New laws in NSW about 'Repairable Write-Offs'.

Julie Coffey | 01 November 2010

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The NSW Government will introduce new legislation to ban the re-registration of all ‘repairable written-off’ vehicles to clamp down on car rebirthing, Minister for Transport and Roads David Campbell announced on the 8th of April 2010.  The indicative commencement date for these new laws  is 31st January 2011.


What is a Repairable Write Off?


Cars that have been in an incident and suffer significant damage can be deemed uneconomical for an insurance Company to repair.

The vehicle can then be repaired, checked by the Roads Authority and resold to anyone!


What does this new law mean that mean for me?


From the date of commencement (tentatively 31st Jan 2011) - Repairable Write-offs will no longer be able to be sold at auctions, where the vehicles can then be re-birthed and on-sold to unsuspecting consumers in NSW ONLY.

Once the legislation comes into effect if you buy a car registered in NSW you may be stuck with a lemon.

If you buy a car in another state that is a repairable write off you will not be able to register that car in NSW.


What can I do?


Check the vehicles history! Get the VIN for the car you are considering and check the cars history online.

A car history report will provide you with advice as to whether the car of your dreams has been reported as a write off. A REVS Check is simply not enough.


Why has the NSW Government done this?


According to Minister Campbell “There is a black market for purchasing written-off vehicles at auctions, then using stolen parts to rebirth and register the car, to be sold for a tidy profit."

“This isn’t being done by licensed repairers - in most instances it’s not financially viable for genuine repairers to repair these cars using legitimate parts."

“In many cases, it’s being done by unscrupulous operators in backyards and workshops using stolen parts, who then sell the vehicles to unwary motorists."

“More importantly, many of these vehicles have had dodgy repairs which can mask major structural damage. It’s extremely unsafe."

It’s estimated that as many as six out of ten of the 20,537 repairable written-off vehicles presented for re-registration in 2009 posed serious questions about the origin of the parts used to repair them.