Disputes with Car Dealers: What Are My Options?

Last updated on February 20, 2024

Buying a car is a milestone for many people, and the process of doing so is largely uneventful. However, misrepresentation and fraud can sometimes occur when a car dealer is determined to make a sale. What then, are the avenues for redress available to an aggrieved buyer in Singapore? This article provides a general overview to some options that are available in the event of a dispute with a car dealer.

Seek Redress from the Motor Industries Disputes Resolution Centre (MIDReC)

First, you may try to seek redress from the Motor Industries Dispute Resolution Centre (MIDReC). Going through MIDReC is possibly the cheapest and most hassle-free way to resolve the dispute.

The catch is that the motor vehicle dealer you are dealing with has to have the CASE-SVTA accreditation. The CASE-SVTA accreditation scheme is jointly launched by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association (SVAT). The scheme ensures high business standards and contractually obliges the car dealer to accept the decision reached at MIDReC.

Stage 1: Mediation

The first stage at MIDReC is mediation, where parties are given an opportunity to reach a settlement on their own.

Stage 2: Adjudication

If no settlement can be reached, the second stage is adjudication. An adjudicator at MIDReC will rule on the matter. Because this is a relatively simple 2-stage dispute resolution process, it may be wise to make purchases from a CASE-SVAT-accredited car dealer.

Submit a Complaint with The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE)

CASE is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that handles consumer-to-business disputes. Consumers can submit a complaint with CASE to negotiate with the businesses and work towards an amicable settlement for a small fee.

The complaint resolution is relatively straightforward.

Step 1: Submit your complaint

The first step is to submit an online complaint.

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Please note that the options set out above are not exhaustive, and we strongly recommended seeking legal advice from a lawyer to explore other possible avenues of recourse that might be available to you. A lawyer would be able to assess the merits of your case and advice you on the best approach to take to get your desired outcome. You can kickstart your search for a lawyer here.

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  2. Your Consumer Rights in Singapore and How to Get Recourse
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  1. Consumer Rights in Singapore
  2. Buying a Car in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide
  3. Disputes with Car Dealers: What Are My Options?
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