This video story provides legal information about buying a car.
It is the part of a series of videos about the law for people who have recently arrived in Australia.
Buying a Car Student Kit - 232KB PDF File (2 pages).
Buying a Car Teacher Kit - 190KB PDF File (2 pages).
Transcript of Video
Maryam is talking to her friend Tom.
Maryam: Hey Tom, I’m getting a new car this weekend! I crashed my old car a few weeks ago.
Tom: Oh no! Are you OK?
Maryam: Yes, I’m fine. But the car isn’t.
Tom: Hope you find something!
Maryam goes to look at cars at a car yard.
Maryam: I really like that car!
Dealer: Well this car’s a bargain. Best car I’ve had in the yard for months. It’s worth $10,000.
Maryam: But it costs too much!
Dealer: Hey, I like your face - you can have it for eight and a half.
Maryam: I don’t have that much money.
Dealer: No problem. Come into the office and let’s see what we can do.
Maryam and Dealer are sitting in his office discussing the car.
Maryam: Umm, I think I need some more time...
Dealer: Trust me, that car will be gone in an hour...you’re getting it for a great price. Just sign here on the dotted line – it’s easy.
Maryam thinks: I really like that car. Nothing can go wrong. She says: I’ll sign it.
Maryam later shows a friend her new car.
Friend: Very nice...How much was it?
Maryam: Only $8,500.
Maryam shows her friend the loan papers: Yes, but look here. The interest is 18%.
Maryam: What does that mean?
Friend: You’ll have to pay $4,400 in interest!
Friend: That means you will pay $12,900, NOT $8,500. That’s $215 every month for 5 years!
Maryam: I have to pay rent and food! Ohhh, I don’t know if I can pay it! Hmmm…
Friend: So what will you do?
Maryam: Oh, it’ll be OK. At least I have a good car. Get in, I’ll take you for a drive!
A few months later, Maryam is having problems with her car and takes it back to the dealer.
Maryam: The gears don’t work.
Dealer: Sorry. The warranty has expired so I don’t have to fix it.
Maryam (thinking): I’m not going to keep paying for a broken car.
Maryam, later talking to her friend: I got this letter from the bank.
Friend: What does it say?
Maryam: Well, I missed two payments on the car, and now I have to pay the whole amount I owe within 28 days.
Friend: They’re thieves!
Maryam: I can’t pay it, I don’t have enough money!
Friend: Ooh, that car is trouble.
Maryam, over time, receives letters in the mail from the loan company but thinks: I’ll read them later and puts the letters in a drawer.
Some time later the loan company calls her on the telephone:
Company rep: You have to pay the loan.
Maryam: But the car is broken. I can’t drive it!
Company rep: You have a loan contract with us - you have to keep paying.
Some time later she finds her car getting loaded onto a tow truck.
Maryam: Hey, that’s my car, what are you doing?
Truck Driver: We have to take the car - you haven’t paid the loan.
The driver gives her a Repossession notice that reads: "Pay total amount of $11,300 plus fees within 21 days or car will be sold at auction."
Maryam: They take my car and I still have to pay the loan! This is crazy!! Maybe I should call a lawyer to find out what I can do.
Maryam telephones the Legal Aid office and speaks to a lawyer.
Lawyer: Did you read the contract?
Maryam: Umm, no.
Lawyer: Well, because you signed the contract it’s not easy to get out of it.
Maryam: I see that now! I haven’t got a car, I haven’t got any money and they still want me to pay. What can I do?
Lawyer: You should see a financial counsellor. They can talk to you about your options.
Maryam goes to see a Financial Counsellor.
Maryam: These are all the papers.
Financial Counsellor: Thanks. Now I can help you work out what to do next...