VIC Legal Owner of a vehicle (car) in victoria

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Kraka

Member
18 March 2020
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I purchased a falcon sedan some months ago, I have receipt of purchase in my name, bank loan in my name and bank payment papers all in my name, the car is registered in an ex girlfriends name and she refuses to return it, saying I gave it to her, which I did not. What are my options here , if i just go and get the car what is the if any consequences ,
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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As a matter of law, you don't own it, she does.
If you take it, then you may well be stealing it.

That being said, you may however have what the law calls
an "equitable interest" in the car.

What evidence do you have of what your intention was back at the time?
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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In Vic, registered operator does not equal owner.

Question is whether it is seen as a gift. This is not something easily answered online.
 

Kraka

Member
18 March 2020
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The little bit I have found on internet all suggest by Vic law the registered owner is not always the legal owner, that the registered owner is the custodian as such for vic roads, fines etc, the actual legal owner is the person who can prove ownership.
I have a receipt of sale from the previous owner in my name signed by him, I have loan contracts to purchase the car, in my name, I have bank statements in my name with the monthly payments.
She has nothing apart from saying I gave it to her, in part correct, whilst we were together she had the car at her disposal, if in the event we separated which we did only months after I purchased the car, she was either to pay me the money for the car or return it to me, but didn't happen she refuses to give it back and placed an AVO on me.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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There is no definition called 'registered owner'. There is a definition for 'registered operator'.

Your problem is the IVO. I'd go to the police with proof of ownership and say you want them to accompany you while you take back the car. A practical issue is whether you have a key or need to hire a tow truck.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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what's the car worth?

Oh dear. See you go and get the car you will get done for breach of avo...

You could stop paying the loan, take a hit to your credit rating but the car will be repossessed and sold. That at least means you're not spending years paying off her car.