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The Importance Of Having A Roadworthy Inspection

car rental novus autoglass

When you get onto the road, you want to be sure the car you’re driving yourself is sound enough to take you from A to B in one piece. It’s honestly just good vehicle ownership practice and for the safety of other motorists, it’s important to ensure your vehicle is operating at its full potential.

But what if you wanted to sell it? Or change ownership? You might want to think about getting parts replaced like windscreens, wipers, offer six months registration or get a service completed. Maybe you’d like to modify your car a bit, like getting new aftermarket rims and tyres. Whatever you do to your car before you sell it, you’ll need to get a roadworthy inspection, unless of course, it’s no longer fit to drive. Depending on where you live, a roadworthy certificate, safety certificate or certificate of roadworthiness, entitles you to pass on ownership of your car to the next buyer after passing a roadworthy test, stating that the vehicle is fit to drive.

Why you need one?

According to the Queensland Government, you need to obtain a roadworthy certificate on these specific occasions:

  • When you first register your car.
  • When you renew the registration or registration is expired.
  • Vehicles that have been registered in another state or territory.
  • As stated prior: when you want to sell your car, you need a certificate in order to sell it and any modifications you’ve had done to your vehicle.

Though if you fail your roadworthy certificate or if you are pulled over by a police officer and are given a defect notice, this means your vehicle needs some serious TLC in order to be made safe to drive on the road. After you have repaired or replaced the faulty parts of your vehicle, you must then have an inspection at your nearest AIS (Approved Inspection Station) by an approved examiner for a roadworthy certificate.

Most Common Roadworthy problems

Upon inspection at an Approved Inspection Station, there are few things a qualified inspector will look for, such as the most common roadworthy problems found. For example, would you continue to wear glasses if they had a broken nose piece? No! So why would you drive a faulty vehicle? Allianz Insurance, suggests that before taking your vehicle for a roadworthy test, make sure you are aware of the specific regulations relevant in your state or territory.

If you want to sell your vehicle or change ownership, specific requirements are needed in order to successfully pass your roadworthy inspection. Here are some of the main problems that will fail your roadworthy inspection:

  • Worn Tyres: According to, the second biggest fail in a roadworthy inspection are when your wheels have worn-out tread. When you’re driving in wet conditions, it may become increasingly difficult to gain traction on the road when you’re braking. If the tyres are bald or you’re finding it hard to gain traction when driving around a roundabout or a corner, then chances are they need replacing. This saves you putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk.


cracked windscreen glass

  • Windscreens: Chips and Cracks: Windscreens are essential to your car, allowing you to see oncoming traffic, pedestrians and see visual cues when navigating the roads. Whether it’s a crack along the top or bottom or even smack-bang in the middle, all it takes is one bump and it can turn into a web of cracked glass. If your windscreen is cracked or has a few chips, then you’re at risk of obscured vision which will likely cause an accident. If you do find yourself in an accident, because the structural integrity of the windscreen has already been damaged, it can cause the rest of the glass to smash into lots of tiny shards, which is really dangerous! Always make sure your windscreen is free from cracks and chips and make sure it’s replaced or repaired immediately. At Novus Autoglass our mobile service means that you don’t have to put off your repair or replacement… we can come to you!
  • Brake defect: Brakes are one of the most important parts of vehicle safety, if your brakes are wearing thin, it might be time to get them replaced. Whether your car is a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel-drive, it’s imperative to check ALL four brakes. To check your brakes, you need to look at every wheel by hoisting it in the air with a jack. (This can be done at home or at a car service centre.) When that’s done, you’ll need to remove each wheel to access the brake pads, if the pads are wearing thin and are down to the metal plate, then they need to be replaced immediately. It might set you back financially, but it’s a small price to pay to stay safe on the roads.
  • Steering Components: To help you navigate your car on the road, you need to steer it first, right? Yes! If you’re finding it harder and harder to complete a simple three-point-turn or you can’t turn a corner properly, then it’s time to replace the steering fluid. This can be checked by looking underneath the bonnet and checking the steering fluid which can be topped up with additional fluid or replaced completely. A simple service at your local dealership can do most of the replacing for you.


service oil

  • Oil Leaks: One of the most noticeable to a police officer or an inspector is any leakage such as oil, gas, steering/brake fluid, chemical and even battery leaks coming from your car. The two ways to know if you have a leakage is by looking in your rearview mirror to see the trail from behind, or by looking underneath your vehicle. Failing to take care of these leaks can result in a defect notice. And you don’t want one of those – not complying to a defect notice can be quite expensive depending on where you live! If you do notice your car is leaking all over the road, please be mindful of other road users and pull over to inspect the damage.
  • Faulty Lights: There’s nothing worse than driving at night with faulty lights. This can hinder your ability to drive, make you a liability to other drivers on the road and in the worst-case scenario, cause an accident which could have been prevented in the first place! If you have faulty lights, this would include blurry or smokey lights, bulbs that no longer work, water/calcium build-up or damaged/missing headlights/tail lights and even a cracked light. So, please make sure all bulbs and other lights are in perfect working order. Roadworthy inspectors always check your lights, including your hazard lights, during an inspection.


excessive smoke exhaust

  • Excessive Smoke and Noise: If there are excessive noises and smoke coming from your vehicle, it’s really a good time to move on and get a new car. Selling the car for spare parts instead of selling it as a whole vehicle without a roadworthy certificate is a legal exception. However, if you really want to sell it as a whole vehicle, a simple tuning or replacement of gas/oil tank will only set you back a few hundred dollars.
  • Exterior Flaws: Your car may look like it’s been knocked about, but is it safe? It’s better safe to be sorry so if you’re concerned about how your car travels on the road, please get an inspection or contact your local dealership immediately to resolve any issues. Flaws include tail lights or indicators not working properly or are missing, panels on the car are damaged or missing, a rusty chassis, missing spoiler or wing of the vehicle and not fitted properly. These types of damages can lead to a defect notice. If you have a defect notice and need it cleared, you will need to make sure that all components of the vehicle are mended and meet the Australian Government standards.
  • Faulty Seats, Belts or Safety Features: These safety features can protect us from serious injuries and even death. Features like seatbelts, seats, airbags, sensors and safety locks are all part of what protects us in the event of an accident. Faults include sensors that are broken or not working whilst parking or driving, safety locks not activating when the vehicle is in motion and airbags that have been deployed or removed. Another important thing to consider is passenger or back seats that have been replaced by other aftermarket seats. These might not be up to standard and should be replaced before getting an inspection.


What if I can’t afford to replace the parts?

There are plenty of simple tests that you can do in between services that can help you maintain your vehicle and ensure it’s working in tip-top condition. Have a look at this previous article we’ve done which details how you can maintain your own vehicle at a fraction of the cost.

What happens when my car ISN’T roadworthy? 

This, of course, depends on the state or territory you’re in. Most regions have similar laws and regulations but it’s a good idea to check with each state before you go for your test. If you see someone driving a car you believe isn’t roadworthy – report them! It is dangerous on the roads and could result in a nasty accident.

When you purchase a second-hand vehicle, please make sure the roadworthy certificate is genuine. If you’re selling your well-loved and travelled vehicle, always consider the safety of others who will be driving it after you. So if you need some expert advice on roadworthy certificates or need any windscreen services before you go for an inspection, contact Novus for a free quote.

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