With the growing number of brands, electric cars, ride share services, and government and consumer regulations pointing to what’s coming down the road for Australia, dealership consolidation is a key focus for motor dealers. Tight margins and the entry of international players are also driving them to pursue economies of scale. The industry is high risk/high reward. In many cases it involves assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars and has unique issues demanding specialised knowledge. Dealers have to manage manufacturer relationships and sales targets, sizeable property holdings and consumer disputes when they arise.

Our lawyers understand motor dealers and their needs, providing quick, cost effective, ‘can do’ advice. We understand their risk profile, and tailor our advice to match their business strategy, speaking their language. Our networks within the industry and other service providers from accountants to human resources products enable us to assist on so many levels.


We advise motor dealer clients across all areas of expertise, in particular:

We advise motor dealer clients across all areas of expertise, in particular:

  • Buying an existing or establishing a new dealership
  • Buying, leasing or developing property
  • Customer issues in sales, service or parts
  • Dealership and business agreements advice
  • Employment issues
  • Finance agreements and dealing with banks
  • Land tax and other structuring issues
  • Lease and hire purchase deals, particularly with rental car companies
  • Motor car traders act advice and licensing matters
  • Negotiating or dealing with manufacturer requirements
  • Prosecutions by fair trading
  • Selling a dealership or dealing with succession
  • Shareholder or unitholder agreements
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what our clients say

“On behalf of Patterson Cheney I would like to thank Macpherson Kelley for their level of professionalism, knowledge and excellent client care. Your expertise in the motor dealer industry has been invaluable and as we move into another exciting year of growth, it is great to know we have your team at hand to assist us in achieving our strategic goals.” John Spizzirri Company Secretary Patterson Cheney Cars & Trucks

recent experience

  • sale of multiple dealerships

    Our lawyers acted for a large Victorian motor dealership company in the sale of two large Toyota dealerships in Melbourne’s south-east to HFH Auto Group. We managed all aspects of the sale for our client, including documentation, contracts, land and property leases. The deal was settled quickly and efficiently, with HFH Auto Group expanding its dealership footprint across Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

  • putting brakes on threat

    Macpherson Kelley acted for a motor dealer whose car brand manufacturer had threatened to terminate their agreement. We obtained a Supreme Court injunction to prevent the termination of the agreement and then negotiated with the manufacturer to reach an agreeable outcome to all parties. We reached a commercial agreement that saw our client continue as a dealer at its preferred site.

  • multi-franchising brand dispute

    Macpherson Kelley acted for a motor dealer client in a multi-franchising dispute with their key brand. The manufacturer was unhappy with the separation of two brands on the one site and threatened to terminate its 50-year agreement. We were able to successfully negotiate a practical, workable and commercial arrangement allowing our client to have both brands on the one site.

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