Motor vehicle insurance and licensing

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ConsumerMotor industry

Insurance

When you pay your vehicle's licence, part of the fee is for compulsory third party insurance. This covers you, or anyone else, for death or injury if your car is involved in an accident. However, it does not cover you for damage to your car or anyone else's.

Motor vehicle insurance policies and premiums vary (depending on the type of vehicle, your age, driving history, insurance claim history and other relevant factors), so it is a good idea to shop around and check out which insurance policy best suits you. Find out rates and fees. Make sure you know exactly what the policy covers you for, what it does not cover you for, what are your obligations and how you make a claim if you need to.

The Insurance Council of Australia provides some useful consumer information about insuring your vehicle.

Vehicle licensing

If you have purchased a new or used vehicle, it must be licensed with the Department of Transport - Driver and Vehicle Services before you drive it on a road.

You could be fined if you drive an unlicensed vehicle on the road. Third Party Insurance does not cover unlicensed vehicles, so if you have an accident in an unlicensed car, you will be liable for any damage caused to property or person.

Licensing

If there are no number plates on the vehicle, or the licence has expired by more than 15 days, you will need to re-licence the vehicle.

You can get information about how to licence your vehicle from the Department of Transport.

A ‘Temporary Movement Permit’ should be obtained before you drive the vehicle on the road for either repairs or licensing.

The vehicle must pass an examination for roadworthiness before it can be licensed.

Renewing your vehicle licence

You need to renew your vehicle licence either every six or 12 months. Generally a reminder notice is sent out. However this is only a courtesy and it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle licence is current.

The Department of Transport's website has more details about how to renew your vehicle licence.

Transferring a vehicle licence

If you have bought a licensed second-hand vehicle you need to transfer the vehicle licence to your name. Stamp duty and transfer fees are payable at the current market value.

The Department of Transport's website has more details about how to transfer your vehicle licence.

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