- The Motor Vehicle Information Scheme came into effect on 1 July 2022.
- The Motor Vehicle Information Scheme is mandatory.
- The scheme increases competition and choice for consumers.
- The scheme applies to passenger and light goods vehicles made after 1 January 2002.
What the ACCC does
- We have broad oversight and enforce the scheme.
- We encourage compliance with the scheme.
- We take enforcement action when necessary.
What the ACCC can't do
- We don’t monitor day to day operations of the scheme.
The Motor Vehicle Information Scheme (scheme) is a mandatory scheme. Under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 motor vehicle service and repair information must be made available to all Australian motor vehicle repairers (repairers) and registered training organisations (RTOs) to buy at a price that does not exceed the fair market value.
This provides repairers and registered training organisations with access to service and repair information. This includes:
- information needed to service and repair cars or provide training
- software updates that help to connect a new spare part with a car
- information and codes for computerised systems from a car manufacturer.
Before the scheme, only car manufacturers and their affiliated repairers had better access to this information. This prevented many independent repairers from competing fairly. It also created additional costs for consumers as well as inconvenience and delays.
The new law applies to passenger vehicles and light goods vehicles other than omnibuses, manufactured on or after 1 January 2002.
It does not apply to 2 or 3 wheeled vehicles, farm, construction or heavy vehicles, motor homes or buses.
These changes reflect recommendations from the ACCC’s new car retailing industry market study.
Before the scheme it was difficult for many independent repairers to compete fairly for work. The scheme improves competition within the industry. This also creates a positive outcome for consumers.
Now consumers can have the confidence to choose any repairer knowing they all have access to the information needed to complete the servicing or repair on their vehicle.
Consumer rights and warranties will not be affected by the scheme. Motorists continue to be protected under Australian Consumer Law.
Access to scheme information
Under the scheme, only repairers and registered training organisations can access car service and repair information.
Repairers and registered training organisations are businesses that operate as either:
- an Australian motor vehicle repairer, or
- a registered training organisation.
Individuals who repair their own vehicles as a hobby cannot access service and repair information under this scheme. However, car manufacturers are not prevented from sharing information with consumers.
The scheme makes it a fairer industry for independent repairers to compete in.
All repairers can now access the same information to:
- diagnose faults, and
- service and repair vehicles.
Registered training organisations are also eligible to receive this information if they provide courses in diagnosing faults with:
- modifying, or
- dismantling vehicles.
Repairers and registered training organisations that meet certain criteria can also access safety and security information. The safety and security criteria are outlined in the scheme rules. Data providers are unable to supply safety and security information if the relevant criteria are not met.
Data providers, such as motor vehicle manufacturers, are required to provide information for conducting diagnostics, servicing or repair activities to repairers at a price that does not exceed the fair market value.
Failing to comply with the main obligations of the scheme can result in penalties. The ACCC can take enforcement action if individuals or companies breach the legislation. Possible enforcement actions include infringement notices or legal proceedings in the Federal Court.
Read more information for data providers.
The Australian Automotive Service and Repair Authority (AASRA) is a joint industry-led body. It has been appointed by the Government as the Scheme Adviser.
The Scheme Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the scheme, such as:
- providing guidance to repairers and registered training organisations on where to access information. For example, where on each manufacturer’s website
- assisting industry on how to use the portal and share information through it
- nominating mediators or technical experts to conduct dispute resolution
- reporting and providing advice to the ACCC about systemic regulatory or enforcement issues.
AASRA has created an online portal for repairers and registered training organisations. The portal allows them to verify they meet the criteria for accessing safety and security information.
Find more information about their role at the AASRA website.
The ACCC has broad oversight and enforces the scheme.
Our objectives are to:
- ensure data providers, such as motor vehicle manufacturers, understand their obligations
- monitor the implementation of and compliance with the scheme
- educate and provide guidance to industry stakeholders and data providers
- work collaboratively with the Scheme Adviser to increase awareness and educate businesses.
Subscribe to the Small Business Information Network (SBIN) for updates about the Motor Vehicle Information Scheme.
Contact AASRA for all other operational enquires.
See our section on ACCC's and AASRA’s roles for more information on the responsibilities of each.