Member for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne will introduce a motion in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday encouraging the government to look at options to better protect second-hand car buyers.
Ms Cheyne said she believed this was an area where Canberrans were not getting a fair go and felt current protections needed investigating.
One Canberran who felt the sting of buying a lemon was Byron Carr, who has been left with a $7000 heap of metal only salvageable for parts.
Current warranty protections only extend to cars under 10 years old and with fewer than 160,000 kilometres on the odometer. There is no statutory warranty for second-hand motorcycles.
When Mr Carr purchased his 11-year-old Jeep (he admits he should have known better), he was told it was in perfect working order by the dealer.
He planned to have it checked by an independent mechanic, but was told by the dealer that would only be a waste of money, he said, and ultimately decided against it.
Two days after he purchased it, the electric windows got stuck wound down and he resorted to Glad Wrap to fix the issue.
Eight days into owning it, and on a Friday night trip to the coast, it had a complete malfunction with smoke billowing from the engine.
He eventually discovered the significant mechanical faults and was told he had no recourse to be refunded or see the issue resolved without significant damage to his bank account.
He tried to negotiate with the dealer who offered to buy it back for $2000 after selling it only weeks previously for $7000.
"I felt sad I'd made the decision [to buy the car], sad that the law didn't cover me at all and [the dealer] had all the power," Mr Carr said.
"I felt powerless."
Ms Cheyne, whose own second-hand car died in the middle of a Canberra roundabout when she was 21, wants to improve things for buyers.
"Something I want [the government] to consider is whether consumer protections can be expanded, with 30-day warranties introduced for [all second-hand] vehicles, as well as an expanded cooling off period," Ms Cheyne said.
"The cooling off period is currently three days which I understand is pretty good compared to other jurisdictions, but expanding this to seven days seems to be something simple which could be done to enhance consumer protection."
She said she also wants the government to look into raising the jurisdictional limit of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, currently at $25,000, to be able to deal with motor vehicle sales that exceed this.
She said this would likely only affect dealerships, where people often felt greater confidence in the reliability of the vehicle, rather than private sellers who often received greater scepticism.
"What I want is for buyers to have greater confidence in what they're buying and, if they have indeed bought a lemon, having better and clearer channels of recourse," she said.
If the motion passes a review will be undertaken and once complete it would determine any further action.
Mr Carr thought the proposed changes were reasonable and hoped to see them introduced.
"[Changed laws] would stop that trickery [from dealers] or at least give some power back to the consumer," he said.