REASONS FOR NOTIFYING WRITTEN-OFF VEHICLES

WRITTEN-OFF VEHICLE LAWS 

WHAT IS A NOTIFIABLE VEHICLE? 

A notifiable vehicle is a written-off vehicle that is less than 15 years of age (determined from its date of manufacture) and is:

  • a motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) not greater than 4.5 tonnes to which Australian Design Rules apply
  • a motorbike
  • a caravan
  • a trailer with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes
  • a vehicle wrecked or wholly or partly disassembled or a part of a vehicle bearing a vehicle identification plate or vehicle identification number
  • an interstate written-off vehicle not recorded on a written-off vehicle register administered by an interstate vehicle registration authority. 

WHO MUST NOTIFY? 

Dismantlers, wreckers and repairers

  • Dismantlers, wreckers and repairers must notify within seven days of acquiring a registered or unregistered notifiable vehicle that has been written-off. This includes vehicles or parts of a vehicle bearing a vehicle identification plate or vehicle identification number. 

Insurers

  • Insurers must notify within seven days of determining a registered or unregistered notifiable vehicle as written-off. 

Auctioneers and motor vehicle dealers

  • Auctioneers and motor vehicle dealers must notify within seven days of acquiring, but before auctioning, or disposing of a registered or unregistered written-off notifiable vehicle. 

Private owners

  • Private owners (including businesses not associated with motor vehicles in the course of trade) must notify a notifiable vehicle before selling or otherwise disposing or dismantling a registered or unregistered vehicle. 

WHAT INFORMATION MUST BE NOTIFIED? 

Regardless of whether you are a private owner, an insurer or a business associated with the motor trade, you must supply the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • the registration number of the vehicle if available
  • the engine number, vehicle make and body type of the vehicle
  • the date the decision was made to write the vehicle off
  • whether the vehicle is a statutory or repairable write-off
  • the name and address of the person notifying the written-off vehicle
  • the location and severity of damage caused to the vehicle. 

CLASSIFICATION OF WRITTEN-OFF VEHICLES 

(Other than NSW) 

Written-off vehicles are classed as either a statutory write-off or a repairable write-off and must not be driven on a road other than for the purpose of being driven to or from a place of repair or inspection, prior to re-registration. 

A vehicle considered a statutory write-off:

  • has severe structural or other damage or deterioration that prevents it from being driven safely on a road
  • is not eligible to be registered in South Australia. 

A vehicle considered a repairable write-off:

  • is written-off and is determined not to be a statutory write-off
  • has been assessed as uneconomical to repair, as the cost of the repairs will exceed the insured value of the vehicle
  • may be declared a write-off by an insurer following accidental damage or if determined to be a write-off by an owner. 

What is a statutory write-off?

  • A motor vehicle (other than a motor bike or trailer) with a Gross Vehicle Mass not greater than 4.5 tonnes to which Australian Design Rules apply that meets the assessment criteria as a statutory write-off specified in the document entitled Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Statutory Write-Offs  published by Austroads Ltd in July 2011, as in force from time to time;
  • A motor bike, caravan or trailer that is burnt to such an extent that it is fit only for wrecking or scrap or is stripped of all, or a combination of most, interior and exterior body parts, panels and components (such as, for example, the engine and gearbox (if applicable), wheels, guards, body and chassis components or assemblies);
  • A motor bike that has been fully immersed in salt water for any period or has been fully immersed in fresh water for more than 48 hours or has impact damage (excluding scratching) to the suspension and at least 2 areas of structural frame damage. 

WRITTEN-OFF VEHICLE NOTICES 

Written-off vehicle notices (where issued) must be affixed to a notifiable vehicle as soon as practicable and before the vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of.

If it's intended to cancel the registration of a notifiable vehicle, a notification must also be completed and accompany the application for registration cancellation. 

IMPORTING A NOTIFIABLE WRITTEN-OFF VEHICLE INTO A STATE OR TERRITORY 

If moving a notifiable written-off vehicle from one State or Territory to another, you must notify within seven days of bringing the vehicle into the State or Territory (including a part of a vehicle bearing a vehicle identification plate or vehicle identification number).

Notification is not required in the new State or Territory if a notification has been recorded on an interstate written-off vehicle register in the prescribed manner for the current status of the vehicle.