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What is a Roadworthy Certificate?

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Roadworthy certificate?

Wait, what is that and why is it required when selling your vehicle?

A Roadworthy Certificate is…

A legal document that ensures that the vehicle you are selling meets certain minimum safety standards. Also called Certificate of Roadworthiness or safety certificate, it is also required when re-registering a vehicle. In some cases, it is also required to clear a Vehicle Defect Notice or a Notice of Unroadworthiness.

The Certificate of Roadworthiness is obligatory for people selling a registered car in Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory.

The Roadworthy Certificate serves as proof that a vehicle is in sound operating condition. This helps minimise the number of poorly maintained vehicles on the road. As a way of enhancing the public’s safety, the certificate protects not only the seller or buyer of the vehicle in question but also the safety of the general public at large from old and faulty vehicles travelling on Australian roads.

All vehicles for sale are required to have a Roadworthy Certificate. This applies to all vehicles advertised for sale, be it online, in a public place, in print media, or a simple ‘for sale’ sign on the vehicle itself. Whether you are selling a Sedan, Ute, coupe or caravan, each vehicle type requires a Safety Certificate.

A Roadworthy Certificate is issued separately for:

  • Cars, which means light vehicles up to 4,500kg gross vehicle mass
  • Motorcycles
  • Caravans and trailers with an aggregate trailer mass of 750kg to 3,500kg

Roadworthy Inspection

To obtain a Certificate of Roadworthiness, an inspection must be conducted to ensure that the car’s key components have not worn or deteriorated and that the vehicle is safe for normal road use.

The roadworthy inspection only covers the major safety-related items, including:

  • wheels and tyres
  • steering, suspension and braking systems
  • seats and seat belts
  • lamps and reflectors
  • windscreen, and windows including front windscreen wipers and washers
  • the structure of the vehicle itself
  • other safety-related items on the body, chassis or engine.

Take note that the roadworthiness test is not a check of the mechanical reliability or general condition of the vehicle. If you require a comprehensive check on the overall condition and reliability of the vehicle then you should arrange for a separate independent report such as those offered by the RACV or VACC.

A Certificate of Roadworthiness can only be issued by a licensed vehicle tester, operating from a nominated garage or service station.

roadworthy certificate

Where to get a Roadworthy Certificate?

The roadworthy certificates or the certificate of roadworthiness can be provided or issued only via licensed operators. In order to have this certificate, a vehicle needs to pass through different levels of an inspection like inspection of tiers, braking system, suspension, steering or body rust. If the vehicle satisfies conditions according to the inspector's terms and conditions, then only a roadworthiness certificate is issued.

What is its cost?

The cost of obtaining a roadworthy certificate is not fixed at all. It depends upon many factors like age and current condition of the vehicle. An authorized Licensed Vehicle Tester who would conduct the roadworthy isnpection also provides the applicant with a quote.

Rules on the Use of Roadworthy Certificate

A car is advertised for sale only when it has passed a safety inspection and received a safety certificate. The certificate should be displayed on the:

  • Front forks or guard on a motorbike
  • Drawbar on caravans and trailers
  • Windscreen or window on a car

The safety certificate information should be included in ads and online postings advertising a vehicle for sale. Failure to obtain or display the Certificate can be costly. The penalty for selling a motor vehicle without the proper documents is $560.

You cannot sell or register a vehicle if it fails a safety inspection. If you need to drive an unregistered vehicle on public roads to take it to a repair shop, you must get an unregistered vehicle permit.

Additionally, the roadworthy certificate is:

  • Is only valid for one vehicle sale. If it is sold a second time, a second certificate is needed.
  • Is not needed if vehicles are sold dealer-to-dealer or if they are sold for parts
  • Expires for all sellers, except dealers, in two months or 2,000 km, whichever comes first, from the date of issue
  • Expires for dealers in three months or 1,000 km, whichever comes first, from the date of issue

Vehicles can be transferred without certificates if they are sold within an exempt area; if the transaction is between spouses, or if the location is remote.

roadworthy certificate

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