A judge has handed down a record penalty for selling vehicles without being a registered trader, with a company and its director fined $250,000.
A Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment spokesperson said the judge described the case as the most serious, with the previous record $30,000.
It said Awan Boueki Pacific Limited and its 55-year-old director, Bakhtawar Singh, sold 69 vehicles in a year, when the allowable number is six.
The ministry said it should send a clear message that enforcement action by the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders would be taken against any individual or company who actively flouted the rules, and unregistered traders could expect to feel the full weight of the law.
When consumers bought vehicles from unregistered traders, such as Awan Boueki Pacific Ltd, they had less protection when things went wrong.
Yesterday's sentencing followed a number of other prosecutions in recent months.
The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders has investigated 228 unregistered motor vehicle traders since 1 July last year.
Of those, 202 investigations have been finalised, nine remain under investigation with the view of achieving compliance and 17 cases are currently before the courts.
Of the 202 completed investigations, 122 were closed as compliance was achieved, 74 were closed as no offence was identified and six traders were issued with written warnings and are being monitored.