

It comes after an unlicensed builder was fined for several instances of poor and incomplete work.

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the editorial direction of the publication since the beginning of 2016. Before joining My Business, he worked on fellow Momentum Media titles The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Adam has written across both consumer and business titles, including for News Corp Australia and Domain.

You can email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

$20k penalty for operating unlicensed
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