If you’re planning on selling your car, motorcycle or caravan, you’ll need a current roadworthy safety certificate. As of the 1st of September 2021, owners are no longer required to have a safety certificate before placing a vehicle up for sale, although safety certificates must be obtained before transferring ownership. Read on for information on getting your roadworthy safety certificate and the costs involved.
What Is A Roadworthy Safety Certificate?
For a vehicle to be considered roadworthy it must pass an inspection by an approved inspection station and be issued a safety certificate. The inspection checks the basic vehicle safety requirements, including brakes, tyres, steering, suspension, body rust or damage, windscreen and lights.
Vehicle inspections are performed according to the Vehicle Inspection Manuals, which are the same manuals used by transport inspection officers and police officers when determining if a vehicle is defective. The Queensland Light Vehicle Inspection Manual and the National Vehicle Inspection Manual provide the industry with consistent guidelines for all approved vehicle inspector stations.
For more detailed information, including reasons why vehicles may fail an inspection, you can find copies of the manuals on the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads website.
Do I Need A Safety Certificate?
According to the Queensland government website, a safety certificate is required in three situations:
- When transferring the registration to a new owner
- When transferring to Queensland registration from another state or territory
- When re-registering an unregistered vehicle
There are some exemptions. Unregistered vehicles, or those traded to or between licensed motor dealers, do not require a safety certificate. Vehicle owners in some remote areas may be exempt, as are beneficiaries of a deceased estate. You also do not need a safety certificate to transfer a vehicle between spouses, including separated married couples or de facto partners until the divorce or equivalent is finalised.
There are four categories of vehicles requiring safety certificates:
- Caravans or trailers between 750kg and 3500kg aggregate trailer mass (ATM)
- All other vehicles with a GVM (gross vehicle mass) of up to 4500kg
When you transfer a vehicle, you must give a current safety certificate to the new owner. It is your responsibility to ensure the certificate is provided, or you could be fined over $650. You can give the new owner the original version of the handwritten certificate, a digital copy of an electronically issued safety certificate or the certificate number for an electronic certificate.
How Much Does A Safety Certificate Cost?
The only businesses in Queensland that can provide a safety certificate are approved inspection stations. Safety certificates can be either handwritten or electronically issued, which can be either emailed or printed. The fee for the safety certificate is the same whether handwritten or electronic, however, it does vary between vehicle classifications:
- For motor vehicles of up to 4500kg GVM the fee is $87.65
- For trailers over 750kg and up to 3500kg the fee is $43.90
- For motorcycles the fee is $56.35
Other Associated Costs
It’s important to note that safety certificate fees are just for the certificate and do not include labour costs from the inspection, which may vary between mechanics or inspection stations.
If your vehicle is unregistered and needs to be driven on the road to be inspected, you will also need to factor in the cost of a CTP insurance certificate. For more information on registering unregistered vehicles, visit the Queensland government website.
How Long Is A Safety Certificate Valid For?
For licensed motor vehicle dealers, roadworthy safety certificates are valid for up to 3 months or 1000km, whichever is passed first. For all other sellers, safety certificates are valid for 2 months or up to 2000km from the date of issue.
Every vehicle sale requires a new safety certificate, even if the previous certificate is still valid. You can, however, use the same safety certificate that was used to register an unregistered vehicle to put it up for sale.