Please note: Articles on this website were originally published by in 2015 and may now be out of date. Revised and updated content is included in Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers [available here]Disclaimer

On this page:

  • Commencing a claim in the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal
  • Getting an application form
  • Completing an application form
  • Filing an application form
  • Application checklist
  • Notice to the motor vehicle trader
  • Notice of hearing

Claims in the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal begin when an application form is filed together with copies of several documents and the appropriate filing fee. However, the Ministry of Justice advises that you should first:

1. Write to the motor vehicle trader setting out what you want, why you believe you are entitled to it and asking the trader to provide it to you. You should keep a copy of that correspondence in case you need to rely on it later on. Refer to the part on establishing a dispute for more.

2. You should consider taking advice from a citizens advice bureau or community law centre before filing a claim in the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal. Also, the Consumer Affairs department of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has published a pamphlet on motor vehicle issues that you may find useful:

It may well be worth engaging a lawyer at an early opportunity to assess your difficulty, advise you on your options and perhaps help you with any claim you end up making.

It costs $50 to file a claim in the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal. The Ministry of Justice advises that this would need to be paid by cheque or “money order”: It may be worthwhile to contact the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal to see whether it would accept other forms of payment if these are problematic. A cheque for the filing fee should be made out to the Ministry of Justice.

The copies of documents that you would need to enclose with your application form and filing fee are:

1. The CIN card for the vehicle, if any if you have held onto it. A CIN card is the ‘Consumer Information Notice’ or window card displayed in the vehicle by the motor vehicle trader.

2. The sale and purchase agreement for the vehicle, if any and if you have held onto your copy.

3. Any reports you have about the condition of the vehicle.

4. Any invoices you have for work you have carried out on the vehicle.

5. Any finance agreement you entered into in order to buy the vehicle.

6. Any correspondence with the relevant motor vehicle trader about the dispute.

Getting an application form

You can download an application form from

Application form template

You can also download a MVDT application form here.

Completing an application form

Application forms ought to include:

1. Your name.

2. Your address.

3. A contact phone number that the Tribunal could reach you during the daytime.

4. The name of the party, or each party, that you are bringing your claim against.

5. The street address of each party you are claiming against.

6. A postal address for each party you are claiming against (if known).

7. A daytime phone number for each party you are claiming against (if known).

8. Details of the vehicle that your dispute is about (where known), including:

8.1. registration plate number;

8.2. VIN number;

8.3. make;

8.4. engine number;

8.5. model;

8.6. chassis number;

8.7. date of warrant of fitness issue;

8.8. date warrant of fitness expires;

8.9. warrant of fitness issuer;

8.10. warrant of fitness number;

8.11. year of manufacture;

8.12. date of purchase;

8.13. mileage when purchased;

8.14. purchase price; and

8.15. mileage now.

9. A description of the dispute, including:

9.1. the events that led to the dispute;

9.2. when those events happened;

9.3. where the events happened;

9.4. who was involved in the events and the dispute; and

9.5. what loss was caused or damage done.

10. Your position on the dispute.

11. The reasons for why you have taken your position on the dispute.

12. A description of the things you have done to try to resolve the dispute.

13. A description of the other party’s position on the dispute, or the other parties’ positions if there is more than one other party involved.

14. A description of what you want done to fix the problem that the dispute is about.

15. Your signature.

16. The date you completed the claim form.

See those parts of this website dealing with statements of claim for more about how to go about explaining your claim.

Filing an application form

You can file an application form together with filing fee and copies of documents by posting them to:

The Secretary

Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal

Private Bag 92020

Auckland 1142

A brief cover letter for your application might be worthwhile.

Remember to keep copies of documents your records.

Application checklist

The things you should have at the point you are filing your application are:

1. Completed application form for the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.

2. A copy of the completed application form to keep for yourself.

3. Documents for the Tribunal:

3.1. CIN card;

3.2. sale and purchase agreement;

3.3. reports about the condition of the vehicle;

3.4. invoices for work carried out on the vehicle;

3.5. finance agreement; and

3.6. correspondence about the dispute.

4. Copies of documents for the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal to keep for yourself.

5. Filing fee.

6. Cover letter to go with the application form (optional).

7. A copy of any cover letter to keep for yourself (optional).

Notice to the motor vehicle trader

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal is supposed to send a notice to the motor vehicle trader when it receives your application. The notice requires the trader to discuss the application with you within 14 days or other period of time.

The motor vehicle trader is supposed to write to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal about the outcome of discussions with you. The Tribunal is to arrange a hearing for your application if the trader advises that the dispute remains or if it does not hear from the trader.

Notice of hearing

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal should send you a notice when it allocates a hearing. That hearing might take place between one and two months after you file your application.

The notice of hearing should inform you of the date, time and place of the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal hearing allocated for your case. It may also contain other information such as what you should bring to the hearing or file with the Tribunal beforehand. You should take care to meet any deadlines for filing things in the Tribunal. Also, keep in mind that you could contact the Tribunal with any questions or issues you may have about the hearing or what you need to do to get your case ready.

Note: This content was originally published by in 2015. Disclaimer