October 24, 2021
In March this year we bought a used 2010 Cadillac Escalade station wagon. Because of Covid it was not possible to personally inspect the car – which was for sale in Queensland – before purchase. We left the arrangements for buying, transporting, and registering in the capable hands of Keystone Acquisitions, here in Sydney:
We have a fishing tackle company and the car was intended to be used for towing our promotional boat. The car was registered in NSW (EMK-57L), payment was made, and we took possession. Here’s the engine bay compliance plate:
On receipt we noted that the car had two extra baby seats, in the rear. I was told the previous owner had a large family:
We removed those two seats, and the third row of seats, and placed both sets in storage. I also removed the bolts and plates holding the rear seat in place, meaning it could no longer be installed or used:
Six months passed. Around the 20th September I received a letter from Transport NSW. It was dated 1st September. The letter informed me that the car needed a heavy vehicle inspection and that, on the 29th of September, its registration would be cancelled. Thanks to Transport NSW’s tactic of sending envelopes without a postmark date, I had nine days before our family car would be de-registered:
I called the enquiries number listed on the letter and spoke to the helpful Gina at Transport NSW. I took notes of the conversation. She told me that I needed a Certificate of Compliance from where the vehicle was registered, and that registration would not expire until February. I interpreted the last to mean there was no longer a rush to resolve. A Freedom of Information request has been lodged for the audio of that conversation.
Having no experience with these matters I contacted Keystone Acquisitions, who had arranged purchase, transport from Queensland and registration of the car. It was explained to me that the car had some kind of special registration in Queensland and that even though it had been registered in NSW, I would have to get the Queensland registration deleted. Being the helpful types they are, Keystone said they would arrange for an inspection.
Soon after I was contacted by Anthony Kaloudis from Evo Compliance. Their website
states they have a 100% success rate on compliance issue resolution, with Transport NSW:
He estimated the cost of arranging a compliance certificate at $600. Mr Kaloudis then asked me to take some pictures of the rear of the car – where the baby seat had been – and email them through, which was done on September 30. Subsequently he visited on Friday 8th October to inspect the car himself. That was over two weeks ago. No progress since then:
Last Sunday morning (17th October) I was pulled over by a NSW Highway Patrol officer while driving the car. Officer Unslow informed my that the car had been deregistered and I was no longer allowed to drive it. Thankfully we were only 100 metres from our business premises. He said I could drive it there and leave it, which my wife and I did, taking a taxi home. On 19th October I received a letter from Transport NSW saying the vehicle registration had been cancelled, and I had 14 days to return the number plates or face ‘penalty or prosecution’:
With no resolution from Evo Compliance
No option of explaining or seeking an extension from Transport NSW
I am left with the only option as stated on their letter above being ‘an appeal to local Court.’ Which includes the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
My claim – against Transport NSW – is as follows:
$100 per day for loss of vehicle (say 20 days): $2000
$X being registration costs of the vehicle for 20 days: $XXX
$Z for insurance of a vehicle for 20 days: $X
$36 for cab fare from storage unit to home